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The Retiring Man

We frequently read about the challenges retiring women may face — less income, higher health care costs and outliving their spouse. But what about men? It can difficult for some men to retire after a lifetime of working outside the home. Not only do they miss the intellectual stimulation and daily camaraderie of colleagues, but they may have a sense of loss in not receiving a regular paycheck.

Suddenly, there is money coming in, but because they didn’t spend the two weeks prior working for it, it can create an odd feeling. Then there’s the issue of how to spend their time now that they have all day, every day, free and clear. Men have to familiarize themselves with the daily rhythms of the household, settle into longer and closer proximity with their spouse, and figure out the delicate balance of spending more time together without stepping on each other’s toes.

Just like every stage of life, retirement takes a bit of work. If you’re not aware of and proactively working to counter potential retirement-related issues, you could be in for a rough patch. According to a recent study, the following are some of the most common problems men face when they retire:

  • Identity disruption since who they thought they were revolved around their job
  • Decision paralysis
  • Diminished self-trust
  • An inability to form new relationships
  • An inability to find a purpose for continued living
  • Death anxiety

The important thing to realize is that you’re not alone; even if you live alone. There are other men just like you who are facing the same issues, feelings and concerns of adjusting to retirement. Go forth, see old friends and make new ones.

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