happy retirement

3 Tips to a Happy Retirement

Ahh, retirement. No more work, freedom to do what we please which may mean days filled with travel for some or golfing for others. Perhaps spending more time with loved ones and grandchildren now that you have more free time.

Sounds nice, doesn’t it? When it comes to planning for retirement we often fixate on the financial logistics. But so many people spend the majority of their time focusing on allotting enough money to retire, that we haven’t given much thought at all to what to actually do once we’ve retired.

It may not sound like deciding how you’re going to enjoy your time upon retirement would require a lot of planning, but it’s more than you’d think. Most of us plan on playing it by ear, and doing whatever we want whenever we feel like it once we finally retire. Even though that kind of freedom sounds nice, this doesn’t necessarily guarantee a great retirement.

I want to make sure you have the best retirement you can, so here are my 3 top tips to a happy retirement.

PLAN: Like I said, whether you’re single or married, many of us default to the “play it by ear” philosophy when we think about retirement. We say we’ll figure it out when we get there, as long as the finances are figured out. But planning will help you live a happy retirement.

Don’t make this mistake. There are expenses that come with this new lifestyle, that you didn’t necessarily have while you were working – and you need to plan for them. Consider:

•  Prices of different housing options

•  Travel

•  Health insurance

•  New hobbies

Waiting until right before you retire to consider  these expenses can be a real headache. But planning ahead and getting your ducks in a row beforehand will help you enjoy every minute of retirement. And that’s what we want! You deserve it.

STAY ENGAGED: All too often people retire from their career and plan to sit at home and do nothing in general. This is fun for a few months until the “vacation” is over and boredom sets in.

In Tim Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Work Week, he discusses taking mini-retirements throughout your life as opposed to waiting to fully retire. While not all of us have the freedom to do this, much of his advice still applies to retirement. In his book he says, “The question you should be asking isn’t, “What do I want?” or “What are my goals?” but “What would excite me?””

What excites you? Is it contributing to your community? Traveling the world? Learning? Find something that ignites a fire for you, and do that!

I often encourage people who are considering retirement to switch to part-time before they fully retire so they can ease into the retirement lifestyle. This will give you time to identify and plan activities to stay engaged and focused so you can enjoy a happy retirement.

TRAVEL EARLY: We all have our idea of a dream vacation. Whether it’s a cruise through the Caribbean, a tour through Europe, or hiking Machu Picchu, I advise you to take your dream vacation early on in retirement.

Our health is not guaranteed. So take the opportunity to travel while you can, and put off activities you can do when you’re older for a later time. Take that trip you’ve always dreamed about to avoid regret.

I’m not saying you need to have all the i’s dotted and t’s crossed at this moment in time, but it definitely requires a little thought ahead of time to ensure you have a happy retirement. Don’t solely focus on the finances, focus on what you’ll do too!

Let’s Plan Your Happy Retirement Together

Are you saving for retirement? Need a little guidance? Let’s meet! I’m a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor℠, which means I’m certified to help you through all stages of the retirement planning process. Let me guide you to your happy retirement.