Ready To Retire: Tips For Preparing Your Next Chapter

Retirement is most certainly not the end. The transition can be financially and emotionally challenging, but it can also be an extremely exciting time. For many seniors, retirement represents the next significant chapter in their lives. That can mean having the space and resources to explore new interests and opportunities. Retirement can also be a wonderful chance to define your life on more personalized terms.

However, the question remains: How does one get ready for such a monumental event? What can you do, in order to better enjoy the benefits of retirement?

From cell phones for seniors, to the importance of taking a fresh attitude to the endeavor of structuring your day-to-day life, there are a lot of things you can do.

Financially Preparing For Retirement

One of the most important things you’ll want to do, when it comes to preparing for retirement, is to get your finances in order. This can seem a little daunting, but it doesn’t have to be.

Get the ball rolling by taking a comprehensive inventory of your current assets. Evaluating your budget means writing out every single instance of your debts and your liabilities. Figure out your savings balance and income stream, as well as your insurance. You should also include any significant financial investments, including vehicles, homes/properties, and anything else with a good deal of value. Some utilize a worksheet to keep track of everything.

Establishing an emergency fund is another good financial step to take. Some experts suggest a nest egg of at least three months’ worth of your overall living expenses. You should also start working on your debts. Going after the ones with the highest interest rates early on can relieve a lot of financial tension in the future.

Finally, look into retirement investments. Such investments can offer a strong supplement to whatever defines your retirement income. We would also suggest at least starting to plan your estate. A fundamental step to enjoying your retirement involves knowing without question that you will not be a financial burden to your loved ones later on. No one likes to think about this step, but it can go a long way towards getting your retirement off to the best start possible.

There are other retirement tips to keep in mind. Obviously, getting ready is not just about making sure you can care for yourself on the money side of things.

Other Tips On Getting Ready For Retirement

When preparing for retirement, it can be easy to just focus on making sure you won’t have to worry about money. While that is naturally important, there are a number of other steps and suggestions that are worth keeping in mind:

  • Emotions can get complicated: For some, retirement means a loss of an identity that was distinctly tied to their career. It can also create concerns about money and other resources. Some even experience depression and anxiety, as they sort through the feelings associated with a dramatic shift in their lives. Knowing these emotions can occur can go a long way towards using your support network, should any of them begin to trouble you.
  • Structuring your day: Having a job means adhering to a fairly specific structure from one day to the next. Retirement puts your structure into a state of upheaval. Making even a basic itinerary for your life post-retirement can offset the anxiety that sometimes comes from such changes.
  • Consider getting another job: This may sound ridiculous, but many seniors find that getting a part-time job, or even starting a very small home business, is a great way to keep busy in retirement. 
  • The value of setting small goals: A career is often defined by one major milestone/accomplishment after another. Retirement doesn’t have to take that away, but it can also be a good idea to build your post-retirement plans on small, manageable goals. At least, this is something you should consider doing in the beginning.
  • Growing friendships, while seeking new ones: Consider asking a friend to meet up for lunch or some other activity, even if it’s only once a week. You can also find out if there are any retirement groups/activities in your area. Even looking for groups on Facebook can yield results that will keep you from becoming too isolated.
  • Downgrading: This can involve a number of possibilities. You can sell your home for something smaller and more manageable. You can eliminate assets/possessions that don’t make sense at this particular stage of your life. You can even look into products that are designed to make things easier for seniors, such as a smart vacuum or senior-centric smartphones.
  • Think about new hobbies: This sounds like standard advice, but it’s important to really appreciate the scope of what this means. What do you honestly want to do with your life? Even reaching back into your past, as a way of considering something you’ve always wanted to try, can set you on an exciting new path.

How To Enjoy Your Retirement

Ultimately, one of the most important things you can do for retirement is give yourself a break. Like any major stage of your life, particularly at the beginning, you don’t have to figure everything out right away. Generally speaking, there is no time limit on when you have to hit that perfect spot in what you wanted to do in life after retiring.

To be sure, you will want to make financial plans and so forth, and you’ll ideally want to do that in pre-retirement, but the rest will come naturally. Keep in mind the tips we have highlighted above. Remember that there are resources and people who can help. Don’t be afraid to tell someone you love that you’re having a hard time with the adjustment to a life without a full-time job. Even something as simple as an old friend reminding you that none of us are defined solely by our careers can do a world of genuine good.

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