Reading through different people’s transition blogs and talking with retirees, I’ve concluded that retirement transition is an amazingly individual transition. Because you’re figuring out what you want to do next, it is all about you. It is nobody else’s “should”! But I’ve also realized, there are some things that many people feel. And knowing you’re not alone in the feeling can be helpful.
If the feeling has been “named”, it indicates other people recognize what you are feeling. Feelings are not rational. They are the emotional elements within us; the facts are secondary, or even not involved many times! So it’s nice sometimes to know you’re not alone in the irrationality of feelings.
So here are some common ones. They are not restricted to retirement transition, but they create unique challenges in this life stage. Some of these names are well-known, but it’s nice to acknowledge that other recent retiree’s are dealing with them, too.
- The Bag Lady Syndrome. This seems to be among women of a certain age. First, we never feel like we have enough money to retire. After retire, we worry the money will not last through our retirement. We worry about being a Bag Lady. How much is enough? It’s very often not about the numbers, but rather an emotional confidence. It can prevent us from spending that hard-earned money on doing the things we always wanted to do – a barrier to living the life we want to have.
- The Imposter Complex – It is amazing how many smart, accomplished individuals dread being exposed as incompetent. “I’m not good enough” is a common fear. And in retirement transition, when you need to learn new things or create new habits, it can be a huge barrier to start something. Believe in yourself affirmations can help – “I am good enough. My life successes to date were a result of my talents and hard work and dedication and can be reapplied to my future choices.”
- The Good Girl Handcuffs – This could also be called “I want to stop living the should”. The good girl – doing the right things, the expected things, the pleasing others things. And in retirement transition, you might want to break free of that “should”. The rebellious feeling can make you feel very alone. But, it’s not a new theme – “when I am old I shall wear purple” was written years ago. Go ahead & rebel! Maybe purple hair… apparently it’s a trend.
- The Someday Habit – This one is especially common among workaholics and/or early retirees. You got in the habit of putting off things – to save the money for retirement. So many things are in the camp of delayed gratification – the places to go, things to learn, activities to try. “I’ll do it someday”. Now it’s a habit and breaking long-held habits is not easy! How can you move from someday to just-do-it now?
So how many of these named feelings are holding you back from your life vision?