Senior woman looking pensive through the window at home.

4 Tips to Help You Emotionally Prepare for Retirement

When it comes to preparing for retirement, we often focus on the financial side of things. Do I have enough savings to last my lifetime? What is my spending and income strategy? How will I afford my health care and long-term care expenses?

And while finances are indeed a crucial piece of the retirement puzzle, the personal side of retirement planning is just as critical. Many of us picture retirement as a blissful time—but after the feeling of being on a “permanent vacation” starts to wear off, feelings of isolation and aimlessness might creep in. According to, some new retirees even experience mental health issues such as clinical depression or anxiety.

The truth is, retiring from work is a major life change that comes with benefits—but also challenges. That’s why it’s important to not only plan for the financial side of retirement, but the emotional side as well. Keep reading for four tips to help you emotionally prepare for retirement.

1. Create a Retirement Vision Board

As retirement approaches, take some time to visualize what you want your retirement to look like. What hobbies do you want to pursue? Where do you want to travel? What will self-care look like? What will your relationships look like? How will you find purpose?

After spending time pondering your retirement, create a vision board to help focus your vision. A vision board is a collection of images that can help you manifest your goals or vision. You can get crafty and make a collage of magazine pictures that represent your vision, or you can curate a collection of virtual images on Pinterest or Canva. According to BetterUp, “Vision boards are effective because they are a visual reminder of your intentions. This reminder can help you stay focused on your goals, even during challenging times.”

2. Make a Plan for Your Daily Retirement Routine

Many retirees struggle with transitioning from the structure of working to a life with plenty of free time.  Some feel uncertain about how to fill their days, which can lead to feelings of boredom and loss of purpose.

To combat this, plan ahead for your daily retirement routine. But don’t just think about it; write it down. Consider an invigorating morning routine that includes exercise, a nourishing breakfast and meditation. Schedule a couple hours each afternoon to focus on things that make you happy, such as hobbies or classes. Plan for a purposeful evening routine that includes reading, puzzles or garden work.

3. Prepare for an Active Social Life

It isn’t uncommon for retirees to feel isolated and lonely, but you can hopefully avoid this by planning your social routine before retirement. For example, you might plan to get coffee with your friend every Monday, go on a walk with your sister on Wednesdays, and have your adult kids over for dinner on Fridays. You can also meet new people by joining local clubs or groups and attending meetups related to your interests.

Read here to learn how good relationships are the key ingredient of happiness.

4. Plan for an Exercise Routine

Exercise isn’t just good for your body; it’s also known to boost your mood and help you deal with mental health challenges like depression, anxiety, stress and more. The CDC recommends adults aged 65 and older need:

  • At least 150 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity activity, such as hiking, jogging or running
  • At least two days a week of activities that strengthen muscles
  • And activities to improve balance

As you prepare for retirement, support your emotional health by planning to include exercise in your routine. Be sure to check out SilverSneakers, a fitness program designed to give seniors no-cost gym access (plus a bevy of other benefits including in-person and online fitness classes, support from trainers, nutrition advice, and social events).

There are over 15,000 fitness locations across the United States that participate in SilverSneakers; simply input your ZIP code to find the fitness locations and community classes closest to you!

Want more? You might enjoy our blog, 6 Healthy Habits of Super Agers

We’re Here for You!

Bankers Life is here for you every step of the way as you plan for and enter retirement. Please visit us at to learn more.