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The Six Stages of Retirement

Written by Marianne Heron with Paul Britton

Retirement isn’t a one-off event, but a process of on-going adjustment with six recognised stages:

  1. Anticipation/anxiety: beginning to look forward to retirement and building your nest egg (you may not be paying attention to the non-financial aspects of retirement). You could also be dreading this event.
  2. The ‘Big Day’: with all the handshakes and celebrations.
  3. The honeymoon phase: this seems like one long holiday, (you may not have started planning some kind of purposeful activity or you may spend too much money or alternatively become isolated).
  4. Disillusionment: otherwise known as the Something is Missing Syndrome (SMS) which hits anywhere from six months to a couple of years into retirement. The novelty has worn off and you may feel bored, lonely and find that hobbies are not so satisfying when you have all day to do them. This is the point where it is easy to slip into depression which can affect up to 40% of retirees.
  5. Renewal: you start to deal with the realities of retirement and begin building a new identity (watch out for making a few false starts and realise that you need to be clear about what you want).
  6. Rewirement: re-orientation and forging a new identity. You are now living a life of purpose.

This excerpt was taken from Rewire Don’t Retire, sponsored by Irish Life and Active Retirement Ireland. You can download the full guide HERE.