When you think about retirement, you often have an image of happy, healthy older folks enjoying their lives in the sunshine. Golfing outings and sailboats are the images usually associated with the golden years.
While this might be true for some, it’s not the case for all of us. The fact is that many people actually become depressed when they retire completely. Studies show that the likelihood that someone will suffer from clinical depression goes up by about 40 percent after they’ve retired.
This has something to do with the fact that for all the years of your working life you’re used to getting a paycheck and providing for yourself and your family. While some people may not enjoy their job particularly, it does generate a sense of purpose and social standing.
Suddenly not having a job or a paycheck can make some feel depressed or even anxious.
Another issue that causes tension for couples is that they are in each other’s space a good deal more. It can disrupt routines set in place over the decades.
So should you retire? It all depends on how you define retirement.
For some, semi-retirement is the perfect answer. Even volunteer work can keep you busy, involved and help stave off depression. Keeping active and strengthening family ties through communication and shared activities are all ways to make sure you stay healthy in both body and mind.
If money is a worry, find a way to keep earning - whether that be a part-time position, consultancy work, or the gig economy. If you’re concerned about having too much time on your hands, talk to your spouse, and figure out ways to keep busy and contribute to your community.
Get as much information about retirement and how it could affect you as you can. Make the best decision for you once you have done your research. Perhaps sailboats and golf are on the cards, after all. Only you can make that decision.
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