Nobody said retirement would be this stressful!

Nobody said retirement would be this stressful!

You’ve probably thought a lot about retirement, I know I have! Perhaps you can picture what it will be like: maybe travelling or exploring new hobbies, maybe spending more time with family and spoiling grandkids. If you’ve partnered with Beacon Wealth Consultants you’ve also thought a lot about your retirement finances: Am I saving enough to be on track? When should I start taking Social Security? What if our Plan A gets derailed by loss of health? What legacy do I want to leave, financial and otherwise, for my loved ones?

These are all great thoughts, and Beacon Wealth Consultants can certainly help you anticipate and plan for the financial side of things. However, an unfortunate reality for most people is that retirement turns out to be one of the most stressful life events they will experience. Beyond finances, there are several significant changes that happen in retirement that many do not think about.

In 1967, psychiatrists Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe conducted a large study on the effects of stress and created a ranking of life’s most stressful events. Looking at the results it is startling how many life stressors can converge at retirement.

Life Event

Stress Ranking (43 events, 1 being most stressful)

Being fired




Major change in financial state


Change in occupation


Change in the number of arguments with spouse


Spouse beginning or ceasing work


Changing personal habits and routines


Change in working hours


Change in type or amount of recreation


Change in social activities





Wow, no wonder people can feel a lot of stress when they retire! Let’s explore a few of these issues on a deeper level.

For many, part of their identity is wrapped up in their career. For doctors, teachers, business owners, and many others their vocation is an integral part of who they are. God also made us in His image to be workers and we are hardwired for that by our Creator (Genesis 1 and 2). Remember it is critically important that you retire to something and not just from something. We are to remain productive and, for some, creative in this season of life. This takes planning and intention. When you do retire, even if you are ready to stop working, you experience a change in identity which can be very stressful. Take some time to acknowledge this change and pray about how God will use you in retirement. Your primary identity is in Christ and God can help you find new roles for this new stage of life.

Before you retired you had certain routines for your day and week and now you need to figure out your new routine, this can be stressful – and not just for you. If you are married your spouse also has a routine that your retirement has now impacted. Take some time to figure out a new routine for yourself and if you’re married talk with your spouse about how much you will do together or independently. Remember to show each other some grace as this is a substantial change for both of you.

For many retirees, there can be changes in their relationships. Those whose primary friendships were with work colleagues may struggle as they leave the workforce and experience changes in these friendships. Be patient with yourself and your friends as you navigate this new change. If you haven’t already, it can also be important to develop friendships at church or elsewhere.

Yes, we are back to finances! Retirement marks a significant shift in practice and mindset around your finances. You may have just spent decades saving for retirement but now you need to change from saver to spender. You may need a new budget (or to create one for the first time!) Many people find this a stressful change. Beacon Wealth Consultants can help you structure a financial plan to navigate this new financial stage.

Retirement is a huge transition and can be very stressful for many. Praying about and talking through these changes with your spouse, pastor, or a friend can help you navigate these changes in a healthy way and help you transition successfully. Many find that retirement becomes the most rewarding time of their lives and that is our prayer for you.

We at Beacon Wealth Consultants are cheering you on during this transition. We are praying for you and are always ready to help with your financial questions. If you need help either preparing financially for retirement or creating a financial strategy for this new stage of life, please give us a call!


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