What are the Five Stages of Retirement?

Author: Spencer Smith

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just flip a switch and make today your last day on the job and start your retirement tomorrow? While it would be amazing to skip all the complicated stuff, it’s essential to your peace of mind that you have all your ducks in a row. Retirees need to get familiarized with this major life change, and there are typically five stages of retirement that everyone goes through before you can exhale and enjoy all this newfound freedom has to offer. 

Stage 1: Nearing Retirement 

Odds are you’ve had a retirement goal in mind for years. And the closer you get to that goal, the more seriously you have to take it. During this stage of retirement planning, you need to shift your focus from propelling your career to starting to focus on financial planning. 

Planning financially is critical to ensuring that you can feel confident you are ready when you finally pull the trigger. Emotionally, you should start to envision what life will be like when you have more free time, and you might even want to start exploring some ideas for hobbies, vacations or even start toying with the idea of downsizing. 

While you aren’t making any major changes in this step, it’s critical to start changing your mindset. 

Stage 2: The Honeymoon Phase 

This is it! The day has come for you to walk away from your job and officially begin your retirement. What does that mean? It means parties, getting together with friends, sleeping in, and letting the stress of your work life just melt away. Could there be anything better than that? 

Stage 3: Disenchantment 

After the first year or two of retirement, reality might start setting in. It’s not uncommon to feel a little unfulfilled and let down by your current life. If you feel bored, lonely, or unproductive during this retirement phase, you’re not alone! It’s important you don’t dwell in this stage for too long. 

Stage 4: Finding Your Happiness

While the initial thrill of having all the free time in the world was amazing, after a couple of years you might find yourself feeling lost. During this stage of retirement planning, you need to re-find yourself. What makes you happy? What makes you feel energized? Where can you be of more use? If you don’t have children or grandchildren, you need to start looking inward for ways you can find more happiness and fulfillment in retirement life. 

During this time, you should aim to focus on your physical and mental health. Start working out, eating right, and paying attention to your body. Once you’re feeling better physically, then you can start to explore new hobbies, activities, or services that invigorate your spirit and make you feel productive and happy. 

Stage 5: Stability 

Once you find your new passion, whether it be volunteering, writing a book, golfing, or cooking, you can start to settle into a more positive routine. Establishing a routine for your life will give you the same sense of stability you had when working, but with more enjoyment and fulfillment.

The goal of this stage of retirement is to truly settle into your happiness. You have earned this part of life, and you should be making the most of it.

Embrace Your Happiness: Discover the Exciting Opportunities of Retirement with Upside

At Upside, we fully believe retirement doesn’t have to mean settling down. Instead, it can be your chance to find yourself in a way you’ve never had the opportunity to before. By working with an Upside Manager, you can explore new hobbies, make new connections, and truly embrace your community. From fishing off a pier along the Florida coastline to attending concerts and enjoying the nightlife in New York, Upside curates experiences based on our members’ interests. Find the retirement lifestyle that speaks to you.

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