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10 emotional signs you need to retire

ByTristram Ouma

Apr 30, 2022
Emotional signs you need to retire

You’ve felt it pressing in on you for years. The feeling is more than just a thought, it’s a calling. It’s an emotional sign of retirement.

It’s an inner voice telling you that soon you’ll need to move on to another chapter of your life.

You’re not old, you’re not tired and you don’t have any health concerns but it’s time to leave the workforce.

You feel this because after a very long time and many years of working, your passion for your job has dwindled into nothing.

What happens in extreme cases like this one is that most older workers continue to go and sit at their desks taking up space like zombies or worse yet become supervisors trying desperately to hang on too long without stepping down.

The first strategy is distasteful and the other can lead to disaster for the business as well as for yourself.

See financial problems in families

What are the emotional signs that you need to retire?

Here are the emotional signs that you need to retire:

1. You have a general feeling of dread about going to work

You find yourself dreading work.

If you’re used to dreading work, you may not notice the feeling unless it becomes a constant or consistent part of your experience at your job.

But sometimes the feeling of dread can be so strong that we become aware of it easily: We would rather stay home than go to work, and there’s a general sense that we have no control over our situation.

It’s important to keep track of these feelings and begin having conversations with your spouse or partner about how you might be able to change things for the better.

2. You think about taking a personal day every day

Some jobs are more stressful than others, but when it comes to the emotional signs you need to retire, think about why you feel this way.

If you aren’t able to use all of your vacation days before you retire, it might be a sign that retirement is right around the corner.

According to Tim Maurer, director of personal finance at Buckingham Strategic Wealth and The BAM Alliance, “if every time that you think about taking a vacation or setting time aside for a personal day or two to have some fun — if there is always something that comes up and stops you from doing it — then there could be an underlying reason for that.”

Be sure to plan your personal days in advance so that your employer knows when they will occur and can prepare accordingly.

There may also be alternative ways of getting out of the house during the weekdays — like working remotely from home whenever possible or taking a midday break to clear your mind with some fresh air. It could help ease some stress in your life.

3. Your job is causing you physical symptoms like nausea and palpitations

Work-related stress can cause a variety of physical symptoms.

You might feel nauseous when you think about going to work or have heart palpitations, high blood pressure, insomnia, headaches, anxiety, or depression.

Stress also can cause stomach aches and make any existing conditions worse. If your job causes you to experience these symptoms regularly, this could be an emotional sign that you need to retire.

4. You feel frustrated that you’re not able to perform the way you used to

You may feel frustrated that you’re not able to perform the way you used to, or worried about making mistakes.

On top of this, you will probably feel tired or out of energy. You might also notice that you have little to contribute to the workplace because there is no longer anything new to learn or do. You may even experience physical symptoms such as nausea and palpitations.

If these signs sound familiar, it’s important not to brush them off. As much as they are a sign that the time has come for retirement, they can also be a sign of something worse: burnout.

Burnout is a state where you’ve become exhausted and worn out in your job—and sometimes even your personal life—to the point where productivity and performance are severely affected.

If left unchecked for too long, burnout can lead to chronic stress and depression. Ultimately, it’s more than just feeling unmotivated at work; burnout occurs when an individual feels overwhelmed by stressors in their environment and has no resources available with which to cope.

5. You’ve gotten angry with coworkers or customers

Are you easily irritated by coworkers and customers? If so, this can be an emotional sign that your work is no longer a good fit for you.

Anger is a red flag that something isn’t right, and it’s also not good for your health. It can affect your relationships with people, both at work and outside of the office.

Think about how much time you spend at work or thinking about work. Have you been getting angry more frequently than normal? Do you find yourself snapping at people, then feeling guilty afterward?

These are all signs that it may be time to walk away from your job and find something more fulfilling, whether it’s a completely new career or just a different role within the same company.

6. You feel guilty if you take time off, even when you’re sick

There’s a lot of guilt involved in being sick and working. You feel guilty for letting your coworkers down, you feel guilty that you’re not doing enough work while you’re out, and you even feel guilty for taking time off in the first place.

But if you always have this feeling when you take time off, even when it’s just one day, it might be a sign that your job is too demanding.

The world will continue to spin if someone takes a single day off to rest or recover from an illness.

In fact, most companies want employees to take PTO because there’s no point in having so much leave available if no one ever uses it! So don’t let yourself get caught up in the guilt spiral of needing a day off—and especially not when your health is on the line.

If you’re genuinely sick and need time off work, then go ahead—take some time for yourself to rest up and get better so that you can come back ready to give it your best effort again once you’ve recovered.

7. You don’t feel like you’ve contributed enough at work

A common bit of advice for those nearing retirement is to think about how you want to be remembered. If you’re not comfortable with your answer, it may be a good time to leave.

When we feel like our legacies aren’t where they need to be, it can cause feelings of regret and sadness.

According to the survey, nearly half of workers say they feel that way. These individuals are more likely than their peers who have no regrets (21 percent) to say they will probably retire later than originally planned.

8. Your financial situation is getting better, but your job satisfaction isn’t improving

You may be putting money into savings, but if you’re not happy with your life, that’s a big emotional sign you need to retire.

I’m not suggesting anyone quit their jobs before they are financially stable enough to do so, but it is important to realize that keeping money in the bank isn’t enough. Not having any emotional distress associated with work is also an important part of feeling fulfilled.

If you keep holding out for when you’re ready from a financial standpoint, but continue to feel unhappy at work and make excuses every time your friends ask if you want to join them for dinner on a weeknight after work, then there’s a huge emotional sign you need to retire. Money isn’t everything; don’t put your life on hold for it.

9. Other people have noticed that you’re unhappy at work, and they think that retirement might help you be happier

Maybe you think you’re faking it at work but trust us: people can tell.

Unhappiness shows up in your face and your actions, whether you know it or not.

And the people who care about you don’t want to see you unhappy, especially if they know that retirement would be a remedy.

If unhappiness is a problem for you now, retiring won’t necessarily make it go away. The stress of decision-making and financial planning can take its toll on your mood as well—and if unemployment were likely to solve your problems for good, that would already be happening by now, right?

So why not find yourself the opportunity to move toward something better? Happy people do exist. You deserve to be one of them.

10. You just don’t want to do this stuff anymore!

You just don’t want to do this stuff anymore!

The right job is one you enjoy, and the right makes you happy.

So it’s completely OK if you don’t feel guilty for not wanting to do all the things you work into work in many people lovee who love their jobs, and even some who love their careers so much they find it hard to retire.

But if that’s not how you feel about your work, then it’s likely time to call it quits and move on to the next stage of life.

And if other people do judge you for retiring — well, screw them. Your feelings are important and valid, even if others don’t see them as so.

If your feelings are telling you to retire, listen to them

Many people who enjoy their jobs or are currently enjoying the benefits of their jobs can fall victim to burnout—in which you feel so worn out that it becomes difficult to stay happy and productive at work.

Often, for others, it’s a gradual process that begins with vague feelings of being unmotivated, bored, or unenthused about a job.

At this point, you may not be convinced that you need to make any changes at all. But if you’re willing to listen to your inner voice and trust your gut instincts, then this could be beemotional signs that you need to retire

What are the five stages of retirement

We don’t all go through retirement the same way, but there are identifiable stages that most retirees pass-through

If you’re like most people, you may not be thinking about retirement planning right now. You’ll get around to it eventually, right? Maybe you should. If you take the time to understand your retirement plan options and how they work, you can help make sure that after years of hard work, you’ll have the financial resources to help provide the kind of retirement lifestyle you want.

1. Anticipation

The first stage of retirement is all about anticipation. This is when you are preparing for your transition into retirement—and it’s a time to get excited. You might be looking forward to the freedom, excitement, and adventure that comes with this new phase in life.

As you’re planning, consider what you want to do once you’re retired.

What will bring you joy? Where will you travel? Who will you spend more time with? What new hobbies or interests will you pursue? How will your lifestyle change once you’re no longer working?

There’s plenty to think about here, but the good news is that this stage of retirement can be very fulfilling because it allows for such exciting possibilities for the future!

2. Honeymoon

If you’re lucky, this phase can last anywhere from a few months to several years. There’s no better feeling than realizing your hard work has paid off: You’ve reached the finish line.

Your belongings fit inside one small suitcase and one carry-on bag. People you know are happy for you and often tell you how much they envy your situation. It can all feel rather surreal, like floating in a dream that never ends.

So what should you do during this period? After all, retirement is what all those years of saving, planning, and working were for. If there’s anything you want to do or any place you want to visit (assuming it’s within your budget), this is the perfect time to do so!

3. Disenchantment

  • Financial problems
  • Health issues
  • Social isolation
  • Too much time on your hands

4. Reorientation

You’ve been retired for some time at this point, and you may have already gone through the honeymoon, disenchantment, and reorientation stages.

Now you’re ready to transition into the final stage, which is known as the final adjustment. As this name suggests, this is a time when your life will be largely stable.

You’ll have adjusted to your new financial circumstances, you’ll have found the right balance between leisure and productivity, and you may even have a sense of which activities are most worthwhile to pursue in retirement.

Final adjustment can last for a long period. However, it’s not going to last forever. You might find yourself facing physical limitations or health issues that require a major change in your lifestyle that you didn’t expect to confront so late in life.

If necessary, it’s important to be adaptable and open-minded about whatever changes might occur if you want to continue enjoying yourself in retirement despite these challenges.

5. Stability and or Decline

While this stage is sometimes referred to as the “decline” phase, the decline may be physical, mental, or financial.

In this stage, you may need to accept additional support from your family and friends. If you haven’t planned your finances well in advance of retirement, Decline can become a problem much sooner than later. It’s helpful to have a good plan for the future.

Retirement is a time for new experiences for better or worse

The fifth retirement stage is the point of stability or decline, where retirees adapt to their new life.

The exact nature of this stage will vary depending on what the retiree discovers in reorientation. In some cases, people discover a new passion that they’ll pursue with vigor.

Others might find themselves falling into a comfortable routine while they accept their place in society as retirees. Either way, this is the final step of retirement and it can last for decades if all goes well!

Hope you have learned the emotional signs that you’re likely ready to retire.

Tristram Ouma

I am a content marketing consultant, blogger, and freelance writer. I live in the beautiful city of Nairobi, Kenya with my family. My passion is to write as well as share unique content with my audience.

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