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  • Writer's pictureJohn J. Diak, CFP®

The Emotional Side of Retirement: How to Face Your Fears and Find Fulfillment


The Emotional Side of Retirement: How to Face Your Fears and Find Fulfillment

Are you afraid to retire even though you can? If it’s even on the table, congratulations. This means you’ve worked hard, followed a plan, and remained disciplined enough to afford it—an accomplishment far too many people can’t claim. You’ve looked at the numbers, done the math, and all calculations give you the green light. So what’s stopping you? Chances are, it’s nothing more than fear — of the unknown, of change, and of making costly mistakes. If you want to know how to overcome the fear of retirement, keep reading.


Being in a financial position to retire doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be easy. It takes a lot of courage to walk away from a steady paycheck and familiar pace into a whole new way of supporting your lifestyle and operating in the world. The good news is you’re probably more prepared than you think. If you’re afraid to retire, more than likely, you simply need to take another look at what you really want out of retirement and what’s actually preventing you from stepping into your next chapter.


Reenvisioning Your Retirement

Feeling anxious about venturing into uncharted territory is perfectly normal, but retirement can be a fresh phase full of exciting possibilities and self-discovery.


If the road ahead is hazy, now is the time to gain clarity about your vision for the future. Start by grabbing a pen and paper and jot down your dreams — again, even if you’ve done this before. Your idea of retirement now may be different from how you envisioned it when you began making plans over a decade ago.


What does your ideal retirement look like? Get specific. Imagine your day-to-day life. What will you do with your newfound free time? Who will you spend it with? What activities will bring you immense joy? How will you find fulfillment? Do you want to volunteer at your local food bank? Learn to throw pottery or host weekly dinner parties? Golf to your heart’s content or grow a garden?


The vision you create is a powerful magnet, pulling you into the retirement you desire. This is about embracing the wonderful possibilities ahead rather than getting stuck in what you've always known. With a clear sense of purpose and a plan, you'll find empowerment and confidence in your retirement journey, and the uncertainty and fear will start to fade away.


Remember, retirement is your opportunity to rediscover who you are and find your place in this new, exciting world.


Confronting Your Retirement Fears

If you’re afraid to retire, remember that fear feeds on fear; it doesn’t go away on its own. Acknowledging your feelings allows you to bring awareness to potential problems festering beneath the surface. Identifying and confronting your fears is a crucial step in gaining a sense that everything will be okay.


Take a moment to list those fears. What's holding you back from taking the leap into retirement? Then dig into the "why" behind your reservations to gain a deeper understanding of your hesitation.


Perhaps you fear being bored, and that's a valid concern. Retirement doesn't mean a one-size-fits-all approach. You can continue doing work you love, be it selling your art or working part-time as a consultant. It's about finding a balance that suits your preferences and keeps you engaged.


Your fear may be rooted in the financial aspect of retirement, despite what the calculations say. If you're worried about running out of money, don't hesitate to have an open conversation with your advisor. Share your specific concerns about financial security so you can revisit the numbers together, go over income strategies, and discuss safeguards to put in place to set your mind at ease.


Partner with a Professional

The most important thing to remember is that the hardest part is behind you. You’ve accomplished what you set out to do—worked hard, saved your money, and remained disciplined in your retirement planning goals. Now, you can afford to retire, so it’s time to go for it. We can help.


At Oatley & Diak, LLC, your fears and feelings surrounding retirement are entirely valid. And there are things we can do to address them. While being realistic is important, we don’t want you to be fearful. You can do this!



John J. Diak, CFP® is the Principal & Client Wealth Manager at Oatley & Diak, LLC in Parker, Colorado. He assists clients through many difficult lifestyle changes such as business downturns, retirement planning, divorce, the death of a spouse, and family estate issues among others. Oatley & Diak, LLC is a family-run registered investment advisory (RIA) firm that provides clients with investment management and financial planning services in a hands-on, intimate environment. Learn more about them at oatleydiak.com.


The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.


This material was prepared by Crystal Marketing Solutions, LLC, and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate and is intended merely for educational purposes, not as advice.

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