You probably know some people who have Type A personalities. They are driven, goal-oriented, rigid, competitive, and edgy. They thrive on being over-committed and they like to take charge. They’re perfectionists who have low tolerance for incompetence. Type A people thrive in a fast-paced, demanding work environment.
While these qualities may be desirable for career advancement, people with Type A personalities are twice as likely to suffer from stress-related illnesses and heart attacks as their more relaxed counterparts.
Perhaps this describes you.
If you have a Type A personality, transitioning to retirement may be especially difficult. After you retire, you will no longer have an impressive job title or management responsibilities. Job status will no longer matter. You will be on the same level as any other retiree. You are more likely to feel lost or adrift due to a lack of purpose, structure, and responsibility.
Here are ten ways that people with Type A personalities can adapt in order to enjoy a happy retirement.
Retirement is not one-size-fits-all. There are many ways to envision how you’ll spend your retirement years.
Identifying your retirement personality type can help you gain clarity about what you want your retirement to be like on a day-to-day basis. You might see yourself in more than one of these categories, and the categories you fit into may change as your retirement progresses.
If you are coupled, it’s important to compare your retirement personality type with that of your partner in order to ensure that you both have compatible visions for how you want to enjoy your retirement. If your personality types differ significantly, you will need to make some adjustments and compromises.
Your retirement personality type will influence many of the factors that go into planning your retirement, such as how much money you’ll need and where you’ll live.
When you retire from work, you retire from pressure, stress, deadlines, performance reviews, boring meetings, and that annoying guy down the aisle who spends all day making personal phone calls that everyone can hear.
But you will also leave behind something that is more important than you may realize: human contact. While most of your colleagues probably aren’t close personal friends, just being around people provides a certain level of socialization that you will miss once you retire.
A recent study by the University of California at San Francisco revealed that 43% of the people they surveyed who were over 60 years old reported feeling lonely on a regular basis. Two-thirds of the adults who said they were lonely live with a spouse or other partner, which indicates that you shouldn’t rely upon your spouse to be your sole source of companionship.
While you work, social contact happens easily and automatically. After you retire, you can still find plenty of ways to stay socially engaged, but it requires a little more initiative on your part.
Here are seven ways to stay socially active and prevent loneliness after you retire.
Hopefully, you are looking forward to retirement with eagerness and anticipation. You envision retirement as a well-deserved reward that you have earned with years of hard work. You are imagining all sorts of ways to fill your days once you are free from the constraints of work and your life is truly your own.
But what if you are unsure about what retirement will be like? Perhaps you’re uncertain about whether you will be happy after you stop working. If you aren’t entirely sure what to expect, this list will give you more things to look forward to. It will help you envision retirement more positively and with greater anticipation. Most items on this list are common experiences shared by most retirees, but your mileage may vary. Here are twelve reasons you will love being retired.
It’s not uncommon for two-career couples to retire at different times. This may happen when there is a significant age difference or if one spouse retires sooner than planned due to an unexpected layoff or an irresistible early retirement incentive package. In other cases, one spouse may feel burnt out and ready to throw in the towel while the other spouse is at the peak of his or her career and wants to keep going for a few more years.
Whatever the circumstances, mixed-retirement marriages are situations ripe for resentment and stress. For a time, you and your spouse will have to coexist in different realities, something for which you may be ill-prepared. Here are seven tips that will help you and your spouse adjust to having one spouse work while the other is retired.
Throughout your working years, you have probably viewed your retirement as a destination. It is a goal you are saving for and will hopefully reach one day. But once you reach this destination, then what?
The perception of retirement as a destination may be why some people approach retirement with dread rather than anticipation. They view retirement as a finish line or as the end of the road.
But retirement is simply a milestone you pass on your journey. It’s like crossing the border from one state to the next. The road will continue to unfold before you.
While you may view retirement as a long-anticipated emancipation from the work world, it is also a period of considerable change and adjustment. If you are married, some of the most profound changes will take place within the context of your relationship with your spouse.
For some couples, the fact that they have been drifting apart for years could be masked or ignored because most of their time and attention is devoted to their careers or raising a family. For these couples, suddenly spending more time together may present a reality they aren’t prepared for. They may find that they no longer have as much in common as they did while they were dating and during the early years of their marriage.
Even happy, well-adjusted couples will find that many aspects of their relationship will undergo change and require adjustment. Not surprisingly, honest discussion and a willingness to compromise and explore new solutions will help you deal with most challenges.
Here are ten suggestions that will help you and your spouse navigate the inevitable changes that will take place when you retire and enable you to better enjoy your remaining years together.
After you retire, you may believe that you no longer need to manage your time. Perhaps you regard time management as something you get to leave behind when you end your working career. After all, you have been a slave to your work schedule for decades.
If you are not retired yet, you may envision that the ultimate retirement lifestyle will consist of getting up whenever you want, eating whenever you want, doing whatever you want or nothing at all, and going to bed whenever you want.
That may be therapeutic for the first few weeks after you leave your job. It can help you decompress from decades of work. But that approach won’t remain satisfying for very long.
With no discipline or direction, you’ll discover that days and weeks will pass without doing much that’s meaningful. The next thing you know, months will have passed and you’ll have no idea where the time went or what you did. You will end up bored, unhappy and sedentary. You’ll spend most of your time in front of the TV or the computer. That’s probably not what you had in mind for your retirement. It’s not very healthy, either.
The internet is awash with advice from retirement planning experts. Interestingly, many people who write retirement advice haven’t retired yet or are relatively recent retirees (like me). Plus, much of the advice you read comes from financial planners. That’s important, of course, but as you know, there’s more to a happy retirement than simply saving enough money.
Wouldn’t it be great to receive advice from some older, more experienced retirees who have spent many years living through the experience?
Recently, I had the opportunity to query some residents of Wake Robin, a life plan community in Shelburne, VT, through Wake Robin’s publicist, Charlotte Longley Lyman. I asked the residents questions such as “What advice would you offer to someone who is preparing to retire now?” and “What was the number one thing you wish you had done when starting the retirement process?”
Here are eight bits of sage advice compiled from their answers. Most of this advice is not ground-breaking or new – you’ve probably heard most of it before. But it’s good to have this advice validated by people who have been there and done that.
If you ask many retirees what their life is like, they will probably tell you that they are as busy as ever. Every day is full of errands, shopping, household chores, yard work, TV and movies, club meetings, and all sorts of other things. Their calendars are filled with events, appointments, and get-togethers.
After you retire and you no longer have to go into work every day, it seems like everything else expands, multiplies, and rushes in to consume the time you used to work. You may wonder how you ever had time to work and still get everything else done.
Of course, staying busy certainly beats being bored and having nothing to do.
But after a year or two has passed and you settle into your new normal routine, a sense of discontentment may emerge. It’s subtle at first, lurking just beneath the surface. You will begin to wonder if this is all there is, and if this is what you spent decades of your life working for. You’re busy, and most of it is fun or at least pleasant, but something seems to be missing.