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Preparing for retirement consists of many different financial aspects that should not be ignored. Most people are somewhat familiar with this idea of preparing financially, but many will neglect the psychological and emotional aspect of getting ready for your golden years. These aspects also deserve your attention in your retirement planning. 

Financial advisors have different view from sociologists 

The view of retirement is significantly different between financial advisors and sociologists. It can be instructive to compare and contrast how these two disciplines deal with retirement. Financial advisors usually divide retirement into three phases. 

During the first phase, according to financial advisors, the retiree is still physically active and may be taking advantage of the new free time available to partake in activities that he or she could not while working full-time. Financial advisors will note that this is the more expensive phase. 

The second phase is when the retiree starts slowing down and begins to become less active. Usually during this phase your expenses will begin to decrease. The third phase sees expenses generally increasing again due to aging-related medical needs. 

Sociologists differ from financial advisors in that they do not concentrate only on the financial aspects but also take into consideration the emotional and mental health of the retiree. Renowned sociologist Robert Atchley proposed six phases of retirement: pre-retirement, retirement, contentment, disenchantment, reorientation and routine. 


The initial phase, according to the sociological view, is when the retiree begins preparing financially for the logistics of retired life. This usually means saving and investing in order to ensure an acceptable quality of life once the retiree stops working full-time. 


Once you stop working you will be in the second phase, which is actual retirement. In some cases, it may be necessary to continue working part-time for supplemental income. 


The third phase is basically the honeymoon period of retirement. It is when the retiree begins enjoying retirement and starts to be grateful for the benefits gained from many years of working. The contentment phase can persist for a significant amount of time as long as you have adequate money and resources. 


At some point after the contentment phase, you may find yourself disillusioned with retired life despite having adequate financial resources. You may find yourself feeling lonely and unhappy in many ways. 


After the disenchantment phase the retiree may begin to accept life as a retired person. However, this may be challenging for those whose identity is strongly linked with their career. 


The last phase will find you accepting your golden years lifestyle and you will begin to create new routines. You may find yourself discovering a new sense of purpose. 

Design a comprehensive plan for retirement 

There is more to retirement than just your finances. This is only a part of what it takes to experience a happy retirement life. Therefore, a complete retirement plan should be holistic and also take into consideration your emotional health. This could mean thinking about what you can do to avoid boredom and minimize feelings of disillusionment in order to maintain a healthy sense of purpose.