Generally speaking, people see retirement as a very pleasant thing. After all, it is supposed to be a time when they have no onerous obligations, meaning that they are free to do whatever they want. As a result, it is no wonder that a lot of individuals out there seek to retire as early as possible. Unfortunately, this is an over-simplistic assessment of the situation because there can be some serious downsides to retirement as well.
1. You Will Have a Hard Time Changing Your Mind
One of the biggest problems is that once someone has retired, they are going to have a very difficult time changing their mind. After all, as far as employers are concerned, there are a couple of major issues with hiring ex-retirees. One, they will be rusty because they haven't been in the workforce for some time. Two, there is a real chance that they will be heading back into retirement within a short period of time, meaning that the employer might wind up eating turnover costs sooner than what it might like. Combined, these issues aren't insurmountable, but they definitely make coming out of retirement much more challenging for most interested individuals.
2. You Might Not Have Enough Retirement Savings
No one can predict the future with perfect accuracy. As a result, there is no guarantee that a retiree will have enough in retirement savings to see them through the latter part of their life. Suffice to say that being poor is terrible and that being poor while retired is even more so. Even worse, interested individuals will have a hard time returning to the workforce because of the aforementioned reasons.
3. You Have Very Little Margin For Error in Your Budget
On a related note, retirees' limited income means that they have less margin for error in their budget, meaning that they tend to have more restrictions on what they can and cannot buy. This is particularly true because retirees have a higher chance of running into medical emergencies and other expensive problems.
4. You Lose Contact with Your Friends
Retirees face a very real risk of losing contact with their friends. To some extent, this is because their changed schedules mean that they are no longer coming into regular contact with some of the people who they call their friends. Moreover, if retirees have retired early, chances are good that most of their friends won't be able to spend much time with them because said friends will still be working.
5. You Might Not Get to Spend that Much More Time with Your Family
Speaking of which, interested individuals might not get the chance to spend that much more time with their family members. After all, they have work and other obligations as well, meaning that even if the retirees are free, their family members are by no means guaranteed to be the same.
6. You Might Suffer a Blow to Your Self-Image
It isn't uncommon for people to have a huge portion of their self-image tied to their career. As a result, when people retire, they could wind up suffering a serious blow to their self-image because they are no longer a member of their chosen career but rather an ex-member of their chosen career. This can be pretty disorienting, particularly for people who haven't prepared themselves for the transition because they weren't expecting it.
7. You Might Have Too Much Time on Your Hands
Work takes up a huge percentage of most people's time. As a result, when someone stops working, they will have a lot of spare time on their hands. Naturally, interested individuals can come up with a wide range of hobbies and other pursuits with which to fill up that time. However, if people aren't prepared to do so, they could find retirement to be very boring for them once they are past the initial rush of excitement.
8. You Might Lose Some of Your Self-Respect
For most people, work is such a huge part of their self-identity that their very sense of self-respect could be tied to it. Should this be the case, someone who is no longer working could wind up losing some of their self-respect because they see themselves as being less for no longer being involved in anything productive. This can have very subtle but very widespread effects because self-respect is one of those things that can affect just about everything that people do.
9. You Might Lose Respect From Others
Unfortunately, the perception that a person's value is connected to their involvement in productive work is very widespread. As a result, even if someone who retires sees no negative effect to their sense of self-respect, the same isn't necessarily true for the people around them. This is particularly true for someone who retires much earlier than what is considered normal for their culture, not least because that can cause other people to see them as not having paid their dues by doing so.
10. You Might Be Disappointed that the Realities Don't Match Your Expectations
Culturally, retirement is seen as something that interested individuals should look forward to. As a result, there are a lot of very positive expectations tied up with it. In fact, chances are good that most people can name a number of them without putting much thought into the process, with examples ranging from having free time to spend on pursuits that they actually care about to having the chance to head out on foreign travel. However, expectations can be something of a double-edged sword to say the least. In short, when someone has high expectations, they could wind up becoming very embittered when the reality of their situation fails to live up to those expectations. Even worse, it isn't unknown for people to blame themselves for not being able to enjoy something that they believe that they should be enjoying, which isn't exactly the healthiest state of mind. Something that could have long-lasting consequences should it be permitted to persist.
Written by Bill Vix
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