How Your Attitude About Retirement Affects Your Quality Of Life
When it comes to retirement, people feel have their own views of how it is and the way it should be. And, this attitude can shape what happens in their lives after they stop working. There are three common kinds of attitude people hold about retirement?
- Some dread it for fear of being frail, feeble, unattractive and lonely. It’s these folks that often see it as one foot already in the grave.
- For others, it’s a reward for working hard their entire life – to put their feet up and relax, play some golf, go on endless vacation and just enjoy life.
- Others who see it as a new beginning; a chance to pursue dreams and goals that were put on hold because their life was just too busy. They can now use this time to learn, develop and grow – to become the person they always wanted to be.
Where Does This Attitude Resonate From?
You may be wondering why these beliefs about retirement and old age come from. The biggest influences are your parents. How they coped with their own retirement will have a significant effect on your attitude towards it. Of course, it doesn’t mean you will end up following a similar path as them. How they handled their retirement years will have an impact on your own outlook.
Another way your perception of retirement is shaped is through co-workers, neighbours or friends that have retired. Many of these people live meaningful lives during retirement while others don’t cope too well, becoming withdrawn and unfulfilled.
Do You Have A Fixed or Growth Mindset About Retirement?
Dr. Carol Dweck (https://mindsetonline.com) one of the world’s leading authority on motivation, came up with a theory that attitude is a much better predictor of success than I.Q. That attitude falls into two categories:
- Fixed mindset
- Growth mindset
What Is A Fixed Mindset?
People with it have difficulties dealing with the change and the challenges that retirement brings forth. They believe they cannot change or are unwilling to try and change. They crave familiarity, sameness and a need for perceived security. They can easily feel overwhelmed when unexpected change occurs.
What Is A Growth Mindset?
People with this mindset have no qualms about changes and challenges. They see these things as an opportunity to grow. They believe they can improve themselves with some effort and dedication. They understand and accept that things are going to change for them in retirement, responding with adaptability and flexibility.
Is Growth Mindset Better For Retirement?
What if you were told that one of the answers to that question is that you’re likely to live longer in retirement with a growth mindset? According to various studies, it appears that people with a positive attitude and have growth mindset appear to live longer than people with a negative attitude and fixed mindset. Here’s a look at some popular studies:
A Yale University study shows that older people with a positive self-perception on aging lived nearly eight years later than people who didn’t have as positive of a self-perception on aging. (http://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/psp-832261.pdf)
A Holland study looked at nearly 1,000 men and women between the ages of 65 and 85 years of age. People who demonstrated dis-positional optimism at the start of the study enjoyed a 45 percent lower risk of death during a nine-year follow-up period. (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15520360)
The Institute of Economic Affairs conducted its own research, which revealed that the chances for suffering from clinical depression increased by 40 percent the longer you go into retirement. Why? The key factor was both mental and physical inactivity. However, lack of purpose, the onset of old age and loneliness are also factors.
Retirement Is All About Change
It’s important you understand what retirement really means for you. It means a host of changes such as your health, family, personal relationships, finances, etc.
You’ll likely miss working and the benefits it can bring. You may not think about those benefits initially, as you’re likely to be glad to be out of your place of employment.
You’ll also need to adjust financially to make ends meet, as you’re no longer getting a steady wage.
When you worked, you knew what kind of schedule you had. How will you spend your days now?
Work gave you an identity. So, what kind of identity will you have during retirement?
Everybody needs to have meaning in their lives – to feel useful to others and their communities. What is going to replace your purpose in life now that you’re retired?
Your present social network may be linked to your employment. It’s only natural that this will fade during retirement. You may likely lose contact with your former friends and co-workers. How will you replace your social network in retirement?
Retirement Needs Both Flexibility and Adaptability
This is the time of your life when you’re going to need to be more flexible and adaptable than you were previously.
If you follow the mindset that this is the beginning of the end, you could live the rest of your life with a sense of dread, sameness and laziness. This fixed mindset about retirement will lead to boredom.
Do you really want to live retirement like this?
If you were to approach retirement with a growth mindset, you give yourself the opportunity to chase goals and dreams that you always wanted to pursue, but life got in the way. With the right mindset, you can find new goals and dreams to pursue. You could find that the best years of your life are still ahead of you to enjoy in retirement.
Think of KFC’s Colonel Sanders who built his empire at the age of 65 or Gladys Burrill of Hawaii who runs marathons, even at 92 years of age.
You can build an amazing retirement life that allows you to live your “end of days” with a smile on your face with memories of good times and fun. If you approach it from this viewpoint that
Retirement is not the beginning of the end. It’s actually a new beginning.