Roughly 40% of adults end up retiring earlier than they had planned. For some, their company is downsizing and has laid them off. For others, health issues may be to blame. Additionally, for many people caregiving duties for an aging parent may cause them to leave the workforce much earlier than expected. Regardless of what causes your retirement, an unplanned retirement can through anyone off balance.
Grief Will Be Part of This Journey
And all the emotions that come with grief can be expected. An unplanned retirement is a loss. The person going through this period has lost not only income but a sense of purpose. Most likely you will feel angry, sad, frustrated or depressed at times. It is important to understand that this is normal. Accept the fact that you are grieving. The following tips can help you to step into this new phase of your life and create a new normal.
Create Structure In Your Day
When Paul was forced out of the company he had been with for 37 years he was lost. Though financially, he and his wife were in a good place Paul did not know what to do with his days.
“He started trying to take over at home” Margret complained. “I have been running this household for years but now he thinks he can do better!” Margaret was frustrated. This change was hard for both of them. “He just needs to do something!” she cried. “I can’t have him underfoot all day long.”
Finally, Paul started taking the dog for a walk every morning. It got him up and moving. And he met some neighbors who were also newly retired. Eventually, Paul found a part-time job. It was enough to give him some structure and a sense of purpose.
Chances are you had a lot of plans for your eventual retirement. If you were not financially ready to retire now you may need to look at how you can rejoin the workplace. It may not be easy finding another job, but it is also not impossible. You might consider consulting. If you have been in a particular industry for a long time, consulting might be a good way to go. Sit down with a financial advisor and consider also talking to a career coach to discover options you may not have thought about.
And if finances are not a problem then start setting other goals. What have you always wanted to do? Do you want to travel? Where? Start planning some trips. Maybe there is a hobby you have always wanted to take up. Research that hobby and find people in your area who are involved in it. Perhaps there is a club you can join.
Health is often a big reason for unplanned retirement. Set goals to get your health back. What do you need to do? Join a gym if it is appropriate for your situation. The local YMCA has a lot of programs specifically for seniors. Consider joining one today.
Get Together with Friends- And Make New Friends
If your friends are all still working, you may find that you need to have a few retired friends also. Having a strong friendship base is important. The last thing you want to do is to become isolated. Check out Meet-Up groups in your area. If you don’t already belong to one join a local church. Find one that has an active senior group. Get involved. Don’t just show up once a week. Participate and be of service.
Giving back to others in your community can give you that sense of purpose that may be missing in your life. Use the talents you have to help an organization you care about. Your life will be richer for it. The Living Legacy Center is always looking for people to help.