Over the course of your career, you’ve worked to save and prepare for a life of relaxation and enjoyment in your golden years. For many, though, retirement requires huge mental and emotional adjustments.
You’ve spent your career traveling and following set schedules and charted paths; now going into an unscripted life means you suddenly have to figure out what to do with your days. Preparing for life after flying often requires a social plan in addition to a financial plan.
The biggest changes you will experience in retirement come from how you spend your days. Working closely together, many pilots develop friendships with their fellow crew members over time. You settle into the comfort of routine with flights, airports and destinations that become your home away from home.
When you retire this routine goes away. You no longer experience the comradery of flying with your fellow pilots and other members of the crew. Your schedule becomes wide open and it can feel empty. And where you once had hundreds of people relying on you every day to get them safely to their destinations, those people no longer depend on you. As much as you look forward to the freedom of retirement, you soon find that losing the structure and sense of purpose in your work life can create anxiety and uncertainty.
Both you and your spouse can find the transition into your retirement difficult. You have to adjust to a new routine in your life, but your spouse likely has a routine of their own. Just as you cultivated friendships and social groups at work, your spouse has done so at their work or at home. You're used to time apart, and getting reacquainted with each other requires adjustments from both of you.
Some people find this difficult to address. After all, you want to retire, and you love your spouse. Still, acknowledging the adjustment you both need to make is the first step in the transition. You now have the time to get to know your spouse in new, exciting ways, or to revisit what made you fall in love to begin with.
Planning Your Retirement Life
Fortunately, you can develop a plan for life after flying. Your financial plan gives you freedom, but your life plan creates ways to fill your days. You may find fulfillment in volunteer activities, or in pursuing hobbies like fishing, writing, golf, or anything else you enjoy. You can look for opportunities to mentor younger pilots, or even go back to school.
Retirement can feel like the end of what you know. But if you plan and explore the world now available to you, it can become the best part of your life.
Request your copy of From the Left Seat to the Back Seat to find out the top nine issues that pilots and their spouses often encounter in the retirement process, and some helpful tips to ease the transition for both spouses.
Disclaimer: This blog is intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as individual investment advice. Actual recommendations are provided by Retirement Advisors of America following consultation and are custom-tailored to each investor’s unique needs and circumstances. The information contained herein is from sources believed to be accurate and reliable. However, Retirement Advisors of America accepts no legal responsibility for any errors or omissions. Investments in stocks, bonds, and mutual funds may increase or decrease in value. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Any of the charts and graphs included in this blog are not recommendations for the purchase and sale of any security.