7 Things to Try Before You Retire

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Getty ImagesBefore officially retiring, test out a few ways to make working more tolerable.
By David Ning

Almost everyone hopes they will be able to retire someday, but many people are surprised that retired life isn't as good as they thought it would be. Part of the problem is that some people retire to escape from an unpleasant career, rather than to begin a whole new lifestyle. Before you make the mistake of resigning too soon, consider these moves if you are experiencing burnout.

Look for a different source of income. No one who is already overworked and overtired wants to hear that they need to continue to work even harder. And finding new streams of income isn't always easy. But when you successfully find new ways to make money, you will be able to quit your old boring career and spend more of your time on something more exciting and fulfilling.

Try to start another career. You may have to take a pay cut when you switch jobs, but it can still pay off if you enjoy the job enough to continue working longer than you would have stayed in your previous career. Perhaps you would like to work in an entirely new field or do similar work for a different industry. Either way, the unfamiliarity is likely to be refreshing enough for you to feel excited to learn again.

Switch companies. If you don't have the desire or resources to change careers, switching to a different company in the same field could give you a bit of an energizing boost. Every company has its own culture, and you may find that you fit better into a new firm. Just because you are unhappy at your current job doesn't mean you are not fit for work anywhere. Don't give up. Find a place that's doing amazing things that you feel excited about.

Spend to make life easier. Taking more vacations could help you to ease burnout. Hiring a few helpers around the house to do chores can also help you to feel less overwhelmed. Since you are staying at your job longer, you can afford to spend more of what is coming in to make life a little easier. You may think every frustration is work related, but feeling more relaxed because you have fewer chores and more time off may give you enough extra breathing room to have a better outlook when job tensions flare up.

Make your work environment suit your lifestyle more. Speak up at work if there's a situation bothering you. Too few people are bold enough to voice their opinions, but chances are good that you aren't the only one with the same concern. Management may even appreciate your candidness. At the very least, your coworkers will show you more respect because you will become a voice of reason in a sea of messy corporate shenanigans.

Find a hobby that forces you to exercise. I can't stress enough how much exercising helps. The long-term health benefits of exercise are well documented, and the increased energy can help you cope with the challenges of the everyday grind. Plus, exercising stimulates endorphin production, chemicals released by your body that trigger happiness.

Try to climb the corporate ladder. Yes, there's still time to do this as you approach retirement. A job higher up in the hierarchy often means more autonomy at work, giving you power to make the work environment suit your personality. The increased freedom is at least part of the reason quite a few small business owners never want to quit. These individuals spent years finding people that work well with them, so there's no point leaving a job that meets their needs.

Retired life can be incredibly rewarding, but that doesn't mean you should quit your job right away. If you are tired of the grind, try a few strategies to stay in the working world before you call it quits. Sometimes, a change of scenery is all it takes to inspire yourself to work a few years longer.

David Ning is the founder of MoneyNing.com.
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