How to (Finally) Put Yourself First in Retirement

Retire and make this stage of life all about you. After all these years it’s been about taking care of your job, your employer, and your family. No doubt you stressed about how to juggle time and make everything work. Now it’s time to finally put yourself first in retirement.


As you consider leaving your work life behind, think about how you’ll be leaving that work-centered lifestyle. It’s common to have mixed emotions about retiring.  You begin wondering about how you’ll do without the routine or structure of work.


If this sounds like you, focus on your life ahead instead of what’s behind you. If you’re getting stuck on the concept of retirement, change it up and call it “refirement” instead.  Get fired up with excitement about all that this change will bring. Maybe making that subtle mental change will allow you to shift your thoughts about retirement.  Especially important is recognizing that this time of life is really all about you and meeting your needs.


As I entered midlife, I really began to question how I could give back. I wondered how to create a feeling that I was part of something bigger than myself. For the most part, I ignored this question. After all, I was more concerned about work and maintaining that elusive work/life balance.


It wasn’t until I began to think more seriously about retirement and what I’d like my new life to look like, that I began to appreciate this was “my time” to discover what was truly important to me. The switch from putting others’ needs first to prioritizing myself took time. Being aware of your values and understanding what changes you need to make will increase the meaning and success of your retired life.


As I looked more closely at what was important to me, I put independence, flexibility and enabling others to be successful at the top of my list. As great as my life in the corporate work world was, these weren’t the priorities for my employer.
It takes putting yourself first and defining your needs or values that allows you to reframe how you view retirement.  Definitely look at this as a huge opportunity for yourself. How often have we heard that you need to put yourself first in life and promptly dismissed it? Believing that’s for someone else and not us? Now is the time to fully act on that thought.


Be self-aware and find what will make you feel successful in this new life stage. Finally put yourself first in retirement and combine your needs and values to create a meaningful and rewarding life. Embrace this time of life and move forward with no regrets.
Image Credit — Clem Onojeghuo