Beyond the Money: Finding the Right Retirement Mindset

How to mentally prepare to leave the working world behind.

If you have been dreaming about the day you could walk out the door of your agency and never have to return, you’re probably in the right frame of mind for retirement. But for some employees, the thought of leaving can bring anxiety and cause stress.

Understanding that this is natural is an important step in managing the mental transition to retirement. After all, most people only retire once, and it’s a major life change.

Fortunately, there are resources to help you think through the transition. Here are some of my favorites:

How to Retire Happy, Wild and Free and The Joy of Not Working by Ernie Zelinski

These books put a humorous spin on the financial piece of retirement planning as well as the mental transition. Zelinski writes about being happy where you are and making the most of what you have. He emphasizes leisure activities and also reinventing yourself in retirement to try something new.

Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes by William Bridges

Whether you choose it or it is thrust upon you, change brings both opportunities and turmoil. This supportive guide can help you cope with these issues by providing a simple yet insightful roadmap of the transition process. Bridges describes three stages of any transition: the Ending, the Neutral Zone, and, eventually, the New Beginning.

Retire Smart, Retire Happy: Finding Your True Path in Life by Nancy K. Schlossberg

Retirement can sometimes bring unexpected feelings that challenge who we are and what we can expect to accomplish in the remaining years of our lives. This book provides guidance on the psychological and emotional adjustments we make in retirement.

Next Avenue

This website has daily content that delivers ideas, context and perspectives on issues of aging. The idea is to leverage the wisdom and experience that comes from decades of handling workplace issues and solving problems to confidently plan the next chapter in your life.

Growing Bolder 

This resource seeks to inspire those 45 and older to embrace the belief that the rest of their life can be the best of their life. Their mission is to inspire, educate and empower healthy aging, enabling people of all ages to live lives of passion and purpose.