Reasons for Unhappiness in Retirement

Statera Financial Planners |

Many people spend their entire adult lives saving for the “golden years”, only to realize the formula for a good retirement involves so much more than just finances. While people put a lot of thought into planning for the financial aspects of retirement, they often overlook the psychological impact and don’t plan for the “life” side of it.

Statera Financial Planners spends years working with you to create financial well-being in advance of your retirement. However, having the stability and freedom to do what you want every day going forward doesn’t mean you automatically know what to do to make them fulfilling. It’s an unfortunate reality, proven by many studies, that divorce, drugs use, alcohol abuse and death spike in the beginning years of retirement.

There’s simply one pillar of consideration that an individual needs to manage, but often don’t think about. Retiring is a trauma. We consistently see retirees who discover that, without working, they’re actually quite unhappy — even if they have more than enough money to fund the rest of their lives. There is this myth that retirement equates to eternal happiness, but in fact there are several reasons why people find themselves unhappy in retirement.

It's important to consider what you might lose when you stop working. While not everybody loves everything about their career, leaving a job for a lot of people means losing their audience or that realm where they can demonstrate their expertise. They have true purpose to this group of people, or the clients of their own, where they can share value. It’s often the case that your area of great knowledge isn’t a favoured topic around the dinner table every night with your family, you simply find people become uninterested in what built up so much of your identity for decades. Without the audience, there may be the potential for a loss to your sense of accomplishment.

Losing the sense of contribution you gave the world for so long is an important consideration. What can follow is a lack of structure and sense of belonging — or, in some cases, a reason to get out of bed in the morning. Many people also don’t realize how much of their social connectivity is tied to their workplace.

The good news is these challenges are preventable and reversible!

Learn from others. Advisors and other retirees can help you educate yourself starting with a simple conversation or question. You may only retire once, but advisors especially see it hundreds of times, and no two look the same. Speak about your fears, and others may open up about what they’ve seen, done, or considered to combat similar concerns.

Understand that you and your spouse’s retirement lifestyles may not currently match. Having the essential conversations with the individual you went from seeing only on nights and weekends, to 24/7, is crucial in advance of the transition.

Consider ways that you can increase your social connectivity from other facets outside of a career. Social groups, volunteering, sports, may all be avenues you explore, possibly with or without your spouse, depending on your discussions for maintaining some individuality through the retirement years.

Speak to a professional. There are trained specialists who help individuals in the exact same position as you, don’t shy away from asking for help when it comes to your health and wellness.


Asking the questions and encouraging these conversations allows you to have a retirement that they can feel great about! Not sure where to start? Talk to Statera Financial Planners. We have resources, insights, and avenues to help you with the challenges of your retirement transition.