Most people have spent some part of their workweek daydreaming and fantasizing about retirement. As people slog and trudge through their workweek, they imagine a retirement full of relaxation and joy. Accordingly, it’s hard for most people to imagine retirement being stressful. The reality is 56% of Americans lose sleep worrying and thinking about retirement. On the “Life Events Scale” of all the possible life events that cause stress, retirement rates as the 10th most stressful event. Let’s look at the seven most common things that fuel stress when it comes to retirement.
- Financial Concerns: Many have spent their whole lives living check to check and it’s no different in retirement. People fear losing a financial stream of money and being stuck with a fixed income that social security provides which is often not enough. Others go into retirement carrying too much debt and worry they won’t be able to pay it off and still take care of their other bills. Even those who go into retirement with saved money worry they have not saved enough and will outlive their savings. Lastly, some worry about becoming fraud victims since many scams target the elderly.
- Health Concerns: Many people worry about switching to Medicare insurance, navigating the complexity of it, if their healthcare providers will accept it, and how they will pay for it. A great majority of people worry about coping and managing with declining health, medical problems, or coming down with a debilitating medical issue that will negatively affect goals in retirement.
- Caregiving: Many people are faced with caregiving for a parent, sibling, or spouse. Managing additional chores, paying bills, medical appointments, managing a household, or providing direct care is enormously stressful especially for conditions like dementia where there is cognitive decline. Often this stress is insidious and cumulative over time and ends up wearing people down.
- Relationship Issues: Many people have issues in their marriage and in retirement have lost the breaks and distractions that work provides. Spending 24 hours a day, seven days a week together can amplify issues that have been going on for years. Others experience the disappointment of not getting to see kids or grandkids as much as they would like to. Others find themselves lonely in retirement and isolated from the lack of contact with colleagues.
- Dramatic Change: We’ve all experienced the stress of going from one job to another, but it’s still a job. Many are surprised how stressful it is to go from a job to no job. We are all creatures of habit and thrive on structure and routine and much of that is lost in the initial transition to retirement. Many also struggle with finding ways to fill all the newfound time.
- Loss of Identity: Men who retire are particularly susceptible to this stress. Many guys attach a lot of their worth and identity to their job and role as financial breadwinners. In retirement, they question their value and worth and may become quite depressed.
- Boredom: Many people have been planning to retire but didn’t plan what to do in retirement. They find themselves watching TV without purpose or direction. People with specific goals for retirement tend to be much more confident about their retirement.
Maple Grove Psychiatrists
All these stressors can lead to anxiety and depression in retirement. If you are worried about retirement or struggling in retirement, feel free to contact IPC so you can schedule a consultation with one of our psychologists or psychiatrists so we can help discuss treatment options. Please call us now at 763-416-4167, or request an appointment on our website: WWW.IPC-MN.COM so we can sit down with you and complete a thorough assessment and help you develop a plan of action that will work for you. Life is too short to be unhappy. Find the peace of mind you deserve.
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