How You Can Use Stress to Your Retirement Advantage

March 5, 2021

You might be thinking, “What? That’s crazy” or “How is that possible?” Well, make yourself a cup of tea or coffee, whichever you prefer, because using stress to your advantage is possible. Thinking about retirement, in general, is stressful, so you’re halfway there! Less than 50% of people have a written retirement strategy simply because they don’t set aside enough time to plan. Even if you’ve been waiting to retire and you have adequate assets, it’s still a significant lifestyle change. We’re here to elaborate on how you can use stress to your retirement advantage.

There are benefits to being stressed

Believe it or not, psychology suggests that stress happens for good reasons and can be used to your benefit. It takes determination and discipline to start saving for retirement at an early age. A study conducted by TIAA found that 60% of retirement savers have fallen off the wagon. Being proactive about the future, and maybe even a little stressed out about retirement, can work in your favor; worrying about the future might be the catalyst to begin new saving habits and build for a better retirement.

Fight or flight: the road to retirement

Not everyone has a positive reaction to stress and anxiety. When in a stressful situation, the body releases chemicals into our bloodstream, causing a fight or flight reaction. You might experience the “flight” when it comes to the future, meaning you might ignore or put off the importance of planning. When it comes to getting a retirement advantage, it’s essential to be vigilant and have a thought-out plan. Both fight and flight are handy when it comes to immediate threats but not so much regarding retirement planning. Next time you feel like “flying” away from having to deal with anything, think about fighting the urge to run. Your future retired self will thank you.

Not all stress is harmful

Stress, when not handled properly, can have adverse effects on the human body and mind. A study conducted at the University at Buffalo found that you can reduce the harm of stress by spending time helping family, friends, and loved ones. So, if you find yourself stressed about your financial situation and retirement, reach out to family members or trusted peers for advice. Not everyone feels comfortable enough to talk about their financial situation with others, so if that’s the case, consider speaking with a financial advisor or retirement association.

Coming to terms with stress

It’s not an easy task to come to terms with something that seems so far off. But by being stressed from coming to terms with the reality of the future and your financial situation, you might want to get the ball rolling on your retirement plans. By acknowledging and identifying how you feel, your brain activity will shift and cause you to deal with the issue at hand. Try to be aware of your mindset because it impacts how your stress will affect you. Use that stress to harness productivity in tackling your retirement goals.

Start small

Planning for the future is no small task by any means. You must prepare to support yourself during the latter 20 to 30 years of your life when you won’t be working. Not to mention anything that may have occurred during your working years, such as the job you lost unexpectedly, a catastrophic accident, or your early withdrawal from the only IRA account you had. One way to cope with the stress of planning is to start small. Break down everything you need to accomplish into feasible portions. Begin to document outlines of your current finances and consider ways to strengthen your finances immediately to better assist you financially in the future. Of course, when working with an advisor or retirement association, they will be able to help you every step of the way.

Being stressed about finances or retirement is never fun, but you can turn that stress into positivity and productivity. Start small and acknowledge how important it is for you and your family to plan for the future. RITA is a professional trade association dedicated to the expansion of retirement advantage for all Americans to save and invest. Are you ready to get rid of stress and begin planning for your retirement? Visit our website to learn more or get in touch with one of our IRA custodians today.