eight Concepts For Thriving Whereas Navigating The Troubled Transition To Retirement
8 Ideas For Thriving While Navigating The Troubled Transition To Retirement
The transition to retirement can be a time when you feel a little stuck. It’s like a pandemic. You’re not quite where you want to be or doing what you want to do – but you could almost be there. These types of split times can be tricky in that you’re waiting for something to happen.
Just because you wait doesn’t mean you have to give up happiness and fulfillment.
Here are 8 tips to help you succeed regardless of your stage in life – especially if you find yourself in one of those uncomfortable in-between periods.
Sometimes, just taking stock and thinking about your wellbeing can get you on a path to changing your life to be happier. (NOTE: Same goes for your financial well-being. Simply creating a plan will improve your financial prospects. Start the NewRetirement Planner now.)
Tyler J. VanderWeele, director of Harvard’s Human Flourishing Program, wrote a 10-question quiz to help you assess your current wellbeing. Take the quiz now in the New York Times.
Good friends and close family relationships can add to your wellbeing. But also your casual and weaker relationships. In fact, scientists have found that occasional social connections can go a long way in contributing to wellbeing.
Occasional encounters might include a friendly exchange at the grocery store or someone you smiled at every day when you were working in an office. These types of weak links can give you a relatively strong jolt of happiness and wellbeing.
In fact, Stanford sociology professor Mark Granovetter has written about how weak links benefit us in a number of ways. Chance encounters can:
- Be a good place to express feelings in a non judgmental setting.
- Give yourself the opportunity to get a more objective opinion about something that is bothering you
- Expand your social network and learn about new ideas and possibilities
- Offer a push of goodwill that isn’t weighed down by the complications of a relationship
During the pandemic, many people missed these “weak ties”. Something similar can happen when you retire.
Think about how you can nurture weak bonds to improve your wellbeing.
Psychologists call it enjoying – consciously celebrating small victories, noticing something beautiful or simply recognizing when you feel happy.
Enjoying means giving yourself the space to recognize your positive feelings – ideally while you are feeling positive.
You don’t have to throw a party or open the champagne, but remembering small moments can make you feel better.
- Take a moment to say thank you for everything you celebrate.
- Take photos or write about what you enjoy. (You can even make a goal of taking a photo every day or writing down for 3 minutes what made you happy before bed.)
- Tell someone about a positive moment you had.
- Just be aware when you are feeling a sense of happiness.
- Take a walk to find something that makes you happy.
The ability to experience gratitude actually increases with age. So this should be easy.
Dr. VanderWeele recommends taking time once a week to think about 5 things in life that you are grateful for.
Research has found that doing multiple kind actions (that you normally wouldn’t normally do) weekly for several weeks increases your happiness and life satisfaction, and makes you feel more engaged, less anxious, and more connected.
Social scientists have also found that focusing your kindness on one day can further increase your wellbeing.
You don’t have to solve climate change or feed all of the poor in your city to lead a meaningful life.
You can feel an increased sense of wellbeing by making sense of everyday activities. Whether you’re walking your dog, making your bed, finishing a work project, or preparing dinner, doing a high-impact task can make you feel good, especially if you take the time to appreciate what you’ve done .
Retirement gives you plenty of time to try new things. However, you don’t have to wait to retire. Try something that you have never seen before and you are sure to improve your wellbeing.
Adam Grant, an organizational psychologist at Wharton, told the New York Times, “The first key to being comfortable in life is finding new interests.”
The good news is that something new doesn’t require a lot of effort, preparation, or planning. There are many things you could try right now:
- Buy a fruit or vegetable that you have never tried before.
- Take a new route when jogging every day.
- Have you ever tried Sudoku? Try it.
Transitions are intermediate times when you may think about the past and maybe think about the mistakes you made as well as the future.
However, as any self-help guru will tell you, happiness is neither in the past nor in the future. It can be found in the present.
So what should you do about your worries about funding your future retirement? People naturally want to feel in control. Worrying about your future can create the illusion that you are doing something – but worrying is by no means synonymous with productive problem-solving.
So what can you do By creating a financial plan, learning about personal finances, running worst-case scenarios (and creating backup plans), you will get the feeling of control you need.
The NewRetirement Planner gives you powerful technology to set goals, take control, make better decisions, and stay on track.
Forbes Magazine calls NewRetirement “a new approach to retirement planning”. And we are ranked the best financial instrument by Marketwatch, AAII, Seeking Alpha and many others. Use NewRetirement to find your way into the future you want – today.