Cures for Pre-Retirement Anxiety

How to mitigate fears about your health, marriage, and identity.


Nonetheless, to make the marriage work, a couple still needs to set aside time to spend together, since too much distance in a relationship can spell disaster, says Goodman. Consequently, she recommends couples simply use a calendar to plot out how they each plan to spend their time. Goodman says, "He may say, 'I'm volunteering on Monday, and you're playing bridge on Tuesday, so on Wednesday how about we go have dinner and see a movie?'"

Set achievable goals. Thanks in part to Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, a bucket list is a popular idea among new retirees. Although a retirement to-do list can help people organize their lives around their goals, de Baca of Ameriprise says people who set unrealistic goals wind up disappointed in themselves. "If achieving your bucket list is contingent on having a lot of money, that can make you more stressed," she says.

For those with vacations in mind, a financial planner can help determine what they can afford. As a result, in some cases, the bucket needs to be adjusted. Additionally, Abeles says a person's overarching agenda shouldn't dictate their retirement. "Too large a bucket will keep you too busy ruminating about whether the bucket is full," he says. "Don't use bucket lists as your primary reason for living in retirement."

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While many want to use their retirement to travel to places they've never been, goals that provide emotional fulfillment are often easier to accomplish; many times, they also provide greater rewards. For example, many retirees cherish getting to spend more time with their grandchildren.

Take control. Although the scope of retirement worries range, experts say financial concerns are typically the only ones baby boomers feel comfortable expressing. Delamontagne says, "If you have any emotional reservations about retiring, the first thing people say is, 'What's wrong with you?'" However, he says those fears don't have to hinder how a retiree spends the rest of their life.

By implementing these strategies, people nearing their Golden Years can pave a clearer, stress-free path toward a happy retirement.