Undergoing an early retirement can result to a journey of financial, emotional, and social effects. Are you ready to take on this pressing challenge?
LOSS OF INCOME
What drives you to go to work every morning? Be honest! One of the basic instincts that fuel us to work is survival. We tolerate grueling hours of work and messy office politics in order to produce food on the table. Having a fixed monthly salary gives a sense of security that your needs will always be satisfied. When it comes to early retirement, that sense of security can vanish in a snap!
Obviously, one of the immediate effects of retirement is the inability to generate a monthly salary. Some people are able to combat this scenario by investing their previous income, by having a retirement fund, or by establishing a business. How about the rest of Singapore’s population? Well, they have to face this fact head-on!
When envisioning your golden retirement, you may anticipate the freedom that comes with it! It is good to become your “own boss” for once. However, as time passes, you may find social relationships difficult to maintain.
The friendships you have built while in the workplace may diminish due to them being tangled with their busy schedules. As for your family members, it is easy to lose topics to talk about. Thus, early retirement can contribute to the feeling of loneliness. A neat solution to this is to acquire hobbies, which imply social interactions. Try taking up Badminton or Ballroom Dancing.
LOSS OF IDENTITY
When introducing oneself, people often associate their identities in the context of their jobs. My name is Anna and I am an educator. It is easy for me to blurt out that statement! What if that significant piece of your personality is long gone? Through the passage of retirement, you are left with new ways to define yourself.
This is a challenging issue for many of us. You are given endless bounds of time to find meaning in your life. Do you take up recreational hobbies? Do you volunteer for a good cause? Or, do you need to offer part-time services to feel productive again? Seek professional help whenever necessary.
If you do not use it, you will lose it! As a student of Psychology, I stand by this philosophy. Cognitive functions decline rapidly as soon as you stop working. In fact, a British study found that short-term memory diminishes by nearly 40% as employees become pensioners.
A great solution to this issue is to keep growing and learning. As much as you can, try new things and engage in brain-stimulating activities. You can read a book or listen to one. You can also grow a personal brand or manage rental properties. As simple as playing chess with your mates or answering crosswords can help stimulate your cognitive skills. Pursue the passionionate activity you once had no time for!