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How to Handle the Transition to Retirement

The only thing constant in this world is change, or so the saying goes. Change in anyone's life is inevitable. It may be filled with pain, anxiety and sometimes even fear. The same can be said about retirement. It's a change that some of us dread but we all know is inevitable. But like any other change that happens in our lives, retirement can be eased into with minimal pain, fear and anxiety if only we know what to do and what to expect. To help you in handling that big change, here are a couple of tips that I have compiled from the experts.

Outlook is everything. It defines who you are and who you will become. It shapes your actions and reactions to the events that are happening in your life. Instead of seeing retirement as that big black hole that will suck the life out of you or the 'sunset of your life' or the 'end of the road', see retirement as another phase of your life. See retirement as a change from your first adulthood to your second adulthood, much like when you transitioned from high school to college. See it not as a trap but as a new door that leads to bigger and better things. Look at it as a way to reinvent who you are or find another you that you have suppressed or haven't developed. Don't look at retirement as the end; look at it as the beginning.

Ask yourself those life altering questions that you never had the time or the opportunity to answer because responsibilities or other people bogged you down. Ask yourself who you are, where you've come from, what you've done and who you want to be. Explore yourself and you will see that there are still many unfulfilled dreams that you never made into reality. There are probably some paths you have taken that you may want to revisit or you want to explore. There are probably people that you've always wanted to see and talk to or make amends with but never had the time. Don't let these dreams go by especially when you are given the time and opportunity to do something about them.

Know yourself more as you reflect on what you've done and haven't done. Revisit your strengths and the parts of you that you want to change or make stronger. Strike a balance between the many aspects of your personality: your family, friends, health, finances, beliefs, career and learning progress.

Since you're retiring, you've probably reached the old goals and visions that you have made for yourself over the years. Instead of just leisurely passing your time, doing whatever you want to fancy, try creating a new goal for yourself. See a new vision of who you want to be and where you want to be. List your priorities and the steps you may pursue to reach that new goal. Organize your time and have a daily planner to guide you in managing your time.

But most important of all, though it may sound like a cliché, think positive. The only person that will hinder you from doing what you want and reaching your dreams is yourself. Negative self-image only destroys you and makes retirement and life generally full of bitterness, pain, anxiety and fear. Banish the negative feelings that you may have and focus on answers rather than problems. Being happy does not only mean feeling happy, it also means thinking and choosing to feel happy. You are your own worst enemy. Conquer yourself and you'll have the best time of your life.

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