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Retirement itself is a major change in your life that can be both exciting and daunting. For people who have been working full-time for the majority of their adult lives, it can be a little overwhelming to have so much free time for the first time in many years. You’ve likely looked forward to retirement for a long time, but it’s still important that you make yourself aware of the changes that are approaching once you’ve retired because you might be surprised that it’ll take more adjusting than you thought. Here are some tips for handling these changes and preventing yourself from becoming overwhelmed with all the free time you now have.

Talk to a recent retiree

One of the best ways to get a clear idea of what you’ll experience during retirement is to talk to someone who has recently retired, or even someone who retired several years ago. If you’re nearing the age of retirement, you’re sure to have former coworkers and friends who have already retired that you can ask about their personal experience. See how they handled the changes that occurred when they retired and get any advice they have to offer on how to avoid negative feelings associated with retirement.

Educate yourself

The risks associated with retirement often come from retirees not properly preparing for this life change. While you may experience financial stress, it’s likely that if you’re retiring, you have the financial part of it already planned out. The issue occurs when retirees spend too much time focusing on getting their finances in order for retirement instead of planning more holistically. Research how you can avoid issues during retirement such as depression or boredom. Put plans in place that set you up to have a fulfilling retirement.

Find ways to stay busy

The best way to avoid not handling change during retirement well is finding ways to stay busy. You may look toward retirement as a great time to simply relax and not do anything all day, but this lifestyle gets old very quickly. Instead of sitting on the sofa and watching television for hours on end, make plans with friends, find a new hobby, make travel plans, or volunteer somewhere. Maintaining some kind of schedule makes retirement a lot more enjoyable.

Get into the mindset now

Looking toward retirement with a realistic mindset helps you adjust to the change more quickly. Take time to relax now while you’re still working so you aren’t working hours on end until the day of your retirement. If you want to travel, start making those plans before you retire so you have trips set up shortly after retirement. Identify what hobbies you’d like to devote more time to in retirement and get started on them now. Putting everything off until retirement often leads to disappointment and you’ll likely feel overwhelmed by the sudden change and long list of tasks you want to accomplish.