Five Stages of Retirement

We often hear that we need to prepare for retirement in a financial sense. However, did you know that it is also important to prepare for the emotional stages of retirement?

We’re here to help you prepare by:

  • Identifying the stages of retirement you may face
  • Sharing what you can do to make the most of your retirement journey
  • Ensuring you’re ready for the emotions each step can bring

1 | Before Retirement

As adults approach retirement, they often experience a sense of euphoria. This is due to the possibilities that lay outside of their current daily life. In these retirement planning stages, seniors may be:

  • Considering where to retire
  • Researching their senior living options
  • Touring senior living communities
  • Daydreaming about how they’ll spend their time
  • Imaging day-to-day life
  • Assessing their long-term goals

This stage is full of optimism and excitement about everything their retirement life could hold. As they ease into Stage 2, this only heightens.

2 | Early Retirement

Often called the honeymoon phase, pre-retirement, or the vacation stage, seniors stop working their full-time jobs. They begin to make the most of their time. During this stage, seniors:

  • Make new friends
  • Attend classes and clubs
  • Live without any specific routine holding them back
  • Use their time to do what they want

As this excitement begins to fade, seniors enter stage three.

3 | Disillusionment

As retirement progresses to this phase, it becomes evident that financial planning is not the sole factor in preparing for retirement. It’s during the third stage that:

  • Retirement may begin to lose its spark
  • Seniors find themselves missing their routine
  • They start to lose their sense of identity
  • Seniors have trouble finding a new purpose in life
  • Mental health issues, like depression and anxiety, may be experienced
  • Applying for part-time jobs is considered
  • Seniors feel like they’re just going through the motions in daily life

The good news is that with the right mindset and attitude, seniors can start to feel like themselves again.

4 | Reinvention, Reassessment and Recovery

This phase of retirement is full of trial and error, recovery, and ultimately, reinvention. Instead of living as they have been, seniors should move forward by:

  • Exploring what fulfills them and what their passions are
  • Letting go of their expectations of what retirement should be
  • Determining what could make life meaningful again
  • Taking time to do what they love to do and what they do well
  • Evaluating what brings them purpose

5 | Routine

During this final stage of retirement, seniors feel happy and fulfilled. They begin to:

  • Re-create their routine
  • Find stability
  • Prioritize self-care
  • Continue learning and growing
  • Define how their retirement moves forward

It’s during this point that many settle into retirement, feeling satisfied, fulfilled, and joyful at the freedom ahead.

Embrace the Stages of Retirement at Waterstone of Westchester

Seniors who choose to retire at Waterstone of Westchester may still go through all the stages of retirement. This is a natural transition. However, we make it easier for older adults to move through these stages and enter the realm of reinvention and routine. In fact, some merely graze through the third retirement stage because they’re so busy enjoying everything life has to offer.

Here, seniors create their ideal retirement routine through our activities and events, robust lifestyle, and wellness opportunities. When all this combines, life at Waterstone of Westchester makes navigating the stages of retirement easier.

We’re Here To Help Through Every Stage

Schedule a visit to learn more about Waterstone of Westchester. Additionally, you can get more resources about preparing for retirement both financially and emotionally by contacting our team today.


Learn more about our premier independent living community. Here, you’ll thrive in a beautifully appointed apartment with designer finishes. You’ll also enjoy connecting with friends in our stunning common areas. Come home to Waterstone of Westchester.