If you want to have a stress-free retirement, you must first determine what that means to you. The best part about retirement is that you have virtually complete control over how you will spend your time. This also includes your money and your energy. One way to make the most out of these years is to begin to plan as early as possible. Granted, you may not know the exact road map of how you want your life to look. However, what you can know for sure is that you will need a financial plan to support it.
Prepare Your Finances
Retirement is a completely unique blueprint. You owe it to yourself to think about all the different ways to optimize your available plans to make the most of it. Setting your finances up to support yourself during retirement will take time. There are traditional ways to build your retirement nest egg. This includes 401k programs through your employer, IRA accounts, and strict budgeting in your younger years. But you should also consider some non-traditional ways to add lump sums to your savings.
You can investigate by selling your life insurance policy to receive a cash payout. Finding out if you qualify is quick and relatively easy and gives you another option to consider, so you can have more money to enjoy retirement. You should find out how much your policy would be worth if liquidated. This can help you allocate those funds to areas of retirement that at this point might still be unknown. Such as medical assistance, housing relocations, or emergent needs you could never have known to budget for.
Cover All Your Bases
Much like your pre-retirement life, creating happiness during this time will have many components. Make sure that you cover all your bases and learn ways to maintain not only your wealth but also your physical and mental health, as well as your personal relationships. Taking work out of your daily schedule means that you have newfound free time that you will need to fill. Many newly retired individuals may find this transition difficult if they are not open-minded.
The years spent building up your career and personal life probably left you with little to no time to dedicate to hobbies. Retirement is exactly the opposite. Visualize your future and think about the who, what, where, and why of you in this new phase of life. Exercising, gardening, reading, traveling are all great ways to stay engaged throughout the day. They are also each rooted in happiness and health.
See the World
Travel is a top-line item for retirees. Many people wait for retirement to explore the world. They do this because they will be free of the limitations common during the younger years. Being able to scratch your wanderlust itch is an incredible gift, from day trips by car to around the world extended excursions, travel is a wonderful way to help enrich your life throughout retirement.
There are things to be considered as you plan your travels such as your health, your budget, and your obligations to others. While many might decide to uproot their home base and spend their retirement permanently in a new location, others who want the opportunity to maintain some consistency and be closer to family may opt instead for travel stints that allow for both.
Keep a Positive Outlook
Perception is reality. This is not a way of thinking specific to retirement years, however, it is very applicable during this stage. When adults think about getting older as a positive experience, outlined by wisdom, self-realization, and satisfaction they function at a higher and more efficient level than if they view aging as a period filled with negative side effects.
Creating purpose in your days, and in your life in general, during retirement can help you to avoid depression and boredom. Reflect on all the things you had wished you had had time for throughout your working years. Incorporate these things into your newly freed-up schedule. Many people report that feeling like they no longer are needed or must be responsible for anything can be a hard change to adapt to. Pets, grandkids, and volunteer opportunities are all good examples of ways to still satisfy the need to have a purpose during this transitional time.
Consider Your Loved Ones
It may seem obvious to include your loved ones in your retirement planning. However, these discussions can be difficult to troubleshoot. Specifically, regarding your finances, think early on about who your savings will need to lend themselves to. In most cases, a spouse is an obvious answer here.
Much of your budgetary line items will be transferable from your working years to your retirement years, in terms of whom they apply to, while others you can expect to be reduced. For example, if your earlier budget needs to cover a vehicle for you and your spouse, you might expect that need to transfer into the retirement budget as well. However, if there was previously a piece of your budget dedicated to a mortgage payment on a home that has since been paid off, you will have flexibility regarding housing costs in your retirement years.
Want to know more?
As agonizing as the COVID-19 pandemic has been for everyone, it has been particularly going after the older population. Older people have faced higher levels of difficulty and displacement during the pandemic. Here’s more on how Covid-19 has impacted aging and retirement.