Retirement is a big transition, and Robert Delamontagne, PhD, author of the 2011 book “The Retiring Mind: How to Make the Psychological Transition to Retirement,” notes that some retirees experience anxiety, depression and even a sense of loss upon calling it a career. Some of those feelings can undoubtedly be traced to the perceived lack of purpose some individuals feel after retiring. Without a job to do each day, people can begin to feel useless. Overcoming such feelings can be difficult, but finding ways to build daily structure can make the transition to retirement go smoothly.
Find something to truly engage in. Professionals who truly enjoy their work tend to be fully engaged, so it’s no surprise if such individuals have a hard time adjusting to retirement. Some may suggest volunteering can help fill the void created by retirement, but researchers with the Sloan Center on Aging and Work at Boston College have found that only those individuals who are truly engaged in their post-retirement volunteering enjoy the psychological benefits of such pursuits. So before retirees dive right in to volunteering as a means to creating structure, they should first exercise due diligence and find an opportunity they’ll find genuinely engaging.