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How To Emotionally Prepare for Retirement, by Nina of Retired&Lovinit

How To Emotionally Prepare for Retirement, by Nina of Retired&Lovinit

This week's guest post comes from Vernita of Retired&Lovinit. She currently lives in New Jersey and is on her way to deciding where to relocate. You can tune in to which cities she's exploring on her blog.

I Am Definitely Retired & Lovinit!

I remember I couldn’t wait to retire when I was still working. Most everyone I knew felt the same way and maybe some still do...constantly saying, “I can’t wait to retire!!” Hey, that might be how you feel today. But do you know how you will feel a month after you retire? Do you know what you will do to fill all the free time in your daily life? Do you know how you will deal with the boredom and emptiness that may come? I ask those questions because so many people retire and don’t have a clue.

Before I go any further, let me introduce myself; my name is Vernita, but my friends call me Nina. Over my career, I taught students at every level, supervised various district programs, and retired as a NYC Department of Education Assistant Principal. My commute to and from work totaled 6 hours a day, traveling from South New Jersey to Brooklyn, New York. But I went to work everyday with a smile on my face.

And then the day finally came for me to retire.

I started my retirement by taking a 7-day cruise. It was the perfect way to begin my retirement. On this cruise I was pampered. I did not have to cook, clean or make up my bed. I ate often, danced, played games and I was entertained!

Retirement means replacing routines that you have had for many years.

Retirement means letting go of “stuff”.

Retirement means living better.

Retirement does not mean that you will fade away. Retirement means that you are ready for a fantastic change in your life. It has been just that in my life. At first it was scary; my life as I knew it was about to transform. Some new retirees can become depressed. Many will not know what to do with themselves because they believe that their job is their life. They will miss their colleagues and the role they held at their place of employment. They identify their job title as their whole identity.

Being retired could and should be a rewarding time in your life. It should be filled with entertaining and worthwhile activities. I believe the key is planning emotionally for retirement. You have a financial plan: savings, investments, pension and/or Social Security. Why not have an Emotional Retirement plan? Just like the saying goes, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”

Over my own retirement, and listening to countless other retirement journeys, I discovered that the time leading up to retirement is full of stress, important decisions, paperwork, planning, and the feeling that there's no turning back. What we often forget to deal with is how WE are feeling.

Are we balancing everything we have to do?

Are we paying attention to our feelings or ignoring them?

Are we transitioning the right way?

Are we filling our new free-time with positive, meaningful things?

Before & after retirement it's so important to be in-tune emotionally, to be able to really enjoy and soak in this new chapter.

Don't allow yourself to fail at something you have been awaiting most of your life! Plan across the board - emotionally, financially, professionally, personally - and reap all the benefits of reaching your end goal.

Here’s to being Retired & Lovinit!!!