When most people think of financial and retirement provision, our throats feel stress, worry and fear. While this stress is uncomfortable, it exists for a good reason. Stress serves a purpose.
Less than 50% of people have a written retirement plan. The majority of people just haven’t saved enough for this time in their lives. And even if you have a substantial fortune, retirement is a massive lifestyle change and a huge financial responsibility. Thinking about retirement can be stressful.
However, there is actually a way you can use stress to your advantage. Get Tips Below!
It goes without saying that stress is not fun – especially if you don’t know how to do it properly.
Psychology suggests that there are good reasons for stress and good ways to use stress to your advantage.
Emotions, including negative emotions, have meaning in our lives. Envy can help you achieve goals. Anger can enable you to prevent exploitation. Stress, fear, and worry can help you exercise caution and discipline.
Before you retire, you must have exercised great discipline in order to be able to save adequately. And you need to be careful and plan very carefully before proceeding.
Use stress to your advantage when planning your retirement!
While stress, anxiety, and worry can be positive, most of us react negatively – not very productively – to stress.
When we feel stress, our body pumps chemicals into our bloodstream and these chemicals usually drive us to fight or to flee:
- We fight to try to wipe out the perceived enemy.
- We fly to get as far away from the threat as possible.
Fight and flight can be a great defense against imminent threats. Our brains developed the fight or flight response to protect us from real dangers such as snakes hiding in the grass, a leopard jumping on us from trees, and other wild dangers.
However, fight and flight are not a good response to things like retirement planning.
How many of us “fly away” – avoiding, hesitating, ignoring – our retirement needs?
Below are four other positive and effective ways to deal with retirement planning stress.
Stress is only harmful to you if you think it is harmful to you.
Kelly McGonigal is a psychologist and lecturer at Stanford University. In her Ted TalkShe teaches us that you can eliminate the harmful effects of stress. Yes, stress can be extremely harmful. A study by the University of Wisconsin found that stress can increase your risk of death by 43%.
And Macgonigal estimates that believing that stress is bad for you may be “… the 15th leading cause of death in the United States.”
However, there is plenty of research that suggests you can eliminate the harmful effects of stress. A study by the University of Buffalo found that spending time helping loved ones, friends, or neighbors can reduce or even eliminate the harmful aspect of stress. “When you choose to interact with others under stress, you can build resilience,” said McGonigal.
If you are stressed out about finances and retirement, reach out to friends and family to discuss it. Offer them your best tips and compassion and problem solving.
If you don’t enjoy talking about finance with people you know, join a Facebook group or speak to a financial advisor.
University of Rochester Psychologist Jeremy Jamieson has proven that just believing that stress can be beneficial can actually improve your results.
In an experiment, a group of students were preparing for an exam.
- Jamieson told one group that stress can help you rise to the occasion of the test.
- He told the other group to only concentrate when they were stressed.
The group that was told only that their stress was increasing did significantly better on this test and subsequent tests than the group that was told to focus.
Your mindset can actually affect how stress affects you. Stress can increase your productivity.
Stressed out about finances? Remind yourself that the stress is there for a reason and let it guide you through the issues.
Stress can help you tackle your retirement savings.
Too often we fail to acknowledge major long-term stressors like retirement. Retirement is an abstract concept in that it is difficult to think about specifically.
However, your future financial security is likely to be gnawing at you.
When you can identify and label the stress you are feeling, your brain activity actually shifts and gets to work to deal with it.
Researcher Matt Lieberman Brain scans were used to demonstrate how recognizing stress can lead to more reactive resolution of problems.
In one study, participants were shown negative images. When asked to acknowledge and label the emotions they were feeling while looking at the picture, the activity in their brain shifted from the emotional part of the brain to the prefrontal cortex – the area in which we consciously think and plan.
Planning your retirement is a daunting task indeed. You are trying to explain the next 20 to 30 years of your life using various unknowns and a limited number of resources.
Still one study found that people spend more time researching and buying a television than they do on retirement planning. This certainly sounds like a “flight reaction” to the overwhelming stress of long-term planning.
One way to deal with retirement planning stress is to start small.
You don’t have to do everything at once. You can divide the task into manageable parts.
The NewRetirement Retirement Planning System is ideal for this. The tool is the most detailed and personalized online. It stores your information and allows you to plan at your own pace.
- Start by documenting the basics of your current finances. It’s easy – just answer the questions.
- See where you are now.
- Add details, try different scenarios and discover ways to strengthen your financial future.
- Figure out the ideal time to start social security.
- How much do you save? Don’t you have enough What if you want to postpone your retirement date or spend less?
- What is your withdrawal strategy?
- Will you have an estate Is it as valuable as you would like it to be?
- And more…
- The system keeps track of your most important decisions, but you don’t have to decide everything at once.
- Your information is saved so that you can make further updates over time.
Get started today. And then add more to your plan.
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