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Retirement Can Be Scary

Updated: Apr 23

Retiree and Adventurer?

Christopher Columbus, Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, Ferdinand Magellan and you… What do all these people have in common? They all stood on the cusp of a new frontier, a foreign, exciting and scary looking land.

For Columbus it was his accidental discovery of America. Lewis and Clark crossed the western portion of the U.S., and Magellan was the first to sail around the globe.

And you, you’re facing something equally frightening. A vast unknown filled with hidden pitfalls and dangers. Retirement can be scary.

Here There Be Dragons

Mapmakers used to place dragons, and other mythical beasts, at the edge of the known world when making their maps. The creatures were meant to say that they didn’t know what lurked beyond. That it could very well be dangerous; there could be fire-breathing dragons beyond.

Retirement can seem like a potentially dragon-filled realm, and it is okay to be afraid. A change like retirement can be scary. It is normal to experience anxiety and worry. They are natural reactions to the unknown, and retirement is a big unknown.

For the first eighteen or so years of your life, you were in school. Learning about and preparing for your future career. From there, you moved on to 30 years of jobs – your working life. Fifty plus years of your life, focused around working. Half a century of time spent around one goal.

That time is coming to an end. You are approaching the common age of retirement, 65 years-old, or maybe you’re already there. Changes like retirement can be scary, and you are at a turning point.

Now what?

It’s a Whole New World

Most of us have routines. Work is one that we shape the rest of our lives around. Many plan their days around their work schedule. You might set your alarm clocks by your start time, plan your dinner around your end time. The office, whatever that looks like for you, is probably the place that you spend the most time in outside of your home.

You probably spend at least eight hours a day, five days a week, twelve months of the year – minus vacations – working. That’s nearly a quarter of your daily life.

How will you fill those hours? Leaving work will put a huge hole in your schedule. After all, is there such a thing as a “weekend” if you no longer work? It certainly changes the definition of the word. I don’t know about you, but I often lose track of the days when I’m on vacation. It might seem like Monday, but maybe it’s actually Wednesday. Without the daily commute and tasks of work, my internal clock starts losing time, like a watch with a dying battery. It can be unnerving. Losing your schedule-making job through retirement can be scary.

Then there’s the issue of money. Trying to figure out how to manage your money in retirement can be scary. It’s a Pandora’s Box of worry and questions.

Many budget from paycheck to paycheck. Even if you’ve diligently saved, how do you budget with a dauntingly large, lump sum? And is that sum, your entire life’s savings, enough to get you through?

The value of a dollar decreases overtime; it’s a simple fact of inflation. How can your money keep up with inflation, preserving your spending power?

Retirement can be scary. It’s a change that opens a door to the unknown. Most instinctively shy away, look for a way to illuminate the unknown space beyond.

The way most do that is with questions. But those questions often seem to only spawn new ones. Like in the movie Gremlins, questions are like a Mogwai who’s gotten wet and sprouted a dozen new, darker cousins. Careful, don’t feed them after midnight…

A Light in the Dark

If you’ve seen the Disney movie Aladdin, you probably recognize the song A Whole New World.

A whole new world

A new fantastic point of view

No one to tell us no

Or where to go

Or say we're only dreaming

A whole new worldA dazzling place I never knewBut when I'm way up hereIt's crystal clearThat now I'm in a whole new world with you

We aren’t a magical genie, or a flying carpet, but we have made it our working-life’s goal to help you find comfort in that confusion. Trying to help you overcome the reality that retirement can be scary. Potentially, to help you light the darkness and drive away the monsters of fear, doubt and uncertainty. We might be able to help you find the answers you need. Those answers can potentially lead you to peace of mind.

That peace of mind could let you see the excitement past the fear. Retirement can be scary, but you don’t have to face it alone. We can be your partner, your guiding light. We can help you to hopefully see the adventure of starting a new chapter in your life. One where you might be unburdened by the limitations of a working schedule, one where every day might be like the weekend. Where it might not matter if you forget what day it is.

It doesn’t have to be scary.

You aren’t boarding a ship to discover a whole new world, you’re facing retirement. We can help you man your ship as you sail off into the sunset – and help you find the breaking dawn on the other side.

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