How to cure retirement anxiety?

A while back, I wrote this article for another site and it is no longer there. Due to the popularity of the article, I decided to republish it here ar Retire Happy.

Over and over again every study I read about retirement says no one is saving enough for retirement. I’ve all heard this message so much that even I am starting to become desensitized to it. Is anyone else feeling the same way?

The truth is I am tired of hearing this message especially when I see so many people retire happy and successfully without having millions and millions of dollars in their RRSPs.

Related article: A happy retirement is not out of the question

The Consumer Reports National Research Center recently surveyed 24,270 online subscribers age 55 and older about finances and satisfaction with their lives and found some common keys to peace of mind that had little to do with big salaries or high living. Half of those with less than $250,000 in net worth were highly satisfied in retirement.

Ironically I have had the privilege of meeting lots of retirees who have found a path to a happy retirement despite the doom and gloom in all the messages out there.

A simple cure for retirement anxiety

Anxiety is created because of the unknown. Your financial future is one of the biggest unknowns so it’s no wonder why we worry about retirement.

The cure for retirement anxiety is simple: Start planning for the future. Many studies have suggested that 6 out of 10 Canadians have no plans for retirement. Are you one of those people? It’s no wonder there is so much retirement anxiety out there. If you think about the word planning it simply means looking into the future to make your future as predictable as you possibly can. It’s all about figuring out where you stand, where you need to be and how to get there.

Related article: 3 steps to a basic retirement plan

Planning is the start of reducing retirement anxiety.

Retirement is personal

There is no universal definition of what retirement means. Retirement can be anything you want it to be. You simply need to figure out what you want it to be. Figuring out how much is enough should not be intimidating. There is no shortage of information, tools and resources to help you plan for your future.

Don’t let these studies cause you to give up on your future. Stop making excuses and start taking action.

Principles of planning

Here’s the deal. I suspect happiness is important to you. Don’t assume retirement will be happy, depressing or something in between. Plan for it. You’ve heard the old saying “people don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan”. That’s a big reason for retirement anxiety. So stop listening to all the “noise” and the studies that are telling you that you are destined for Kraft Dinner, day old bread and poverty.

Get off your butt and start taking the necessary steps to plan for your retirement so you take control of your future.

Related article: Principles of implementation

Just remember, when it comes to planning, it’s never too late to start. Even if your retirement plan does not leave you with the most desirable outcome, at least you know and more importantly you can do something about it.

Do you have retirement anxiety?

Planning is not the only way to reduce retirement anxiety. You can reduce your debts, save more money, increase your income, watch your spending, etc. Although these are great ways to feel more confident and financially secure, you still need to prepare for retirement to cure retirement anxiety. It all starts with planning. How would you know how much to save for retirement if you don’t have a plan?

Do you have retirement anxiety? If so, what are you going to do about it? If not, why not? Help others get rid of retirement anxiety by sharing your retirement planning successes.


  1. Sarah

    What about picking the correct financial planner while in college I have found that there are a lot of ways to get “screwed” over and lose out on saving for my own upcoming retirement. I had an accountant but they ended up stealing my money, and skipping town. So picking/talking a/with financial planner, these days you have to be really careful, because some of them will rip everything you have out of your pockets. So make sure you pick the right one, here some info on how to pick the right one: However, you still need to listen to your gut, and do the research needed. I learned that the hard way. So in that regard I do have some anxiety.

  2. Mia

    Hi Jim.
    Wish I could find someone like you to help me manage my money.
    I am now very scared of the Stock market; and am approaching retirement within the next 2 years. I have about 360 thousand dollars saved; and do not want to put it into the market again. I want SAFE! But returns on GICs are so dismal. Will they rise again soon? I would be happy with 3%!

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