If you feel exhausted by your daily commute or fed up with office politics, you’re probably counting down the day until retirement. Or you might truly enjoy your job, but wish you had more time for family, friends, or hobbies. Whatever your reasoning, it’s normal to wish retirement could happen right now.

Oddly enough, that same feeling often dissipates within months of a planned retirement, leaving the retiree with something called “retirement shock.” Retirement shock refers to a feeling of emptiness, loss, boredom, or regret once the newness of retirement wears off. And you might be surprised at how often retirees experience these emotions!

Obviously, you don’t want this to happen to you. So what can you do to avoid it?

Understand what causes retirement shock. Your career might provide a sense of personal satisfaction and achievement, a connection with your community, or the fulfillment of helping others (and perhaps all three). Seek to understand what you do and don’t like about your employment, so that you know yourself well and can predict how you might react to suddenly ending your career.

Replace those feelings with something else. Enrolling in college courses to learn something new, volunteering with a local charity, or picking up a new hobby are all common ways to replace lost feelings of connection, purpose, and achievement. For some retirees it’s as simple as moving closer to grandchildren or to a climate that you enjoy more. The point is to choose something that feels personally fulfilling to you.

Consider a gradual retirement. Instead of making a permanent decision that you might regret, investigate ways of staying employed part-time within your field. Scale back your work hours and ease into retirement, so that you can make the necessary adjustments along the way.

Plan for the unexpected. And of course, meet with us regularly to plan for your financial future. When we put together a solid retirement plan, you will be able to adjust your lifestyle to accommodate new goals.