The Hidden Retirement Dilemma: Not Money

The Hidden Retirement Dilemma: Not Money

Every financial advisor, wealth manager, and financial institution will offer to help clients reach a ‘successful retirement’. They manage investments, and the focus is on making money for life. amazing. But they left out an important part of the picture: A successful retirement requires much more than just proper financial planning. What else is there?

Creating a plan for how to enjoy your life, finding meaning in it and maintaining a sense of purpose and identity is something financial advisors are not trained to explain. However, we know from studies of this topic that the challenges of creating a successful next stage of life after working full time are often overlooked when the focus is only on how your investment portfolio is performing.

If you ask anyone who can’t wait to get to their last working day what they plan to do next, you’ll often hear “I just want to relax.” Of course that’s fine, but look around at the many people who have finished high-pressure work without a plan in mind for what’s next, and you’ll see some pretty lost people.

It is highly unlikely that a financial advisor will tell you the truth The risk of depression in retirement. Media ads for “retirement planning” show seniors who travel, do fun things, and are always smiling. We’re supposed to have that retirement photo. Do you have enough financial security? yes? Good. You will succeed in retirement. Now for a reality check. Depression is common in retirement and the risk is there for anyone who hasn’t paid enough attention to what you need to do to prevent it. You might hear: “Do some volunteer work or something. That would be good.” This advice is not enough.

Components of a real successful retirement

Retirement has been studied a lot, considering that boomers are at that point in life and there are more retirees than ever before. From all the research, we can conclude that enjoying life in retirement takes planning far beyond the financial picture. Those who have three important components planned are more likely to be happy and less likely to be depressed. Here they are in short:


An essential and essential component of mental health is to have some structure in your life. Working full time in any job gives us an automated structure, whether we work from home or in an office, big or small. Structure gives us a routine, something we can rely on, and knowing what to do with our time. When we let go of that, we have to create our own structure. Traveling, golfing, tennis, or whatever one imagines in retirement can take us so far. Simply put, we need something to do every day. Without it, we can feel lost, isolated, and aimless. When we stay that way, depression may follow. For example, as stated in Harvard health publishingPsychiatrist Dr. Randall Poulsen finds that “during that phase of going from a lot of structure to almost no structure, men can show the same signs as someone with work burnout.”

Create a weekly routine that you can love. What you put into your personal structure is important, because you want to look forward to what’s on your calendar, and be able to keep it. Watching TV for long hours and “just relaxing” does not lead to good mental health.


Whether you love your job or hate it, you have a goal. Earning your salary was a motivator and our culture favors productivity. Our society respects those who work. People may ask you this common question: “What do you do?” Sometimes responding with “I’m retired” makes you feel less than you did before, when your answer is different. Everyone is better off finding something to do that gives you a sense of purpose. Some pursue a hobby that becomes a consumer interest. Some start a new business project on their own, in control of their time. Some volunteers. Whatever gives you a sense of purpose is a good thing, so you just need to know what it is before retirement begins and take the necessary steps to participate. No one will give it to you. Challenge yourself, stretch to a new level, and learn something new. This is good for your mental health. If what you choose comes easy, it may not be enough. If it gets too difficult, you may lose interest. Finding balance is an individual task.

social communication

Every healthcare professional you may meet will tell you that social isolation is not good for you. Without intercoms with co-workers, clients, clients, or others who were a part of your workday, you retired, you now have to network and create connections in your life on your own. The job no longer provides an easy way to talk and interact with others. No meetings, no contacts. The key to avoiding feeling isolated is planning what to do that will create interactions with others on a regular basis. Clubs, classes, sports, card games, volunteer work, religious organizations, community groups, and the like will fill the empty space created when you stopped working. One has to find something that you can join in and enjoy.


Simply put, retirement can be harmful to your mental health. Have you ever met a rich and depressed person? I bet you have. Loss of structure, purpose, and community can harm you in ways you might never have thought of. When you’re done perusing travel brochures and planning your next golf game, keep in mind that a successful retirement doesn’t just happen because you’re financially secure. It is made by your own design. You may make it beautiful.

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