Older Adults and the Great Resignation

Man meditating on beach as part of a happy retirement.

There have been many shifts in the last few years, including many people deciding to rethink their work. One of these changes is many older adults choosing to leave their jobs, to either retire or pursue a part-time position in another field. The Great Resignation, also sometimes referred to as the Big Quit or the Great Reshuffle, is an economic trend that also has a personal impact for those involved. 

Leaving a profession you were committed to for years or decades can prompt a lot of different emotions. Retiring, and then not completely enjoying retirement, is more common than many realize. There are ways to develop a life that brings you joy, connect with a personal counselor to learn more. 

Creating a Happy Retirement

If you are an older adult who has retired during the Great Resignation, you are not alone. Data has shown that many who were nearing or at retirement age decided to leave a job as the COVID pandemic upended everyone’s lives. For some, this meant retiring earlier than they planned and they hadn’t fully fleshed out how they would be spending their retirement years.

One of the top things you can do to create a happy retirement is to develop daily routines that bring joy to your life. It might take a bit of experimentation with how you want to structure your days and how often you want to schedule time with friends. Be patient with yourself and once you find a routine that works for you, stick with it. 

Stay Curious, Explore, and Play

Staying engaged with the world and other people is key to a happy retirement. Being part of the Great Resignation doesn’t mean you have to stay home and watch television. While it is fine to relax and take in a show from time to time, happy retirees try new things and pursue hobbies they enjoyed in the past, whether that is photography, biking, painting, gardening, or bee keeping.

A bonus advantage of staying active is you will likely be connecting with other people, and having friends supports a satisfying life. Work friends don’t always transition to friends outside of the office. Some find they never see their work friends at all once they leave the workforce. 

Supporting Yourself After Your Great Resignation

Of course, part of feeling content in retirement is having enough money to support yourself. Individuals who retire when they can’t afford it or have income streams that are unpredictable can experience a lot of anxiety. What your financial numbers look like depend on a variety of factors, but there are things you personally can do to alleviate financial frustrations, such as adjusting spendy habits. 

That said, you do not want to financially punish yourself either. Try to find a middle ground. For example, maybe you have been in the habit of going out for an expensive dinner on Friday nights after a long week of work. Now retired, you could adjust that, maybe having lunch at a local cafe on Friday afternoon with a friend or your spouse instead. 

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Kendall E. Van Blarcom, Psy.M.,