Why Attitude Matters When You’re Thinking of Retiring
Have you heard the saying that life is more fulfilling if you are running towards something rather than running away from something? This is particularly true when it comes to planning your retirement.
Many people want to escape the demands of jobs that stress them out, control their time and suck up all their energy. They want the complete freedom to do whatever they want whenever they want without suffering from career burnout.
But if you are unhappy with your job, is retirement the best solution for you?
People who are miserable in their jobs think that retirement will solve everything. But this concept is often overly romanticized. Running away from work is usually not beneficial.
My co-workers drive me crazy. I work insane hours. My performance review was disheartening. I haven’t had a raise in three years. My manager and I have communication issues.
How true is this in your case?
With my last employer, organizational changes and new management made me totally dislike my job. I quit because I had become unhappy there and it just wasn’t worth it.
Retirement for me was not what I expected. There were a lot of adjustments to be made.
Finding your path
Do you have something – hobbies or other activities – to look forward to in retirement? Or do you think that watching TV, playing online video games or reading books will do it for you for 2,000 more hours a year? You probably won’t be able to do that for long because it’s a recipe for being bored and miserable.
You need to find yourself a hobby, ideally a physically active one. Try a few different things but don’t stretch yourself too thin with a hundred different projects. You’ll find a spark somewhere. Once you find that spark, stick with it until you start to see measurable improvement the more you do it. That will motivate you to do more and it will energize your days.
Related: What do Retiring Boomers Like to do?
The unintended benefit is that you might be able to tolerate your job a lot more easily when you find some balance. It will just be something you do during your day before you get home to your passion.
While you’re figuring it out you will have to delay your retirement for a bit. But the sooner you can design your next lifestyle, the sooner you can come up with a sustainable plan to live your life on your terms.
Is a job transition a better option?
If you hate your job that much, just grinding through each grim day with oppressing coworkers, you need to find a different job with a different team to work with – period!
Work is not an all or nothing proposition. Depending on your financial situation, working part-time, finding a different job or even just taking a really long vacation or sabbatical might be a better alternative than retirement.
Why mindset matters
Your mindset is important because it affects your actions and decisions before retirement and the kind of lifestyle you will enjoy after.
Having a positive outlook can make it easier to welcome new opportunities. It affects how satisfied you will feel with your retirement.
The bottom line
Are you thinking of retiring to run away from work, or run toward your future? Is retirement the answer? It doesn’t matter if you are 55 or 75, your retirement is likely to last at least 20 years or more. That’s a long time.
Retirement isn’t going to fix your unhappiness.
It’s important to have something you’re enthusiastic about moving toward, to have some sort of plan – ideally more than just an escape from your job.
Retirees now view retirement as more of a new beginning – not a winding down of a long career.