The retirement process is unnerving to most—it’s a major shift in daily living and is what you’ve worked towards your entire career. The stress involved may lead to a severe case of cold feet, so how do you break through that mental barrier preventing you from taking the plunge?

1. Redefine accomplishment.

Feeling a sense of accomplishment is important to our overall happiness. For many pre-retirees, this sense of gratification came from work. Leaving your job behind doesn’t mean your self-confidence needs to be left with it; there are plenty of ways to find new outlets to boost self-esteem levels after retirement. Joining neighborhood associations and being involved with local community centers can create new relationships and hurdles to assess and overcome.

In retirement, accomplishment takes on a whole new meaning. Personal growth can become the new measurement. Figure out what you enjoy about your job and plan new ways to replicate those satisfactions in retirement with achievable goals.

2. Focus on what you love.

When you have to work for a living, your focus is often drawn towards what pays the bills, not what makes you truly content. While retired, you finally have access to the most elusive and empowering commodity: free time—and it’s your choice on how you spend it.

That sculpture you’ve always wanted to lay eyes on, the beach you’ve heard rave reviews about but have never been and a burger worth traveling 200 miles for; retirement is the time for experiencing everything once dreamed about. Throwing out the practiced script of a 9-5 can be intimidating, but finding productive hobbies that interest you and mapping out adventures to explore can make retirement the best years of your life. If the funds make sense for your quality of living, just go for it—this is the time to make memories.

3. Develop a spending plan.

Before retiring, devising a list of all the exciting places you’ll visit and attractions worth spending money on is good for the soul, but it can hurt a wallet’s conscious. Retirement is intended to be enjoyed to the fullest extent, but losing track of your spending may result in an earlier-than-intended state of boredom.

Developing a spending plan with your financial advisor is the recommended course of action, and it can help control the inevitable splurges that come with typical retirement spending. A financial advisor can keep you focused on personal goals while making sure your quality of life is sustained appropriately. New dynamic withdrawal strategies also allow retirees flexible spending in a plan that nixes the classic “4%” adage used by so many retirees in their withdrawal tactics. Regardless of the plan you choose, doing so with an experienced professional that has your best interest in mind, can guarantee a stress-free retirement.

About Cordasco Financial Network: CFN is an independent Registered Investment Advisory firm focused on bringing value to clients beyond choosing and managing the right investments. Whether it’s retirement, owning a business, or pre-retirement planning, CFN creates clarity and comfort while providing financial guidance. To learn more please visit