5 Top Stressors in Retirement and How to Cope

May 27, 2014 at 6:07 PM

Oh, the retirement years — hours of relaxation, visiting family and doing many of the activities you've always wanted to do. Stress-free at last. Or maybe not.

Although some research suggests that retirees experience less stress than when they were working, a lot depends on the person, experts say.

Stress in retirement is linked to two key factors: health and financial status, says geriatric expert Richard Schulz, director of the University of Pittsburgh Center for Social and Urban Research. "People who have health problems continue to experience the stresses associated with these problems; financial difficulties also contribute to a stressed retirement experience.

"Involuntary retirement — due to health problems, downsizing, being fired — is associated with a more negative retirement experience," he says.

Amit Sood, author of The Mayo Clinic Guide to Stress-Free Living, says the keys to lowering your stress include creatively tackling your stressors, having an attitude of gratitude, accepting people, especially your spouse, for who they are, and being kind to others and yourself.

Socialization is also a great way to ward off stress, says Steve Brody, a psychologist in Cambria, Calif., who works with retirees. He's the co-author of Renew Your Marriage at Midlife written with his wife, Cathy Brody. "We are social creatures, so we need to stay connected with others."

It's important to deal with stressors because your chances of a heart attack, stroke, cancer or early death are lower if you have less stress, says Sood, a professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

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Source: USA Today

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