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Retirement Anxiety – Tips to Help Seniors Cope

Many seniors experience anxiety as they are nearing towards the unknown world of retirement. Financial security and health care costs are just few of the many things that trouble a senior who is about to retire. Add in the worries of inflation rates and taxes in retirement. However, financial issues are not the only ones that cause retirement anxiety among seniors. It can be a mixture of so many things.

Many of these don’t entail money at all. If you are a senior preparing for your retirement, spare yourself from the anxiety that may go with it. Lower your risk of experiencing anxiety by following these tips.

Know how much you’ve progressed.

Don’t be contented with the fact that you are saving for your retirement. You have to know how much you have saved and how much you still need to save.  You should know how much you have saved by now. This way, you are more likely to ensure that you have saved enough for your retirement. Thoughts about whether you have saved enough or not can indeed keep you awake all night.

Make use of online retirement income calculators to know how much you should save. Check out the following examples of retirement calculators.

Personal Capital’s Retirement Calculator

The Flexible Retirement Planner

Vanguard’s Retirement Nest Egg Calculator

Fidelity Retirement Score Calculator

Financial Mentor’s Ultimate Retirement Calculator

If you find out you’re pretty much behind with your savings, look for ways to be able to catch up. If you have a 401k plan and the like, know that starting 2018 you can still contribute up to $18,500 a year. If you’re 50 years old or older, you can qualify for this catch-up contribution program. If you have Roth IRA, 457 plan, 403b or Roth 401k, find out how much more can you contribute as part of this catch-up contribution plan. Check out 401k’s Help Center to know more about this program. 

Create a vision statement.

Many seniors tend to become too excited about their retirement. However, when things don’t go as planned they find themselves wallowing in anxiety in retirement. But, you can prevent this from happening. One way to ensure that you will be able to live the kind of life you want in retirement is to create a vision statement.

This statement will serve as your guiding principle for everything you plan in retirement. When you have a vision, you are more likely to enjoy your retirement years. K

nowing that your vision helped you plan well your retirement. A vision statement will help you see a more realistic picture of yourself in retirement. Remember that a vision is different from mere planning. Planning without a certain vision may lead you to deviate from what is more practicable. But, with the help of a vision you can always check if your plans are aligned with that vision.

The result would be a more meaningful retirement. When creating your own vision statement, here are a few questions to help you get started:

  • What are those things that you most enjoy doing?
  • What are the top three things that you want to do in retirement?
  • What are your five most important values?
  • What are your physical, mental and spiritual goals?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • How will you improve your strengths and overcome your weaknesses in retirement?

Save as much as you can.

Saving just enough for retirement can be risky. As inflation rates soar and the purchasing power of dollar plummets, what you’ve saved may no longer be enough by the time you retire. To ensure that you will be able to live a comfortable life in retirement, have enough savings. Add in a well-planned investment portfolio that will help buffer the blow of inflation rate.

If you are not certain how to come up with a good financial plan for retirement, consult a professional. Don’t wait for the last few years before your retirement. Save as much as you can now. Knowing that you’ve got the best-laid plans in terms of your retirement plan can do wonders in alleviating your retirement anxiety. 

If you want to hire a Certified Financial Planner, you may check out CFP’s website. This website can let you narrow down your search by searching according to specialization. They have a list of financial planner’s for Elder Care or Retirement Planning. If you need help with retirement income management, this website can also help you find the right advisor. Other websites that you can check out to look for for a financial advisor include the FPA or Financial Planning Association and NAPFA

Prepare for Retirement Anxiety.

The uncertainties of retirement years can cause much anxiety in some seniors. One of these uncertainties greatly entail money matters. Some seniors are too worried about not having enough to pay for medical bills. This is the reason why seniors must broaden their retirement plan. Avoid relying on your savings as your sole means of preparing for retirement.

You have to broaden it by purchasing a long-term care policy. A long-term care policy can do wonders in safeguarding your retirement savings in the event of a major health problem. Note that long-term care services come at a hefty price.

Paying as much as $75 per day for a two-hour visit of a health care aide to your house can be a low-cost estimate. In some cases, you will have to pay more than that. The rate of services provided may vary depending on your health status, medical history and age. But, before you purchase one, check out first the AARP’s facts about Long-Term Care Insurance. 

Another way to prepare for the unexpected is to consider getting  a part-time or even full-time job after retirement. The pay may be quite low compared to your previous regular job, but it will greatly help you stretch your savings. Remember that working in retirement also spares you from the risks of isolation and depression.

This is true especially if you choose the career you have always wanted in retirement. If you do not want to see yourself still employed in retirement, start a business. It does not have to be huge. You can start a business from your hobbies. This way, you will always have a source of income to be able to stretch your retirement nest egg. 

Heed the advice of your financial advisor.

Many seniors believe every word that their doctors say. They follow their doctor’s advice religiously. However, not many seniors follow the advice of their financial advisor. Do you know that financial advisors spend so much time helping their clients achieve their financial goals?

They carefully assess each of their client’s status. Then, they come up with the best strategies to ensure that their client is spared from financial woes. So, why is it that you do not follow his advice as much as you do whenever your doctor tells you something?

Doctors provide sound health advice. The same also holds true for financial advisors. They are also capable of giving sound financial advice that helps seniors achieve financial stability in retirement. You just have to make sure that you hire a Certified Financial Advisor. In order to find the best financial advisor for you, check out the following tips:

Ask your friends for referrals.

This will help you avoid hiring one with bogus credentials. Ask for someone whose skills and qualifications have already been proven by your friends. 

Know the difference between a fiduciary and a financial advisor.

If you want to make sure that the advisor will give you the best advice based on your situation, a fiduciary is the perfect one to have. This is because financial advisors may recommend that you sign up for insurances or banks only because they earn a commission if you do so. But, fiduciaries are legally bound to give you advice according to what is deemed right for your situation. 

Don’t easily believe in the titles they’re flaunting.

Checkout a credential checker site to find out the quality rating of their credentials. 

Schedule an in-person meeting with them.

Your search for the best financial advisor is not complete without meeting them in person. Talking to them will give you better ability to judge whether they’re for real or just another fake advisor with bogus credentials. 

Peer-pressure proof yourself.

Never make the mistake of retiring too soon just because your friends just did. Remember that each situation is unique. If they retired too soon, maybe they believed it is the best move for them. But, it doesn’t mean the same move will also work for you.

Carefully make an assessment of your current status. Then, think about how your retirement years will pan out considering what you have now. Is it high time that you should retire? Or, do you still need a few more years of work? It’s you and only you knows the best answer to this. 

Establish a new you.

Except for those who despise their job, leaving the workplace may also bring about sadness. This is true especially to seniors who have been in the same workplace for years. Leaving it would feel like losing something they’ve built for decades. This is when you should allow yourself some time to grieve over the loss of your job. But, never let yourself be taken over by these negative emotions.

Know that you should move on and start creating opportunities. These opportunities should help you establish a new you. You may invest some amount on making your hobbies a small business. Or, you can start looking for a part-time employment.

Know what it is that you love the most about your job. Then, find ways on how you can continue such enjoyment in retirement. If you used to be working as a CEO, you may enjoy mentoring jobs in retirement. If your previous job entails much about planning and giving financial advice, you can apply as a freelance financial advisor.

By redefining yourself, you won’t have to feel that emptiness of not having a regular day job. 

Continue to stimulate your mind and body.

One reason why seniors become anxious about retirement is the thought of not knowing what to do as soon as they wake up in the morning.  This is true particularly to seniors who are used to living a hectic life at work. Seeing a blank calendar or to-do list just seems so unbearable for them.

Seniors must realize that there are so many things to do in retirement. And, the best thing about it is that these activities don’t have to cost money from a senior’s end.  Think about the things that you want to do in retirement.

Do you like answering crossword puzzles? Playing chess or other board games? Or, do you want to see yourself playing tennis two times a week? Do you want to spend more time gardening or wood working? These are just few of the many things that can surely fill your days in retirement. They constantly stimulate your mind and body without the risk of stressing you too much. 

Make marital adjustments now.

Retirement must not be done without first consulting your spouse. You have to plan it together. This is because you will be in it together for the rest of your lives. Imagine yourself in retirement playing golf while your wife goes to work everyday. Are you certain that she won’t feel something negative about it? This is why talks about such issues must be done prior to retirement. 

Open communication is a must. You should plan how your daily activities at home be done once you stop working. Can you see yourself washing the dishes while your wife is at work? Do you see yourself spending more time in the kitchen as your wife prepares to go to work? Bringing up such issue before retirement can greatly reduce your anxiety about retirement. 

When planning for a weekend activity outdoors, make sure to include your spouse. If your wife does not share the same passion for leisure activities, make sure you have activities that you can do together. Remember that retirement must be filled with chances for couples to have more time together. Never let retirement trigger marital problems. Instead, use it to strengthen your relationship. 

Create your own social network.

Isolation is one of the common reasons why retirees become prone to anxiety and depression. One way to counter such risk is to build your own social network. Don’t rest on the thought that you already have a social network created from your working days. Remember that your colleagues and other friends are not retiring at the same time with you.

So, start developing friendships outside the workplace. Begin by looking for people who share the same hobbies with you. This is to ensure you won’t find yourself anxiously waiting for your former colleagues to invite you. Your social network in retirement must consist of fellow retirees and your former colleagues.

In other words, don’t let your world shrink in retirement. Find ways to expand and broaden it! You can also check out social networking sites that cater specifically to seniors. Examples of these are Stitch.net and Tapestry.net. These sites help seniors stave off their risks for anxiety and depression in retirement by allowing them to stay connected to fellow seniors, as well as their families.