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Preparing for Retirement Isn’t Easy, But Planning is Worthwhile to Help Ease the Fear of Change

After working and planning for years, retirement is supposed to follow. But even after long-term planning, there can still be some concerns about retirement.

While retirement is meant to be a rewarding time of life after years of hard work, it is also a significant change that can be scary and stressful.

If you have some fears about retirement, you’re not alone. It’s fairly common for people to feel fear, stress, and anxiety about retirement, especially the financial aspect.

While these fears are well-founded, there are ways to address your worries so you can enjoy your retirement the way it is meant to be enjoyed, instead of wasting your golden years stressed out.

Here’s a look at these common retirement fears and tips on how to face and overcome these fears so you can truly enjoy the next stage of your life.




The leading retirement fears experienced by most people planning for and nearing retirement include:

Running Out of Money

A fear of running out of money in retirement is the leading retirement fear. This fear of outliving your savings and investments and not being able to meet your basic financial needs is valid, especially since -most retirees would have trouble going back into the workforce in the later years of retirement.

Social Security Cuts

As more Canadians retire, there are escalating fears of cuts to social security benefits. So many people underestimate how much they may actually receive in retirement benefits.

If you paid into CPP for many years, you will likely qualify for the maximum benefit, along with Old Age Security. And even if cuts to these benefits happen, those who are nearing retirement or in retirement will likely still have their benefits secure.

You can also adapt to changes in your retirement income by saving more for retirement and finding the best ways to compensate for a potential loss in income, such as:

  • Reducing expenses
  • Delaying the start of retirement
  • Tapping into home equity
  • Optimizing taxes and investments

Rising Health Costs

The third greatest fear concerning retirement involves declining health and the resulting increase in healthcare expenses. People worry about their declining health in retirement, along with a lack of access to affordable healthcare and requiring long-term care.

Thankfully, in Canada, the government covers most healthcare costs. And retirees who do require long-term care are usually at an age where they have lower living expenses since they no longer have the costs of maintaining a house or a condo. And while high costs for health care are possible in retirement, the majority of Canadians will not face these high costs.

Forced Retirement

Another common fear is that workers will be forced into early retirement due to layoffs or health problems.

If you want to prepare for retiring earlier than initially planned, you can increase your contributions to your retirement plans, investments, and savings. And you can keep an open mind to finding another job, and even working part-time, to help improve your retirement savings.


Plan In Advance

Make a detailed retirement plan to figure out the type of retirement lifestyle you can realistically have and make a fixed set of resources last for 20 to 30 years.

Create a spreadsheet, work with a financial advisor, or use an online retirement planner to help you create the best financial plan possible.

While planning, play with different financial scenarios to see how your retirement plan can adapt to your changing needs. And if the numbers show that you need to lower your standard of living, consider other options for increasing your retirement savings, such as working for an extra two years or selling your home.

Give Yourself Some Time

Transitioning into retirement is a process, and it may be scary at first. So expect it to take some time to make this transition.

Getting accustomed to retirement won’t happen overnight. And you may have different emotions during this transition. So don’t be hard on yourself or pressure yourself to feel a certain way immediately.

Focus On You and What Makes You Happy

Retirement is a time to focus on yourself, pursue your passions, build a new routine and even a new identity. So do the things you love, spend time with friends and family, take up new hobbies, and make new friends.

Doing what makes you happy is key for a healthy, fulfilling retirement with a sense of purpose.


To help maintain your health throughout retirement, ease stress, boost your mood, and reduce healthcare costs, stay active and exercise regularly. A healthy, active, and social lifestyle is a fun and easy way to have a healthy retirement.

Set Up Goals for Yourself and Start Working On Them

Make a list of goals that you want to accomplish in retirement, such as things you want to do and things you regret not doing so far. And then start identifying and working on ways that you can achieve these goals to make for an even more fulfilling retirement.

Retirement is a time for you to unwind and make the most of your free time after years of hard work. So don’t waste your retirement living in fear of what could be. Instead, take the necessary steps to embrace your retirement.

With these tips, you can have a well-planned retirement that is fulfilling, not something to be afraid of.