4 Keys to a Happy and Prosperous Retirement
The goal is a long and happy life you love! It takes more than just money, so do some self-searching well before you retire.
Everyone knows that preparing for retirement is front and center these days in America. An average of 10,000 people take the plunge into their golden years every day.
Commercials and print ads urge us to save more and get financially prepared for the big day. But are you prepared for those things that might be even more important than how much you accumulate toward retirement?
Here are a few tips on getting the most satisfaction out of your retirement years.
1. Visualize Your Ideal Retirement Lifestyle
In our practice, the part I love most is the light in a retiree’s eyes when they discover they have enough resources to accomplish a life-long dream they had given up on long ago. Most people have been working hard their whole careers, raising a family and dealing with life as it comes. They often fail to think about their futures in a meaningful way.
Ask yourself well in advance of retiring:
What one or two things bring me the most energy and joy in life?
If money weren’t an issue, what would I probably be doing with my time?
What dreams or aspirations did I have when I was younger that I would really like to reconnect with now?
What does my ideal future life look like? Visualize it, write down your thoughts, and convert them into a plan of action.
How do my spouse and loved ones fit into my plan?
These are powerful motivator questions for many people, and with some planning they can help transform your future into a life you love.
2. Stay Engaged and Have a Purpose
It is no secret that the happiest retirees stay busy with something meaningful in their lives. I have noticed that the happiest retirees are often busier in retirement than they were when they worked full time. Here are just a few choices:
Work toward a plan that can help replace your work friends with new people you meet in retirement, or reconnect with longtime friends.
Volunteer or get involved in your community.
Take a class, join a club or learn a new skill.
Pick up an old hobby from the past or try a new one.
Travel somewhere new or spend time in nature by camping, fishing or hiking.
Stay spiritually connected or close to a support group that can help when life gets difficult.
3. Take Care of Yourself!
According to several published surveys, the No. 1 concern of retirees is actually being healthy enough to enjoy their retirement years. After all, a large retirement nest egg means little if you don’t have the health to enjoy it.
Commit to getting enough physical exercise by walking, gardening or playing with grandchildren, for example.
Exercise your brain by playing challenging games like bridge, chess and computer games.
Join a health club or other activity group to help you stay motivated and active in small amounts several times per week.
Combining these goals, along with a healthy diet, is often enough to do the trick.
4. Get Your Financial House in Order
Remember that while money is important, the most important thing is what the money can do for you.
You should consider:
Developing a retirement income plan with your adviser to give you a predictable paycheck that is not dependent on the direction of the markets. This creates much more peace and satisfaction than worrying about liquidating assets during a tough market.
Utilizing pensions, lifetime income annuities, rental income and part-time work to keep your income stable and worry-free. In fact, working part time doing something you truly enjoy has become very popular. It can be a fulfilling and financially savvy way to stay active, provide extra fun dollars or bridge an income gap if you have one.
Buying long-term care insurance or one of the new hybrid long-term-care products to protect your other assets and give you more choices and peace of mind should you need care for a chronic illness.
Conclusion: People want more than just security in their retirement years. They also want to be happy, engaged and fulfilled. You CAN have a life you love, if you clarify what you want, set realistic goals, take care of your health and focus your resources on achieving your vision!
~ Contributed by Wesley N. Price, CFP, at Kiplinger
As a reminder, this Blog Post is for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal or tax advice.