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The Six Stages of Retirement

Listen to Best in Wealth Podcast Episode 157

What is just as important as building wealth for retirement? Understanding and preparing for the six stages of retirement. You experience different situations and emotions through each stage of the journey. If you know what to expect ahead of time, you can strategize how to emotionally—and monetarily—prepare. Listen to this episode of Best in Wealth to help prepare for your retirement. 

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:26] Health comes before wealth
  • [4:40] Stage one: Pre-retirement
  • [8:48] Stage two: Retirement day
  • [10:07] Stage three: The honeymoon stage
  • [12:03] Stage four: Disenchantment
  • [17:37] Stage five: Your new identity
  • [19:55] Stage six: Moving on
  • [22:04] How do you want to be remembered?

Stage one: Pre-retirement

You need to make sure you have the right amount of money in the bank, right? This tends to be one of the only things people think about when planning for their retirement. All of your dreams need to come to the surface. All of your goals and what you want to leave behind need to be discussed. 

Do you have enough to accomplish your goals? Are you addressing everything? What if you end up in a nursing home? Will you and your spouse have enough to provide for that? Can you withstand social security being cut in half? We go through all of these scenarios in the planning stage of retirement. If you are not sure if you are prepared—or do not want to do this on your own—feel free to reach out to me. I work with clients all over the United States. 

Stage two: Retirement day

This is your last day of work. You have likely worked for the last 30, 40, or 50 years. Your last day is a HUGE deal. There’s a ton of excitement around the big day. You can do whatever you want without the stress and burden of your job. 

Stage three: The honeymoon stage

Once the retirement celebrations are over, retirees can begin to do everything they have always wanted to do. They may travel, complete a honey-do list, visit family, or pick up a new hobby. The length of this phase varies depending on how much activity you have planned. Everything is awesome. But eventually, the excitement wears off. Eventually, you run out of planned activities. That is when you move to stage four. 

Stage four: Disenchantment

One day you wake up and think that retirement is not all that you thought it would be. You may feel like you have lost your identity. You were needed at your job. People counted on you. You felt more self-worth while you were working. The honey-do list is done. But you have so much free time left. 

The feeling of disenchantment can be accompanied by depression. This is the time when it is important to ask for help. Talk about it with your family, spouse, friends, or even your financial advisor. This is just as important as all of the money that you saved. 

This might be a time to invest in something bigger than yourself. You need a sense of purpose. Maybe you can volunteer at a local organization or your church. Maybe you could take some continuing education classes. Maybe it is time to plant a garden. Find people to talk through this stage with you. Find the deeper meaning of your life.

Stage five: Your new identity

You familiarize yourself with the landscape of your new circumstances and new higher purpose. You manage the inevitable self-examination. You begin to find answers to the question: Who am I now? In this new stage, you start to figure things out. You find your “new” purpose. When you find answers to this question, you begin to feel closure about your work life. It does not mean this stage is easy. 

Stage six: Moving on

This is the stage where you settle into the new routine that you have built around your new identity. It will feel good. You have new rules around your marriage and the time you spend together. You are both building your new identity. You know where you will be in this new normal that you are creating. Eventually, the new landscape becomes familiar territory and you can enjoy the phase of your life. 

Resources Mentioned

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Podcast Disclaimer:

The Best In Wealth Podcast is hosted by Scott Wellens. Scott Wellens is the principal at Fortress Planning Group. Fortress Planning Group is a registered investment advisory firm regulated by the Securities Act of Wisconsin in accordance and compliance with securities laws and regulations. Fortress Planning Group does not render or offer to render personalized investment or tax advice through the Best In Wealth Podcast. The information provided is for informational purposes only and does not constitute financial, tax, investment or legal advice.