The 6 Stages of Retirement

When it comes to retirement, mental and emotional preparation are just as important as financial preparation.

In the process of planning for retirement, we tend to put a lot of energy and focus into saving money and ensuring we will be financially secure. But as you prepare for the future, make sure you're not overlooking other equally-important aspects of retirement planning.

The planning phase

Your entire career is spent saving and planning for retirement. During your working years, retirement may seem like a distant reward, but it's one worth preparing for over the course of decades. With little time to ponder what life will look like 20 to 40 years from now, you may find yourself focused more on financial security than the emotional realities of retirement.

The big day

Retirement day is here. Handshakes and hugs all around. Pop the bubbly! It will feel like a celebration, and it is one – it's a rite of passage, a day you've been anticipating for years. But it's still the day you bid adieu to a distinguished career and mark the beginning of a new phase of life.

The honeymoon phase

After the glad tidings and parties, you throw yourself into your new life, enjoying all the things you didn't have time for when you were working full-time. You travel, explore new places, visit family and add morning walks to your routine. And then, maybe, you realize you still have time to spare.


Once the emotional high wears off, you may start feeling bored or disillusioned. You might think, "Is this it?" It's like coming back from a real honeymoon: You need to get down to the business of planning a new life – not just a fun holiday. In the process, you may feel removed from many of the people and responsibilities that used to occupy your days. Plus, some retirees find it difficult to start spending the money they've diligently saved.


Fortunately, the disenchantment phase doesn't last forever. Now, you have time to create a new identity, separate from that of the working professional you once were. This may be as simple as a shift in mindset. Focus on learning to adjust to your new circumstances, especially if you and your partner are getting used to spending more time together.

Moving on

Settle into a new routine, on your terms. Think about starting a new hobby, setting off on that trip you've always wanted to take, volunteering with a local nonprofit or spending more time with family and friends. Pursue things that will contribute to your overall retirement satisfaction and success, giving you the comfort of the familiar as well as a new sense of purpose.

No matter which stage of retirement you're entering, reach out to your financial advisor for tailored guidance and support. He or she will help you navigate through each stage with confidence.