The ideal future is often framed through expensive images like never-ending white sandy beaches and private villas. While enjoying the nest egg you’ve prepared is one thing, there’s more to your retirement than money. A long and prosperous retirement depends on a fulfilling day-to-day life. That means getting to know yourself again outside of work and taking care of yourself. However, it may come as a surprise that one of the most important parts of your retirement is you. With this in mind, here’s seven secrets to living a long and prosperous retirement.
Retirement is more than what’s in your bank account
Part of the stress of planning for retirement is whether you’ll have “enough” wealth waiting for you. However, deciding what your financial threshold is for retirement based on your current expenses might leave you with a skewed view of your needs.
Remember, you won’t have certain costs to cover, like Social Security taxes or even dry cleaning to keep up with the office. So, you only need a percentage of your current income per year. You can talk to a financial planner to plot what that would look like for you. Your financial planner can help you address your finances and figure out the amount you’d need to preserve your envisioned lifestyle.
What’s also important is establishing a plan that allows you to fully enjoy your retirement. After all, your golden years create a time to reconnect with the things you find fulfilling. Whether that’s a favorite hobby or just spending time one-on-one with your spouse, you need to let yourself experience those joys. Decide what makes your world turn and pursue that, rather than trying to achieve an expensive one-size-fits-all castle in the sky.
Health should be a top priority
People say you’re nothing without your health – and there’s a reason for it. Taking care of your physical and mental well-being is crucial to a happy retiree’s psyche. That requires both self-awareness and active engagement on your part, of course. You want to keep tabs on any preexisting conditions, such as heart disease or stroke, as well as your general health overall. It can be easy to forget or to fall out of the habit, but it’s good to schedule yearly check-ups, or more if needed, to remain proactive. And, the importance of doing so only grows with age.
So, regardless of whether you intend to relocate for your retirement, you should make a point to familiarize yourself with your local health facilities. Particularly any specialized care you may need. If you hope to move during your retirement, take distance and quality of care of the practices near you into consideration.
Preparation is only half the battle, though. Exercise and activity are crucial to your happiness in retirement; you want to feel as strong as you can for as long as you can. Picking up a fun pastime like tennis or swimming with your spouse or a local group will go a long way in maintaining your health.
Strong relationships matter
Many Americans find social fulfillment in their everyday schedule and work life. These relationships are often limited, but dependable. So, losing these connections can leave you feeling isolated. However, the important thing to remember is that it’s never too late to make new connections or focus on old ones.
If you’re looking to move in retirement, make sure you’re set up socially, as well. Find social avenues through local clubs or events. You can even see if there’s someone in the area you can connect with or who can show you around. You may want to visit as many times as you need beforehand, so you can feel socially comfortable.
Of course, whether or not you plan to stay put, there is always the option of working on old relationships. Spending time with family is one of the most crucial ways for some people to find happiness in their retirement.
Write down your dreams for retirement to help them materialize
It’s effortless to talk about your hopes for retirement, but this may not hold you accountable alone. If you want to stay on track towards achieving your vision, it’s best to write down your dreams.
There’s a two-fold benefit to writing them down. The first is that the process of putting thought to paper isn’t as easy as it looks. It forces you to condense your ideas down into manageable goals. The second is that once the dream is put on paper, it’s not nearly as intimidating. Things feel more significant and elusive in our heads. When you have them physically in front of you, you can create a plan for them.
Also, writing down your dreams gives you and your spouse an opportunity to talk. The two of you may have different goals for what you want your prosperous retirement to look like, so compare your visions. See what you may need to compromise on or even readjust your spending to accommodate. If there are no differences, you can still use it as a tool to keep you both on track financially.
A purpose-driven retirement makes for momentous golden years
A prosperous retirement requires a transition, and sometimes finding significance in your new life is often challenging. While you now have the opportunity to enjoy yourself and the little things, you may also feel like something is missing without work. It’s easy to establish an identity and purpose through your job, so without that, you may be scrambling to find meaning. Adapting is difficult but can lead to a new outlook.
Work provides a structure for your days, but now you’ll need to create your own schedule. Not every day has to be the exact same, but make one and try to stick to it. The lack of one may feel freeing at first but may slowly turn empty.
How you fill it then is up to you. Whatever hobby or skill you’ve always wanted to work on but never had the time for is a great starting point. If you still want a sense of responsibility, you can also pursue mentoring or find a part-time job that provides you with the chance to explore your new interests.
Regular review of your finances is crucial (but not every day)
While finances aren’t the only component of retirement, you can’t ignore them. Ensuring you have a prosperous retirement means reviewing your finances regularly. Surprises in the form of unexpected medical costs or even just limitations can lead to excess stress. So, talking with an experienced financial planner can help you prepare for anything that may come your way.
Furthermore, you draft yourself a schedule to check-in on your spending, income, and savings. That way, you are free to enjoy your prosperous retirement in-between, knowing that you’ve got a system in place to keep everything in check. You don’t want to obsess and lose track of why you started being careful in the first place.
Giving back increases your sense of well-being
Reviewing your finances and finding new meaning in your life may lead you to give back during your retirement. Finding local or national causes to support is a fantastic way to spend your time and money. You can walk away from any volunteer work or donation knowing you’ve done something with your retirement to improve someone else’s life.
In fact, recent data suggests that people can find a boost of well-being and happiness if they begin volunteering. So, if you’re looking for the cherry on top for a fulfilling retirement, consider volunteering.
Retirement is an intimidating new step for many people, and it’s no wonder why. It asks for a lot of change and thoughtful consideration. However, you don’t have to head into it alone. Speaking with a financial planner is a great first step to help you prepare for retirement. They can help you organize your finances so that you can walk into your senior years with confidence. After all, you deserve to have all the support you need to ensure that you have a prosperous retirement waiting for you after all your hard work.
If you’re in search of a financial planner to help you create a path toward achieving your retirement goals, contact us. You’ll join hundreds of other retired individuals and couples who made a smooth transition into their new lives with our help, and we’d like to provide you with the same.