Most of us fear change, especially as we get older. We become comfortable with our routines, our neighborhoods, and our proximity to friends and family. The changes we face after we retire can trigger a number of fears, including fears of loneliness, financial stability, and diminishing health.
Here are some of the common retirement fears we have heard from seniors over the years, and some advice on how to confront and overcome them.
- I don’t want to live any differently. Believe it or not, the top fear of most seniors isn’t money, but fear of the unknown. The best way to overcome this fear is to make a retirement plan and stick to it. While we can never completely eliminate the uncertainty that comes from change, we can prepare ourselves for it. In this way, no matter what happens, you may not only be mentally ready for the change, but looking forward to it.
- I won’t have enough money to retire. Planning out your budget and expenses is key to overcoming your fears related to income during your retirement. What expenses will you really require? Can you be debt-free by the time you retire? Will you need to keep your car, or can you get by with rides from friends and public transportation? If you are still a few years out from retirement age, keep in mind that it’s never too late to cut back and put more money toward your nest egg.
- I’ll be lonely. If you have been working full time for your entire adult life, the thought of not going into the office every day to socialize with coworkers can be intimidating. Many of us rely on our workplaces for the majority of our social interaction outside of family gatherings. The good news is that there are many retirement communities for seniors that offer social outings and programs that can help you meet new people and form incredible friendships, no matter your age.
- I won’t be safe. Safety is a big concern when you live alone, especially if you experience issues related to mobility or memory. Yet concerns about safety can also be lessened if you choose to move in with family or transition to a retirement community. Many retirement communities have onsite healthcare staff and easy ways to contact help in case of emergency. Best of all, unlike most private homes, retirement community living units have been built with the unique safety, security and accessibility concerns of seniors in mind.
- I will have to settle for inferior healthcare. Retirement doesn’t have to mean giving up your favorite doctor! Seniors aged 65 and older qualify for Medicare, which is a government-subsidized medical insurance program. The majority of doctors and medical facilities accept Medicare. It’s quite likely that you won’t need to change healthcare providers once you retire. So what are you waiting for?