As you retire, the door closes on one stage of your life and a new door opens up to a sea of opportunities for you to consider. Design the retirement that you desire by taking time to think about the things in life that are of most value to you. Plan your new beginning around those things. Doing so will take time and energy, but will be well worth it as you begin to enjoy the stage of life known as retirement.
Part of any retirement plan is a solid understanding of your financial situation. Consult with a financial planner, banker, or accountant for assistance in formulating a plan that will carry you through your retirement years. Experts say you should have 70 to 80% of your income to maintain the standard of living you had as a working individual. Adjustments need to be made for inflation and for possible increased medical costs.
No matter how you decide to spend your retirement years, maintaining good health as you age should be a priority. Make exercise and good nutrition a part of your retirement plan and take care not to abuse alcohol or drugs.
Your retirement plan will be as individual as you are. Make sure that your plan complements that of your spouse or partner so you are not at odds in your retirement expectations. Think about your life and answer the following questions:
- What have you always wanted to do but haven’t had time for?
- When has your life felt the most complete?
- What activities have given you the most satisfaction?
- What talents would you like to investigate or develop further?
- Do you have life goals that you haven’t achieved? Are they still important to you?
- Is community service or volunteerism something that is of interest to you?
- How will you include family and friends in your plan?
- Where do you want to live in retirement?
- Are there hobbies that you would like to pursue?
- Do you want to go back to school?
Be honest with yourself as you find your personal answers to these questions. Once you define what you want from your retirement, you can make a plan to get there. It has been said that the retirement years are the best years of your life. Planning carefully for them will help make that a reality for you.