Articles Six Retirement Fears and How to Face Them

May 20, 2016

If you’re like many people when retirement is in the distant future, the concept sounds like welcome relief from the daily grind. However, when you become a short-timer with the big day just around the corner, some trepidation is common. Use this guide to discover how you can lay some common retirement fears to rest.

Fear #1. My medical expenses will be too high. This was the biggest financial worry about retirement for a third of respondents over age 50 in a recent survey by

Solution: Attack on two fronts:

  1. Focus on maintaining good health. Exercise regularly; eat a balanced, nutritious diet; maintain a healthy weight; quit smoking; get enough sleep; manage stress; and see your doctor for routine screenings and checkups.
  2. Save more for retirement. A tax-advantaged account such as an Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA) or Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) will help your savings grow.

Fear #2. I'll be bored. Some pre-retirees worry about how they'll fill their days without the structure of a job.

Solution: Identify hobbies that you’d like to pursue more seriously or decide to try some new ones. Join local groups such as a book, chess or bridge club or a theater circle. Enroll in a class. Spend more time with family and friends. Plan a trip. Get involved in organizing community events. Consider consulting.

Fear #3. My savings will run out.
Almost a quarter (23 percent) of respondents to the survey said this was their biggest fear.

Solution: One of the biggest risks to a comfortable retirement is running out of money too soon. Assess how your savings are measuring up with an online retirement shortfall calculator. It can help you determine if your savings will run short or last a lifetime. If your results predict a shortfall, you can adjust your retirement planning strategy to save more, consider investments with higher growth potential (but likely additional risk) or possibly delay your retirement.

Fear #4. I won't get along with my partner. Retirement marks a big transition in your life to be sure, ranking up there with getting married and having children.

Solution: Avoid discord in your relationship by making sure the two of you have discussed and come to an agreement about what you want to do in retirement. Also, respect each other's routines and need for space. Find activities to do on your own so you're not together 24/7.

Fear #5. The value of my investments will drop just as I need to use them. As retirement nears, your investment timeline becomes shorter, so you have less ability to ride out market swings.

Solution: A few years before you plan to retire, you may want to begin making changes to your retirement portfolio to increase conservative investments and reduce high-volatility holdings. A Financial Advisor from Navy Federal Financial Group can help.

Fear #6. I'll feel unneeded. Many people "define" themselves by their career and worry they'll feel they've lost their purpose when they retire.

Solution: Volunteer! If you have the time and the energy, many worthwhile causes could use your help. You can find resources online that help match your skills and interests to opportunities in your area. By addressing your retirement concerns head-on, you can plan for a future you'll enjoy, and Navy Federal will always be by your side. "Once a member, always a member."

Navy Federal Credit Union is federally insured by NCUA. Nondeposit investment products are not federally insured, are not obligations of the credit union, are not guaranteed by the credit union or any affiliated entity, involve investment risks, including the possible loss of principal, and may be offered by an employee who serves both functions of accepting member deposits and selling nondeposit investment products.

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Navy Federal Credit Union is federally insured by the National Credit Union Administration.

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