Retirement Preview Mike Drak | February 10, 2021
THE PANDEMIC HAS given many folks a taste of what retirement could be like. An abrupt end to work. A loss of social connection. Trying to make ends meet on a much lower income. Many haven’t been happy with the experience. Worried that your retirement could be similar?
Here are eight lessons we can learn from the pandemic, all drawn from my new book, Retirement Heaven or Hell:
1. Retirement can be a shock. In fact, it’s quite similar to what people experienced during the pandemic. Sure, it might have felt good for a little while, not having to set an alarm, not having to deal with a long, brutal commute and not having a demanding work schedule that left you exhausted. But at some point, being forced to shelter in place got a little irritating, and people began to feel antsy and depressed. Indeed, some started eating and drinking too much to mute the anxiety and tedium they were experiencing.
2. Life without work can be boring. The virus showed us how miserable our days can be if we have too much time on our hands. The weeks slowed to a crawl for people who couldn’t work. They had trouble remembering what day it was, because it didn’t matter. Without a plan for how to spend our time, this is how our retirement could be, too.
3. Strong relationships are crucial. During the pandemic, we’ve been forced to spend long periods of time alone, with little social interaction. Being isolated has made us appreciate the value of the relationships we have with family and friends. We all crave social connection—and we need to make sure our retirement plan addresses that need.
4. Quitting work strains marriages. Once the pandemic’s initial restrictions were lifted, divorce applications spiked. Sadly, divorce rates among retirees are also on the rise, with dire emotional and financial consequences. Whether it’s retirement or a pandemic, many couples have trouble adjusting to increased togetherness.
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