The anxiety that can come with retirement is very real.

Adults, 60 years of age and older, are more likely to experience physical symptoms of anxiety than younger people.

Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) and Gen X (1969 to 1979) have never experienced a World War and are unlikely to have confronted anything like retirement – everything you are used to  day-in day-out is gone.

The weekend when you washed and ironed your clothes for work becomes a seven-day event when there is no work to plan for.

Retirement anxiety is growing

The emotion of concern or worry, experienced by people yet to retire, is about how they’ll fill their time, financial worries and feeling a loss of identity. It is a growing issue.

Anxiety is caused by many factors:

  • Fearful they do not have enough money for retirement;
  • Acutely concerned about losing their identity when retiring;
  • Acutely concerned about what to do in retirement, and
  • Scared about being pigeonholed as old when knowing they have a lot to give.

Planning for retirement is key to ease those anxieties.

Make a retirement plan

Your retirement plan can be simple or detailed. Include:

  • Timing — when you want to retire. This could change, but it’s good to have a starting point.
  • Lifestyle and priorities — prioritise what matters most. For example, social activities and staying active, continuing or changing work, where you will live.
  • Income and living costs — estimate your daily living costs. Do a budget to prioritise your spending. Work out how much income you’ll have, and from where.
  • Plan for the future — if you can, boost your retirement income by contributing more to your super. Decide how to pay off your mortgage or other debts, and build a savings buffer. Check you have an up-to-date will and powers of attorney.

Think about when you want to retire

There’s no set age you need to be to retire – it will depend on your health, work options, finances and personal situation.

Are you retiring in 10 years, two to five years, or next year? If you have a partner, when will they retire? Knowing how much time you have helps you make a retirement plan.

Talk about your retirement priorities with a partner, colleague or friend. If you need professional advice to plan for retirement, seek a financial planner and use the Federal Government’s retirement planner tool.

Getting financial advice can help you go into retirement feeling prepared and confident that you’re making the right decisions. A financial adviser can help you work out what you want out of retirement and how you can make that a reality.

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