Recent surveys show that retirement planning issues have become increasingly important to employees, and that companies are doing more to help their employees plan for retirement. Some businesses are even rethinking the types of retirement plans they offer, and also making financial counseling available to employees.
The increased concern about retirement comes on the heels of the recent steep recession, which is still a big drag on the economy. Many suffered significant losses in their retirement investment accounts because of the downturn, which, they say, will mean a delay in retiring. Younger workers, seeing what has happened, also are concerned.
But, while many companies are investing in educational programs for their employees to help them plan for retirement, relatively few are doing anything to help smooth the actual transition from work to retirement.
This can be a stressful time for workers because it involves a huge change in their lives. For many, work has been the focus of their lives, the thing to which their self-esteem and even their identity is tied. Leaving it behind can be traumatic. It is an area where human resource departments can make a big impact by adding to services.
Companies can help employees better make the transition by helping them with financial and lifestyle planning.
One of the major concerns of people about to retire is whether they will have enough money for the things they want to do. Helping them with planning for expenses during retirement, planning about what their income will be, and what their healthcare, housing, hobbies, and vacations, etc. will cost, will go a long way toward making a good transition.
Helping workers cope with how the transition will change their lifestyle can be helpful too. Retirees will be facing such issues as keeping a daily routine, staying in touch with people, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and following their interests, whether it be part-time work, or something such as volunteering.
Also companies can help employees make the transition by supplying them with resources. Companies can help them find information on getting a good financial advisor and even offer something such as a one-year free membership to a retirement organization.
Additionally, companies can provide soon-to-retire workers with material to read, such as Transitions: Making Sense of Life’s Changes, by William Bridges.
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