10 Things You Can Do Now to Set Yourself Up for a Happy Retirement
Most of us don’t want to work forever, so it’s important to start saving and planning for your retirement as soon as possible. Here are 10 easy things you can do right now to help ensure you have a healthy, happy retirement.
Do you know where you want to live when you retire? What about how much money you’ll need each month?
Most people haven’t planned that far in advance, and that’s scary.
To maintain the lifestyle you love or to improve it, you need a plan. Retirement is not the time to start considering your options. If you don’t plan well in advance, you could find yourself in a retirement lifestyle you don’t love.
Planning your retirement isn’t as daunting as it sounds. Keep reading for the ten things you can plan now for a happy retirement.
1. Pick Your Location
This decision involves more than choosing the state or city you want to live in. It’s about the type of lifestyle you want.
Knowing that all seniors lose their licenses, will you be able to afford to hire a driver? Would it be better to live within walking distance to necessities? The suburbs are peaceful; the urban core is lively and upbeat.
Consider the family that’ll be visiting you and how much space they’ll need. Some people retire by downsizing. If you do that, are there hotels nearby for visitors?
Consider every aspect of your location when deciding where to retire.
2. Prepare Your Body
After retirement, everyone starts to lose physical abilities. You slow down, lose muscle definition, and have a harder time getting out of the car.
Injuries and accidents are also more likely to happen. But, you can prevent some of them by getting fit right now.
Assess your current physical state. Imagine what it’ll be in 20 years if you stay on the same path. You may want to consider getting a workout plan to build a body that’ll last.
3. Work on Your Relationships
When you’re busy working on your career, your familial relationships can take a back burner.
You let your adult children have their space. You lose touch with your siblings.
It’s important to realize that when you retire, your career disappears. What you’re left with is free time and those you love.
Make it a priority now to work on those relationships.
One day you might want weekly dinners, or to see your grandkids often. Set yourself up with those bonds so that when you retire you can embrace them.
4. Make a Bucket List
This tip is important for knowing how much you need to save for retirement. What are the extra costs of doing things you’ve always wanted to?
Maybe you want to travel more often or take art classes. Many retirees enjoy paying for their whole family to go on vacation together. But, going on cruises and enrolling in programs cost money.
Decide in advance the dreams you want to check off your bucket list when you retire. Do your best to estimate how much they’ll cost.
5. Prepare Your Income
Too many retirees these days stress about their income. Rather than a paycheck, you must rely on whatever savings you set up in advance. If you didn’t plan, you’re crossing your fingers you’ll have enough.
Instead, research different savings options.
Do you have an American IRA that will support you? What about investments? Having a broad investment portfolio can create supplemental income when you retire.
It can be helpful to work backwards. Figure out what your monthly costs will be in retirement and multiply that by 12. That number is how much you’ll need for each year post-retirement.
Speak to a financial adviser that specializes in retirement savings.
6. Change Your Mindset
Many of us dread the aging process. We see it as a loss of independence and a breaking down of our bodies. But, retirement doesn’t mean you start waiting for the end.
Think about retirement as a big vacation. No more early morning alarms, no more long days at the office. You’re in charge of 100 percent of your time.
It’s important to see this phase of life as exciting because it is. If you approach it with negativity, you will attract an unhappy retirement. Think positively, and it’ll be the best time of your life.
7. Choose Your Causes
Many retirees find themselves with lots of extra time to fill. What better way to spend that time than giving back?
Volunteering your time is a commendable thing. You’ve got years of life experience that can be applicable to many different causes.
It’s best to find causes to support well before you retire. Build relationships and trust with these organizations. See how your skills can make a difference.
Prepare to find your purpose in activities besides work.
8. Second Careers
Some people genuinely love to work. They enjoy the structure and routine of going to work each day. If that’s you, you may want to consider a second career when you retire.
This could be within the industry you know, or it could be a complete switch. Try something new.
Pursue your side hustle full time.
When you retire from one career, you don’t have to start playing golf and knitting. Choose a second one that fulfills you even more than the first.
9. Reassess Your Plan Every Five Years
Planning for a happy retirement isn’t a one-time thing. Your income, interests, and relationships can change. Instead, reassess your retirement plan every five years.
You might hear new ideas you want to incorporate into your plan. New research about increasing your lifespan could affect what you intend to do. Divorces and death affect how much money you’ll need.
Go over your retirement goals. Explore the best options for achieving them.
10. Be Honest With Your Spouse
Remember that your retirement affects your spouse’s life as well as your own. You may have all your plans laid out for the best retirement ever. But, will they make your partner happy too?
Include your spouse in your retirement planning. Part of your happiness during that life phase will be their happiness with you.
Be willing to compromise when needed.
Want More Ideas for a Happy Retirement?
Retirement may seem far in the future but planning right now is crucial. Before you know it you’ll be without a career and potentially a lower income.
With the right preparations, you can guarantee yourself a happy retirement. Use the tips listed above to make the most of your time for the sake of your future.
For more information on retirement, staying healthy, and living a happy life check out our blog.