Is the pandemic teaching us a lesson about retirement?

An old couple

The coronavirus pandemic has touched nearly every aspect of our lives. Perhaps nothing has been impacted as much as the way we work. While millions of Americans have lost their jobs during the pandemic, those who remain employed have seen their work change drastically.

In many professions, work-from-home has become the norm; not the exception. Some people have seen their work paused during this time. Others are on a mini sabbatical until their work gets back to normal. And for those who have lost their job, this may be a frightening time as they try to navigate an uncertain job market.

In many ways, this time could be seen as a small trial run for retirement. Your schedule isn’t clearly defined. You may be spending much of your time at home. Your work responsibilities may be limited or cut significantly. There are lessons you can take from this time and apply to your retirement. Below are a few of the biggest takeaways:

Create a schedule.

​During normal times, our schedule is often dominated by work obligations. You have to be at the office or your workplace at specific times. You have meetings and conference calls. You may have projects due by a specific time. Everything else in life often seems to get scheduled around work.

But during this pandemic, much like retirement, traditional work schedules have become blurred or even nonexistent. Work-from-home allows you to complete things during non-traditional working hours. You may find that personal tasks bleed into the work day.

If your work responsibilities have been cut or if you have lost your job, you may have found that time has lost its normal structure. How many of us have asked during this time, “What day is it again?”

You may find it helpful to maintain a schedule, even when you aren’t required to. Set the alarm and get up by a certain time. Keep a morning routine. Block off time for activities like fitness or work or even a new hobby. A schedule will help you maintain some normalcy and reach your goals.

Have a greater purpose.

​Much like our schedules, very often our purpose in life is dominated by work. For many people, the pandemic has made them reevaluate the role work plays in their lives. It’s similar to the process many retirees go through right after they end their careers. Without the purpose that comes from work, they may feel lost and even depressed.

This could be a good time to evaluate what is most meaningful to you. Sure, work is important, but after retirement you may need to find a new purpose. It could be family or friends. It may be a new hobby or a dedication to volunteer services. The choices are limitless. You just have to find the passion that is right for you.

Build your community.

Our social lives also often revolve around work. If you go into an office or workplace everyday, you may spend more time with your coworkers than anyone else in your life. Working from home can be a difficult transition, especially if you thrive on social interaction.

Retirement can make for a similarly difficult transition. If you’re nearing retirement, consider who your social circle may be after retirement, and how you’ll connect with them. Video conferencing solutions, like Zoom, have become popular during the pandemic, but they’re not just for work. You can use those platforms to connect with friends, family, coworkers, and more, even if you can’t connect in person.

Ready to plan your transition into retirement? Let’s talk about it. Contact us today at Marshall Life and Financial Solutions, Inc. We can help you analyze your goals and implement a strategy. Let’s connect soon and start the conversation.

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