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skip to the 5th stage of retirement grief

May 15, 2017  |  #Thinking about retirement

Avoid the first four stages of retirement grief and skip straight to acceptance

The five stages of grief are well known to most people, with the concept often trotted out on TV and in films to portray the emotional rollercoaster that characters go through when they’re recently bereaved or terminally ill.

While typically used for dramatic effect for audiences, the Kübler-Ross model of grief is at the root of scientific thought processes. The five stages, which follow on from each other, are:

  • Denial;
  • Anger;
  • Bargaining;
  • Depression; and
  • Acceptance.

What does this have to do with retirement? Well, as you approach your golden years, you may find yourself experiencing some of the emotions associated with the five stages of grief!

Don’t believe us? Take a look below at some of the questions and concerns that we regularly hear from people preparing for retirement. Any feel familiar?

Denial

“I can’t believe retirement is just around the corner! How much will I need to live comfortably? Is that right? That can’t be right … Oh well, I’m sure everything will work out fine in the end.”

Anger

“How was I expected to save that much money for retirement?? If only I’d been told to start planning sooner, I’d nearly have reached my target by now. This must be someone else’s fault …”

accept retirement by planning early

Work with an adviser to make your transition to retirement as easy as possible.

Bargaining

“Ok, no point in getting angry, what’s done is done. Maybe if I retire a little later than planned or negotiate a pay rise at work then it’s not too late? Perhaps I can cut back a little on my travel plans or downsize on my home?”

Depression

“It’s not going to work. I can’t do it. I’ll be working until I’m 100 at this rate! Why oh why didn’t I plan better when I was younger? I may as well give up; I’ll never have enough to enjoy my dream retirement.”

Coming to terms with your retirement reality

The longer you stay in each stage of retirement grief, the less time you’ll have to plan effectively for the future if you’ve suddenly found yourself short of your goals.

Acceptance can be difficult, and you may have to make some short-term sacrifices.

However, with a proactive approach and the right advice, you can maximize the time you have left before you reach retirement.

 

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