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Why Some People Fear Retirement

Published on: May 31 2017

Finances aren’t the only reason some people fear retirement. According to this article, people who have no financial worries don’t want to retire because they’ll miss many aspects of their work. They’ll miss the social contact, the structure, and having people come to them for decisions and advice. Higher-level employees and business owners will miss the power and authority of their jobs.

That’s one reason why financial planning is only part of retirement planning, and for some people the non-financial planning is the most important part. They need to develop interests outside of work that will make them happy and fulfill, and ensure they have purpose.

The MIT AgeLab conducted a series of interviews with near or recently retired Baby Boomers about life after work. The findings suggest that retirement FOMO may be leading many to delay retirement or, in some cases, to avoid the subject altogether. One man, only a few years from exiting a lucrative career, said he “didn’t even want to think about it.” He and his wife had money, three homes and good health. But he was “afraid of the very idea of retirement.” He remarked, “I know it’s time to move on and make room for others, but you know, I can’t bear to retire and miss it all, the energy, the action, the people.”

In another exchange, a retired executive lamented that when he was working, everything gravitated to him. People sought his advice and his approval. Information of every type was always at his fingertips. New ideas flowed into his office with the same constancy as the waves he now watches from his seaside home.

 

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