Open Forum- Amy Trenton- After retirement, many adults find themselves with unrealistic expectations at what they feel retirement should be. The truth is that we work for what feels like our whole lives to suddenly one day walk away from work and be “free.” No one really knows what to expect with complete days of freedom, without a work to-do list and without a boss dictating what you need to be doing. But regardless of those many new changes, retirement is one of the last great changes in life. Retirement is a time where there are many unknowns and to help the adjustment to the retirement lifestyle, we’ve created a list of four things to expect as you make your retirement transition.

Expect to Feel Overwhelmed

Part of the joy of retirement is the world of sudden infinite possibilities that await you on a daily basis. However, having a sudden world of freedom without time constraining schedules can actually be pretty overwhelming for those first couple weeks of retirement. Some soon-to-be retirees will begin preparing a list of all the things they would like to do when they retire but when retirement actually comes, it can be so overwhelming that it takes a month or two to adjust to the freedom and begin working at and doing the things on your list. To help you adjust to your new life style, we suggest creating a list of things to work on but don’t expect to do them until you are ready. It can take time to adjust from going to work every to suddenly having an open schedule, but that is why you should expect to ease into things.

Expect To Ease Into Things

To help ease the burden of feeling overwhelmed by your new and more free lifestyle, we suggest taking your time and finding out what you like. In fact, many retirees suggest holding off on planning any big trips or large expenses until you’ve been retired for at least a year or more. So many retired adults find that once they have eased into retirement and slowly adjusted, their hobbies and interests may be dramatically different. By waiting and taking your time, you give yourself the ability to ease into new experiences that you may have never had time for and those large trips you may have wanted to take may not be a priority any longer. Slowly ease into the items on your list and explore your millions of options of how to spend your time and just enjoy the process of retirement.

Another way to ease into and adjust to retirement could be to begin working part time. This releases the overwhelming tension from uninhibited days but also give you time to slowly ease into new hobbies and create new friendships. Once you’ve found some hobbies and things to take up your time, then you can ease out of part time work and focus solely on enjoying retirement.

Expect to Work Harder At Personal Relationships

Many married retirees have worked their entire marriage, creating a work full-time and be married part-time type of relationship. With retirement, suddenly life in the home can change dramatically as your part-time marriage becomes a full time gig. Work may have always been a buffer and given you things to talk about as well as provided space from one another but with retirement, those things are no longer available. This means you will have to work harder at your romantic relationship if you want it to smoothly adjust into the retirement life with you.

The same goes for personal friendships. Many adults meet their friends through work and without a daily gathering at the water cooler, you may begin to feel lonely and those friends still attending work every day will not have time for you because they are at work. To maintain friendships, you will have to reach out more and work harder to connect with others. This can mean a weekly lunch date with the girls from work or a monthly Saturday golf game with the guys. To also help defeat this loneliness, it is suggested to attend classes or activities for your hobbies. This opens the doors for new experiences and friends with similar interests.

Expect to Love It

Like any large change in life, retirement will have its rough patches. It can be overwhelming, it can feel like you just got thrown into it and it can strain your personal relationships but it can also be one of the greatest times of your life. Retirement is a time to really explore what you like and dislike. It also is the time to explore new things, forge new friendships and really enjoy the life you’ve worked so hard for your whole life. Just like any large change in life, whether graduating from school, getting married or having children, there was plenty of unexpected experiences that created the great life you have now. Retirement is just the next step in your adventure of life, and take it from us, you’re going to love it.


Author Bio: Amy Trenton is a marketing representative of Rescue Alert, a manufacturer of personal medical alert systems. Amy enjoys providing tips for caretakers of elderly loved ones. Visit our website to learn how a medical alert bracelet can protect your loved one

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