2/23/2018


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Retirement Shock

It's great to think about retirement, but in reality, many people experience a real life phenomenon called retirement shock when they actually stop working.

What is retirement shock? Retirement shock is the mental and physical weight of uncertainty, dread, and stress that you get when it finally hits you that you are in retirement. Retirement shock may last for a few months, but sometimes it lasts for years after your last day on the job.

The phenomenon may not set in during the first few weeks but one day, it will hit you and you will be shocked to learn that it's real and it's powerful. Guess what? You're retired and you don't have a job to go to anymore.

It may be hard to understand, but if you think about it, retirement is a major change in your lifestyle. You will have to learn to adjust to it. One day you're getting out of bed like you've been doing every day for the past 30 or 40 years and then overnight, the routine ends.

For your entire working life, your family and friends, your daily routine, your physical habits, your sense of self worth, and your mental and physical well being have revolved around your job, so it can be a shocking experience when you find yourself without a place to get up and go to every day. Your life becomes disoriented and then it goes into retirement shock.

For many people, their jobs are a home away from home and many people actually feel more comfortable at work than they do at home. Over the years, you can spend just as many waking hours with your co-workers as you do at home with your family. The people you work with often become your best friends, you feel an attachment to the work place, and, even though you may not want to admit it, you look forward to going to work every day.

Your job becomes your haven, your place of comfort, and after years of being there eight hours or more a day, five or six days a week, month after month, year after year, your job becomes more that just a place of employment, it becomes a part of your life.

If you are married with children, your family, in many cases, becomes knowledgeable about the people you know at work, the tasks you perform there, and they know whether you like your job or not, because when you are at home, what you do at work is what you talk about.

Some people can't handle retirement, especially if it is sudden or if they haven't prepared both mentally and physically for it. When you retire, you may go through withdrawal pains, almost like a drug addict or an alcoholic, and it may be more serious than you might imagine.

You've heard this story before, haven't you? You know, the one about someone retiring and then dying soon afterwards, within a few months or a year or two. They die from a heart attack or a stroke, or from acute depression. They work all of their lives to retire, then they die before they can even enjoy their retirement.

Those are the people who live to go to work. They are the most energetic employees and they get the job done because they take pride in their work and they live for the job. But, when they retire, they don't have anything to do. They get stressed out sitting around the house all day. What happens? They die prematurely.

Retirement shock is real. It happens more than you might think and it happens to both men and women.

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