Blog: How to keep retirement syndrome at bay

Life @ Work

How to keep retirement syndrome at bay

Natural habits can be difficult to change and work becomes a natural habit for most of the people.
How to keep retirement syndrome at bay

Work has always been a priority for every individual and on an average people spend more than half of their adult life working. Lives involve and revolve around work life, and a majority of people lose touch with family, friends, and hobbies to achieve success or stability with regards to financial independence. It is proven that natural habits can be difficult to change and work becomes a natural habit for most of the people. The idea of a short break may seem like a good idea but imagine if you were on a never-ending break without salary, but you have ample amount of time to do whatever you want. Successful and ambitious people or an individual who loves their profession are more prone to retirement syndrome. 

Retirement syndrome can simply be explained as the fear of letting go of your job or post (especially for CEOs) or uncertainty caused by a sudden change in life like retirement. Usually, when an employee retires, it is supposed to be a happy moment as each one works very hard to enjoy a better life post-retirement. However, your retirement plans can go miserably wrong if not prepared accordingly and seem like the grass was greener on the other side. Here are a few things that an individual may experience and the psychological and emotional effects of retirement.

Retired spouse syndrome

Many couples think about retirement as a time to enjoy peaceful and adventurous outings with their spouses and a time to make up for all the lost years. Unfortunately, many people realize that they have been married to a person they don't know, and their personalities and interests are way different. When an individual is working, they spend most of the days at work spending minimum hours with family and once retired they may, at times, come to realize that they have been leading two different lives. 

Too much time

One of the major factors contributing to stress and depression is the ample amount of time an individual has post-retirement. Days would pass by in a flick of a second when an individual is working but post-retirement days feel stretched, and if retirement is not planned correctly, you can quickly become a depressed person. Planning has to be the core centre of practice way before a person retires as you can only fill some days or months with hobbies or traveling. It is essential to understand that one can never be occupied or as busy as they were when they were a full-time employee.

Money matters

One reason why most of the professionals do not wish to get retired is due to monetary issues, or they have not reached their desired amount of saving. Working professionals often think of retirement and plan to travel; fulfill their hobbies or take time to live your dreams and cross off things from your bucket list. However, the depression and anger sets in when the person realizes it's a struggle to have sufficient funds to enjoy extended vacations and make all your dreams come true. Retirement is "less fabulous" than you were expecting, this can be a very unpleasant wake-up call to realize that you cannot spend on fancy things and instead visit family and friends once a month or once in a year.

Loss of identity

Your identity at work becomes the real you. CEO's mostly face this problem as the respect and power associated with the post is taken away from them. This may cause fear of rejection from society and in severe cases leads to mental disorder. Many new retirees suffer from psychological and physical breakdown with lack of human interaction and without the challenges faced at the office. Loss of identity does not happen only due to loss of job it can also occur if the individual feels they have not achieved their goals, they are forced into retirement when they have many more years to contribute. It is essential to work on retirement plans rather than retiring and later figuring out your timetable.

What you can do

We plan for most of our ventures in life and are thought to prepare for each event with details then why not design and make a roadmap for the rest of your life post-retirement? 

  • Work with a financial planner to prepare for retirement, Check for options and plans that give you better output and retirement schemes that will make you independent post-retirement

  • Take up a hobby or work part-time if you feel you can still contribute.  

  • Create an identity outside the office and do not let your persona at work hover over your head like a ghost of your past instead make it a beautiful memory of your present.

  • Try your luck at other ventures maybe start a blog, join an NGO or a community and create a difference in somebody's life.

Businesses can help employees overcome the anxiety by initiating retirement programmes like trying to reduce the working hours of hard-to-replace, experienced executives approaching the mandatory retirement age. Introducing programs that will help not only the organization but the employee to transition smoothly. Organisations can retain experienced individuals by placing them in a role which would contribute to the organization in a different capacity or a part-time employee.


Image Credits: Korea Times

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Topics: Life @ Work

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