Here’s Why 60% of You Will Be Depressed After Retiring | The Full Frontal

Here’s Why 60% of You Will Be Depressed After Retiring

It feels like just yesterday I was celebrating my 18th birthday.

I was so young and full of energy. Yet even then I could feel a bit of worry when I thought about my future. I had my whole life ahead of me, yet the idea of retirement kept looming over the horizon.

None of us want to talk about growing old. Whenever the topic is brought up, it tends to cause everyone to feel a little uncomfortable. After all, no one likes to talk about how they’re going to have achy knees or memory problems. But the thing is that retirement planning isn’t something that you should put off.

The sooner you start preparing for your old age, the better off you’ll be.

When It Comes to Retirement Planning, Money Isn’t the Only Thing You Should Consider

Retirement planning
It’s essential to start saving up while you’re still young and healthy. Source from Business Today

It’s true that money should be your primary concern when it comes to retirement planning. After all, there’s no point in leaving the office only to be forced to find a new job a few years later because you don’t have enough savings.

However, as we plan our retirement, we must also keep in mind the popular saying: “Money can’t buy happiness.”

While having savings is important, do you really want to spend your golden years sitting alone at home and counting your pennies? That seems like a pretty sad life to me.

Post-Retirement Depression

What now?
All the money in the world can’t make you happy if you’re just sitting alone at home every day. Source from The World Economic Forum

A study in February 2020 found that 59.1% of older Malaysian adults were experiencing symptoms of depression. Some of the major factors behind this issue included being widowed/divorced, low education levels and low income.

Aside from that, a 2017 Rand Corp. study found that up to 45% of retirees miss their old jobs. This is because our identities and status are often closely linked to our work. Once the initial “sugar rush” of retirement is over, many people struggle to find meaning or purpose in retired life.

Why Are So Many Retirees Depressed?

When you’ve spent your whole life dealing with work schedules, it’s easy to get lost and wonder “What am I supposed to do now?”

Some of the major risk factors for post-retirement depression include:

  • Feeling like you have no purpose outside your job
  • Lack of intellectual stimulation
  • Loss of important relationships
  • Loss of daily structure
  • Retiring without any plans for the future

3 Tips To Help You Avoid Post-Retirement Depression

Post retirement depression
Don’t let post-retirement depression take over your life! Source from Forbes
1) Socialise

One of the big factors behind post-retirement depression is feelings of loneliness.

Once you retire, it’s important to maintain a healthy social life as all the friendships you made at your workplace will naturally start to fade away. Don’t rely solely on your partner or family members for 100% of your social activity —make it a point to go out and meet new people too!

2) Stay Active

Being retired doesn’t mean that you have to spend all day just sitting at home and watching TV. Now that you’ve got so much free time, it’s the perfect chance to open up and try something new. Sign up for a class, try out a new sport, create some art… the possibilities are limitless!

If you miss the feelings of purpose, you can even spend time volunteering or campaigning for a cause you care about.

3) Scheduling

It can be a bit bewildering to suddenly go from having a set work schedule to having all the free time you could imagine.

To help you adjust, be sure to set up your own schedule. It doesn’t have to be too extensive, but having a set day or time to do things like clean the house, visit your children, exercising, etc. can help keep your life in order.

They’re Called “Golden Years” For A Reason

Happy old people
You may be old, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t be happy. Source from Homage Malaysia

When you’re young, it’s natural to feel a little uncomfortable thinking about retirement. However, old age comes to all of us eventually.

No matter how hard you try, you can’t ignore it forever.

Instead of treating old age as something terrible, we need to develop a more positive mindset. After all, this is the time when we can finally relax and enjoy our lives. If you’ve prepared yourself ahead of time, there’s nothing that you should be afraid of.

If you’re interested in learning more about the financial aspects of retirement, be sure to check out:

Only 3% of Msians Have Enough Money to Retire. What Now?

room full of older people
Statistically speaking, only three of the people in this image will be able to retire without any financial issues. Source