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The 5 Stages of Retirement That No One Talks About

Some phases in life are moved through so automatically that we don’t always realize it’s happening. Growing up is like that. Aging can certainly be like that. So can retirement. Most people aren’t even aware that there are five phases of retirement. Here they are, with some extra tips and food for thought mixed in for consideration.


This denotes the 5-10 years before you reach your decided retirement age. During this time, your priorities begin to shift. The energy that you previously put towards advancing your career or learning new workplace skills now goes toward retirement planning. Your financial strategy – and much of your social conversation! – starts revolving around planning for retirement.

The Honeymoon Phase

Once you’ve cut the cake and left the building for the last time, the honeymoon phase sets in pretty fast. During the first few months of your retirement, you might find yourself reconnecting with lost friends, visiting favorite places and indulging in hobbies you used to love. It’s a romantic period where you feel like you’re falling in love with the world – or yourself – again.


As with many honeymoons, that blissful state of discovery and rediscovery can’t last forever. Although you’ve been looking forward to “finally relaxing” for so many years, the reality may not stack up. It turns out that relaxing all the time and having so few obligations and almost no structure can feel… downright boring. This phase can feel a lot like depression and it can even become depression if it’s not managed well.

Re-Orientation and Finding Your Best Self

Humans thrive best when they have a sense of purpose in their life. Moving through the disenchantment can be really hard but once you do, a new world can open up. At this point, you’ve realized that you’re ready to dig in and do something different. You may take up a new hobby, pour some good into the world, write a book or even launch a small business. This is a period of self-discovery and finding a new purpose to help make your time feel meaningful.

Stability – Finally!

Settling into your newfound identity as a retired version of your old self can be a satisfying time. It’s especially true when what you’ve decided to do with your time amplifies your personal values and allows you to glow from within. This peaceful stability can create a sense of calm in your life or it can be unexpectedly energizing.

But What If You Could Do It Differently?

The phases of retirement make a lot of sense, right? But it also looks like there is a lot of difficult personal work to do and some of that – like the loneliness that can hit with disenchantment – can be pretty painful.

What if you could use the pre-retirement phase to look at the possibilities and decide which parts you want to go through and which you could do without? If you know disenchantment happens, could you prevent it with foresight and planning? What if you could “find your best self” NOW and jump right to that? Could you mix honeymoon bliss into your everyday purpose? What would that look like for you?

As a coach, this is exactly what I help people do. We work together to uncover your purpose and set goals with solid plans to support reaching those goals. Even if you’re not sure what your next chapter holds, join my See It, Be It! program and we can get started now.

Book a spot on my calendar here for free to learn more!

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