I was looking online about retirement subjects and read an article by the NHS website for England (www.nhs.uk) which is UK’s biggest health website. The information that interested me was the “Tips for a Happy Retirement”, from keeping fit and healthy to making the mental adjustment to make the most of your new-found freedom. While retirement benefits in England are much different than the United States, the tips are relevant no matter where you live. The first one is no surprise and it’s something we understand very well. I’ve modified the tips due to the experiences I’ve witnessed over my career in the financial planning profession.
1. Money Matters
Collect your investment amounts and consolidated statements so you can work out what you’ll have to live on. Sometimes tracking down old pensions, Social Security benefit statements, and figuring out the best options for collecting your Social Security can be challenging.
Tip: We can help you estimate the amount you’ll need monthly in retirement!
2. Strive for a Gentle Transition
Make it a smoother transition by not abruptly stopping work. Instead, make it a gentle change from full-time work, down to part-time and then into retirement, if possible. Most of our retirees have the maximum PTO banked up as a nest egg which sometimes works well, but other times causes a huge tax liability which can be more harmful than helpful.
Tip: Talk to us about your banked PTO and how it can impact your taxes!
3. Prepare for Hills and Valleys
Retirement is a big change, and even if you’ve looked forward to it for a long time, you may still encounter some surprising emotions as you enter your retirement. Be prepared for some big feelings, and don’t bottle them up!
Tip: Staying social and openly talking about how you feel can help you navigate your emotions.
4. Create a Routine
Though you may have dreamt of lazy days with no agenda in retirement, it may be better for your mental health to maintain a regular routine, even when that doesn’t include heading into work every day. Find the routine that works best for you in retirement.
Tip: Volunteer work can help keep your schedule regular while also boosting your self esteem!
5. Keep Your Brain Sharp
Learning in later years is said to help people stay sharp and independent. Continue to challenge yourself mentally, whether it’s learning an instrument, a new language or getting trained to do something you’ve always wanted to try.
Tip: We’ve seen clients take painting, photography, and dog training classes in retirement with great success!
6. Set Goals
Having something to work toward and look forward to will help keep retirement fun and fulfilling. Whether it’s completing big projects or visiting your loved ones in other states, having some goals give you something to look forward to.
Tip: We can help you define and pursue your goals long into retirement!
7. Prioritize Your Health
The better you care for your body, the more enjoyable retirement can be. Stay active, keep up to date on your medical appointments and choose foods that are jam-packed with the nutrients you need so your body and mind can continue to function optimally.
Tip: We can help you navigate Medicare and paying for medical expenses in retirement!
8. Explore Mindfulness
Meditation, yoga, listening to music, or doing anything that frees your mind of distraction and compels you into a state of mindfulness can be beneficial to your health and overall wellbeing. You may also find that mindfulness practices help boost your mood, too!
Tip: You can find a variety of meditation tutorials online!
9. Get Outside
Spending time outside helps your body gather some much-needed Vitamin D and fresh air. If you walk, garden, or hike, you’ll also add minutes completed to the recommended minimum of 150 minutes of physical activity per week.
Tip: Spending more time outside can help you feel more connected to your community!
10. Adopt a Furry Friend
Research suggests that pets have a positive effect on our health and wellbeing. Visit your local animal rescue center or animal shelter, check out “rehoming” pages on social media, or speak with a breeder if you want to go that route. And if you’re not ready for pet ownership, consider volunteering as a dog walker at a shelter or for a neighbor with mobility issues.
Tip: There are thousands of animal shelters throughout the United States, jam-packed with pets waiting for homes!
11. Try Something New
It’s easy to get stuck in a rut, especially when you find yourself navigating a new stage of life. But retirement is a great opportunity to try something new that you haven’t tried yet. Whether it’s a new hobby, new travel location or something else entirely, new experiences can help keep things interesting.
Tip: If you have good health, a loving family, good friends, and a grateful attitude you’re well on your way to a joyful retirement!
If you’re interested in planning your retirement, please call or text 816-259-5060 or schedule a conversation online.