Retirement fears will be different from person to person. Some people will focus on inadequate finances but for others, the biggest fear may be giving up work.

Retirement fears should be addressed as early as possible to ensure an easier transition into retirement.

Fighting the fear of retirement

Retirement is a major lifestyle change. Some people do embrace and look forward to retirement but for many people, this can be a daunting prospect. It’s normal to worry about a lifestyle change especially if it's looming in the future. Even those who have prepared well in advance for retirement can suffer from these fears.

As with any fear the best way to deal with the issue is to address it and move through it. Talking to others who have made the transition into retirement will be one way to help combat retirement fears.

Finance fears on retirement

Inadequate finances are one of the most common fears for those facing retirement. The prospect of facing a lengthy retirement without a regular income is a natural fear. For those without a good pension plan, this fear can be a very real prospect.

There are ways to supplement a basic pension including taking on part-time work. Retirement does not have to mean the end of work, and there are recruitment sites specifically designed for retirees. Part-time work can make the transition into retirement a lot easier and has been proven to boost mental and physical health.

The fear of giving up work in retirement

Giving up work is another very real fear for a great number of people. Retirement can mean giving up a much-loved career and the prospect of losing contact with work colleagues. This fear can be seen as leaving a long term, well-structured comfort zone.

Rather than fear the negative sides of leaving work look towards the positive sides. This can be a chance to push through the fear and try new things. Part-time work is always an option and true work friends will not disappear. Consider adult education classes to learn new skills and make a network of additional friends.

The fear of isolation on retirement

For retirees who don't have a network of family and friends, the prospect of an excess of spare time can be a worry. But it has never been easier to make new friends and there are several ways to do this.

Adult education classes, holidays for retired singles and couples, and meeting new friends via the internet are just some of the easy ways to meet people. Meeting like-minded people at art classes, volunteer work or sports clubs can help to eradicate this fear. A leap of faith will be needed for nervous people but once this has been overcome a new lease of life will open up.

Fighting the 'what if' syndrome

For many people approaching retirement, there is a factor known as the ‘what if’ syndrome. There are no specific fears but a constant barrage of every changing ‘what if’ fears. This is more a case of fearing what is going to happen in the future.

This is quite normal but by focusing on the future, the person is missing out on dealing with the issue in the present. Fear can often stop people from trying new things and enjoying the excitement of new experiences. Instead of asking ‘what if’ try asking ‘what’s the worst that could happen’ instead.

Ways to help combat retirement fears

There are several easy ways to combat or reduce the fear of retirement. These could include:

  • Talking to people and taking advice; don’t be afraid to tell others about fears of retirement and the future
  • Prepare as early as possible when it comes to finances and look into all benefits available from the government
  • Research adult education classes and leisure pursuits that can be taken during retirement
  • Consider part-time work and ask present employers if they will consider reducing full-time hours
  • Get online and join social networking sites to meet like-minded people or get in touch with old friends
  • Stay fit and active as this is one of the best ways to increase mental health and avoid depression
  • Consider taking an extended holiday on retirement as a reward for the years of hard work

It's only natural for many people to fear retirement. It's one of the major lifestyle changes. Looking at the positives of retirement and avoiding negative thoughts can help to combat fears. Looking for solutions to specific fears should also help to allay retirement worries.

Take away points:

  • Talk to others who have made the transition into retirement
  • Part-time work can make the transition into retirement a lot easier
  • Look for solutions to combat fears

This article was written by the career coaching experts at Renovo.

How CABA can help

Everything we do at CABA is underpinned by our commitment to provide lifelong support to past and present ICAEW members, ACA students, past and present ICAEW staff and their close families. All of our services are free, impartial and strictly confidential.

For information, advice and support, you can contact us in confidence, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Contact us

Was this article useful?