Retirement is something some of us really look forward to, feeling that we have earned the chance to enjoy the rest of our lives, spending time with the grandchildren and doing the things we love. Others absolutely dread it, feeling that they are not prepared – financially and emotionally – or that they will be bored for years to come. Regardless of whether you love it or loathe it, it is highly likely that you will retire at some point. Hence, you need to make sure that you are ready, mentally and financially, to ensure that you can actually enjoy this next stage in your life. To achieve this, there are six things you need to ask yourself, leading to practice tips that will make sure your financial security is sorted out properly.
1. Are You Ready?
A lot of people who are old enough to retire choose to continue to work. This can be for a variety of reasons, including wanting to keep health insurance, or needing the money. However, most people do it because they like their colleagues and they like their job. Hence, when you approach retirement age, you need to ask yourself whether you are ready to give up your professional life, with all the pros and cons that this move will bring.
2. What Will You Do?
The age at which you can retire is 65 and, on average, men still live for 17.7 more years after that. Women live even longer, with 20.3 more years after 65 on average. So, if you do retire at 65, you can spend a long time doing nothing. Really doing noting is bad for you. It will leave you bored and lonely. Hence, you need to think about some of the things that you want to do during your retirement. Try to find something that you have a talent for, or that matches your experience and skills. For instance, you could coach a little league team, teach at community colleges, volunteer for a charity you care about, produce art, write a book, or anything else. It is important that you do this to keep your mind occupied, and also to have social connections. Your social capital is incredibly important if you want to remain happy. It is no surprise, therefore, that many people who retire suddenly join social clubs like the Kiwanis, the Rotary, or the Lions. Doing so means you will get to make new friends, but that you also start to take part in various activities that matter to you. This is a rewarding experience that will make you a lot happier overall.
3. How Will Your Life Change?
What you will find is that, when you retire, a completely new stage of your life starts. Suddenly, you will be in control of what you do and when you do it. If you suddenly feel like having a beer in the morning, or going to the cinema early in the afternoon, you can. You can also choose to sit on your couch in your dressing gown for a few days as you watch a golf tournament. You have the time for anything you want to, and you can spend it any way you want. You could pick up a new language, learn to play an instrument, or do anything else, at a time that is convenient for you. This is something that some people find hard to adjust to, as they are so used to having a specific and set routine every day.
4. What Will Your Children Do?
When you retire, it is likely that you will suddenly start to spend a lot more time with your children again. In fact, they may become your lifeline to a range of services, including medical ones. Hence, try to think about where you live, and how close that is to your own children. This is really useful for transportation needs. Of course, it isn’t just about convenience either. Your children, and particularly your grandchildren, are likely to give you a lot of happiness over the years, and being able to play a part in their life is incredibly rewarding. Make sure you let them know just how important they are for you as well.
5. How Will You Deal with the Disadvantages?
Unfortunately, nothing lasts forever, including life. As you age, people around you will, unfortunately, start dying, and you must learn to cope with that. You have to also be realistic about this, particularly if you have a spouse. One of you will die first, and you need to treasure the time that you have together properly. Build memories that can last you for the rest of your life so that when your spouse passes away, you will have only happy things to look back on. Again, this is why it is important for you to build relationships with friends and with your children and grandchildren as well, as they will provide you with your happiness once people around you start to die.
6. Can You Pay for Retirement?
The biggest question is whether you can afford to retire at all. You need to calculate exactly what you have coming in, in terms of benefits, pensions, savings accounts, and so on, and then deduct all your expenses. It is likely that you will have to make a few cutbacks here and there, such as downsizing your home. If you find that you really can’t afford to retire, you may need to work a little longer to enable you to further increase your savings and.
There are certain phases in a person’s life. Starting with childhood, you then enter adulthood and have your own children. A new phase starts when those children leave the parental home, and have their own children. The final phase is your retirement, and it should be one of the happiest phases of all. When you do eventually pass away, it should be with a smile on your face and the ultimate knowledge that you had a life worth living.