When people think of retirement, obvious things come to mind: Did I save enough to be able to achieve my goals in retirement?  How much am I able to spend?  What happens if we experience another recession?  Although those are very important considerations, few take the time to examine their emotional well-being and how it will affect their daily life/routine when they retire.  It turns out that roughly two-thirds of freshly retired baby boomers feel some type of uneasiness when entering their new stage of life.  If that sounds familiar, keep reading.

So what’s causing this uneasiness when we have finally reached our ultimate goal of retirement?  Could it be the loss of our career identity or support network we had through work?  Or maybe the idea of not having a paycheck?  Whatever your concern may be, one thing to keep in mind is what you are retiring “to,” not what you are retiring “from.” Below are recommendations to consider before you say “I’m retiring.”

Decide if you would like to continue to work in some capacity

According to a 2013 Careerbuilder.com survey, 60% of workers 60 and older said they would look for a new job after retiring.  Those who continued to work reduced their risk of dementia by 3.2% each additional year they worked.  Staying active and keeping a support network are crucial in retirement.

Consider volunteering

A study from Carnegie Mellon University showed that volunteering for as little as four hours per week decreased the risk of hypertension by 40% and increased the quality of life. People who volunteer report higher levels of life satisfaction and fewer depressive symptoms than those who don’t. A volunteer can expand social ties and be more physically active.

Be a mentor

Find a young person to mentor. Many young people would love the chance to learn from the experienced and successful. Take time out of your week to change the life of someone else.

Establish friendships well before you retire

Many of your friends were those who you worked with in the past. Although it’s great to keep in touch with former colleagues, try to develop new friendships. Form support groups that help other retirees get connected.

Include family in your retirement plans

Explain your retirement goals to the ones you hold close.  Plan those family vacations that you’ve been waiting to enjoy.

Have fun

Last but not least, have fun. Do things you couldn’t do before and take a chance.  You’ve worked hard for this new life and now it’s time to enjoy, since every day is a Saturday.

Sources:  CareerBuilder – Majority of Workers Plan to Work After RetiringCarnegie Mellon University – Volunteering Reduces Risk of Hypertension