Whatever age you are when you leave the workforce, retirement can cause mixed emotions. On one hand, the thought of sleeping late and not having to please your boss on a daily basis sounds pretty appealing. But for retirees, worries about everything from money to whether you'll be bored can haunt you, making life less relaxing than anticipated.

Here are the most common fears experienced by those about to retire—and what you can do to alleviate them:

1. Fear that you'll run out of money. "This is the number one fear," says Scott Pooch, BS, president of SW Pooch and a qualified Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC) and Chartered Retirement Plans Specialist (CRPS). "People ask themselves, 'Will my money last as long as I do?'"

2. Fear of getting sick. "Healthcare-related fears are right up there high on the list," says Pooch, who has worked on retirement plans for more than 140 companies. "People wonder how healthy and mobile they will be once they are retired."

3. Fear of relying on others for help. "People worry about becoming not just a burden to their family, but to society," Pooch says. 

4. Fear that they haven't really planned properly for retirement, says Rui Yao, PhD, a professor in the Department of Personal Finance Planning at the University of Missouri, Columbia.

5. Fear of boredom. "People worry that they cannot attain the same level of gratification and excitement from another valuable pursuit outside of the workplace," says James R.F. Berkeley, managing director of Ellice Consulting Ltd in London, which works with retirees.

6. Fear of how they will identify themselves going forward, says Berkeley. "Faced with suddenly selling the business and taking retirement, many people wonder how they are going to define themselves among friends and acquaintances," he says.

7. Fear of not being affiliated with a group they can interact with, Berkeley says. "Retirees worry about not having a group of people they can contribute to a common goal with, and receive recognition from," he explains.

So what can you do to avoid these fears and make retired life better?

Plan way ahead. "Begin thinking about retirement and having conversations about it long before you retire," Pooch says. "This way you can plan on how to maximize your Social Security payouts as well as how to use different strategies to create an income stream from the assets you have accumulated."

Consider working a bit longer than you had originally planned. "A lot of people don't realize how much of a difference just another year or two of employment can make," Yao says. "When you work, your Social Security is growing and you are contributing more to your 401K."

Don't retire thinking that you may decide to get back into the work force. "Some people think they'll retire and get back into the job market if they need to, but that's hard to do," says Yao. Unfortunately, skills can quickly become outdated and obsolete.

In the several years leading up to retirement, make an effort to find activities and hobbies that you find gratifying and exciting, says Berkeley. "If you're in doubt, ask friends and colleagues what they have found, and ask how their life is better since retirement."

Join a country club, or a professional or cultural organization that offers opportunities for socializing and participation, Berkeley advises. "You want to enjoy participation without the pressure that comes from a hard-driving boss," he explains. "Life is much more enjoyable than the workplace!"

Scott Pooch, BS, and James Berkeley reviewed this article.