Retirement changes every aspect of your life. For the first time you have no set place to go, no particular time to be there, no specified way to dress, and changed (often reduced) financial circumstances. For some this provides a sense or relief; for others, it is a time of anxiety.

Adjustment to retirement depends on many factors but, perhaps, most important is whether or not it was voluntary or forced, and how many hats you wear other than your work hat. In addition, retirement is not a single transition. It is part of multiple transitions-health, family, location. It is therefore important to assess your strengths as you negotiate this transition.

As a first step, you can look at your resources for coping with retirement. What is your Situation at the time of retirement? If three months after retiring and moving, your spouse has a stroke, your Situation is low. If, on the other hand, you retire, move, buy a boat and meet a wonderful partner in the boat club your Situation is wonderful.

Then look at your Supports. For some, departing from the comfort and routine of everyday relationships with co-workers can be a major loss. For many, increased attention to family and friends outside of work can fill the void. Increased activities will also provide opportunities for new kinds of support.

Of course, you need to asses your Self. Are you able to deal with the ambiguity of an unknown future? For some this is exciting; for others frightening. To strengthen your ability to deal with the many changes associated with retirement, you might consider help from a professional counselor, psychologist or peer group of others going through this type of transition. Perhaps reading a book or article about adjusting to retirement might be helpful to you.

If you find that you do not use lots of Strategies, look at the coping strategies listed in the Transition Coping Guide. Select one or two that you never use and start practicing. Talking to friends and acquaintances who have gone through retirement is often an effective strategy. Just taking a small step can make a significant difference.

And remember, time is one of the best ways of dealing with change. It takes time to adjust to any transition. Remember, today is not forever!




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