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The 6 Stages of Retirement and What’s Waiting On the Other Side

Posted November 24, 2021

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Change. It’s a necessary evil. Let’s face it, we are creatures of habit, and when that habit gets disrupted, it can take some time to adjust.

Even the good things in life require adjustments. Think of some examples from your own life, maybe when you first went off to college, got married, had your first kid, or even first started your own business.

The chances are that when you look back, you can think of how hard each of those things was in the very beginning—making new friends at college, adjusting to life with your partner’s…quirks, the constant diaper changes or business challenges you never knew you’d face. But after some time, you began to enjoy college, you fell more in love with your spouse, your kid got potty trained, and your company started to hit milestone goal after goal.

Change— it was necessary to get where you are today.

There’s one major milestone that’s not mentioned above, and it’s likely because you haven’t quite hit that milestone, but ready or not, it’s coming soon.


Stages of Retirement

As a soon-to-be retiree, there’s a lot that you need to do to prepare for retirement. You’ll need to create a retirement plan and income strategy, start a business exit plan (if you’re a business owner) and have an idea in mind of how you’ll spend your days outside of the office.

To help you prepare for the change that awaits, we’ve listed the six stages of retirement.

The Planning Period

These are the days leading up to your retirement. You’ll create an exit plan, work with your team to ensure that nothing falls through the cracks, burn the midnight oil making sure that you have enough saved for retirement, and start thinking of what you’ll do once the big day comes.


After 30+ years of this lifestyle, the end is finally here after countless hours of hard work and dedication. At times, it felt like you’d never make it, but it doesn’t seem real now that it’s here. Everyone has well-wishes, memories to share, and advice on how to spend your days of leisure. THE day finally arrived.

The Honeymoon Phase

A few days into retirement and you start to think that retirement really is all that it’s talked up to be. You’re finally getting to those home projects you never had time for before, you’re spending more time with family, and you already have a vacation planned for the summer. Life is going pretty great.

The Questioning Phase

The emotional high from the honeymoon phase is over, and the boredom is seeping its way into your life. You realize that not only did you need a retirement plan, but you also needed a fun plan. Do you start to wonder if now really was the right time to retire? What are you going to do to combat this loneliness and boredom? How will you rebuild your life?

The Rebuilding Period

To rebuild your life, you need closure. For years you were in some ways defined by what you did, who you were as a business owner or employee, and the accomplishments that followed. Now, as a retiree, you’ll have to find your identity elsewhere. Who are you? Where do you find your value? What is your purpose?

This can be the most emotionally and mentally tasking phase for the retiree, but it is critical. Answering these questions and finding yourself once again will help you step into the 6th stage of retirement.

The Next Chapter

You wake up in the mornings feeling refreshed. You have a new, established routine that you enjoy. You know who you are. You know your purpose in this new stage of life. It’s the beginning of the next chapter of your life.

Thayer Financial is committed to walking with you through all of life’s stages— from the simplest moments to the most significant decisions. Preparing for retirement can seem daunting, but you don’t have to do it alone. Thayer Financial can help you prepare for retirement, create a financial plan and walk you through these six stages to be ready for this next phase of life.

Thayer Financial is your dedicated resource for fee-only, fiduciary advice as independent financial advisors in Hickory, North Carolina. Schedule an appointment or call us today.

Thayer Financial, L.L.C. (“Thayer Financial”) is a registered investment adviser offering advisory services in the State of North Carolina and in other jurisdictions where exempted. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. This website’s presence on the Internet shall not be directly or indirectly interpreted as a solicitation of investment advisory services to persons of another jurisdiction unless otherwise permitted by statute. Follow-up or individualized responses to consumers in a particular state by Thayer Financial in the rendering of personalized investment advice for compensation shall not be made without our first complying with jurisdiction requirements or according to an applicable state exemption.

All written content on this site is for information purposes only. Opinions expressed herein are solely those of Thayer Financial, L.L.C., unless otherwise specifically cited. Material presented is believed to be from reliable sources and no representations are made by our firm as to other parties’ informational accuracy or completeness. All information or ideas provided should be discussed in detail with an advisor, accountant or legal counsel prior to implementation.

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Hickory, NC 28602

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