Last month, I wrote about five things that could potentially catch some people off guard during their first year of retirement. Retirement is a huge milestone – one that can be stressful for many people. However, many others can retire stress-free and never look back. Here are five (fantastic) things all retirees can expect during their first year of retirement.
Say Goodbye to Stress
Even the most meaningful and rewarding job can turn us into a ball of stress. Being on call 24/7, working on tight deadlines, and hustling to meet annual sales goals can produce enough stress to affect anyone’s health. Simply having a boss who’s a jerk or gossiping colleagues can transform an otherwise pleasant work environment into a pressure-cooker.
While some people may struggle with losing their day-to-day social connections at work, these all-too-typical stressors allow many to retire without a second thought.
Letting go of work stress has almost innumerable positive benefits such as better memory, an improved immune system, lower chances of depression, lower chances of having a stroke, and lower blood pressure, among many others. Those who can let go of stress in their first year of retirement often find a new sense of inner peace that didn’t exist during their working years.
No Traffic or Alarm Clock
For many of us, simply getting to work can be stressful. While working from home during pandemic meant no commutes for a while, many companies have started bringing employees back into the office. Here in Atlanta, rush-hour traffic is certainly back in a big way.
While not everyone deals with Mad-Max-style commutes, few escape the bleating of an alarm clock every morning. Even the most Zen-sounding alarms on our smartphones can shock us out of our natural sleep patterns. Pour on the coffee and now we’re ready to queue up the Dolly Parton.
Time for Fun Projects
Now that you completely own your daily schedule, you may finally have time for one of those projects you haven’t had time to tackle. Whether it be organizing the house, volunteering for a special cause, or taking up a new hobby such as gardening or woodworking, retirement provides the opportunity to get things done.
(Yes, some of us find organizing the house fun and rewarding – don’t judge!)
You’re now completely free to pursue things that you find interesting for their own sake – you can “follow your bliss” as Joseph Campbell said. Have you ever considered becoming a birdwatcher? Dust off those binoculars. Now is the time to enjoy your freedom to get lost in something that fascinates you.
Time for Travel
To the surprise of few, travel is perhaps the most popular to-do item on any newly retired person’s list. With limited vacation time for most companies in the U.S., it can be difficult to take a week or two off, unplug, and see the world while you’re still working. Travel is certainly something to prioritize.
The psychological benefits of travel are vast, and retirement is the perfect time for it. Travel allows you to see the world from a different perspective, create memorable experiences, improves your communication skills, and gives you plenty of physical activity. It can also allow you to reconnect with your spouse or partner outside of your day-to-day routine.
Whether you go with an established tour company or a solo adventure, travel is one of the wonderful perks to experience in your first year of retirement.
Beyond some of the more obvious benefits, retirement provides new opportunities that wouldn’t otherwise be available. In my prior blog post, I discussed the potential difficulty of re-framing your identity after stepping away from work. While this can be a challenge for many people, it can also present fantastic new opportunities.
In retirement, you can continue your personal growth by stepping into a new, fully realized version of yourself. You may choose to reinvent yourself as a mentor or community volunteer – or you could even start a completely new (and fun) career. There’s really no limit on what you can create now that you have the freedom that comes with retirement. It’s all up to you.
Life’s an adventure. While your working days may be behind you, some of your greatest adventures may still lie ahead.
If you’d like help planning for a fantastic first year of retirement, then click here to set up a quick, complimentary introduction call to see if Prana Wealth is a good fit. We do still have the capacity to take on new clients.
As a fee-only financial advisor in Atlanta, we can (and do) work virtually with clients all across the U.S. and we’re here to help you when you’re ready.