Walking away from your life in the career world can be an intimidating thought for many people. After all, you likely spent 40+ years working your job or various jobs; the thought of leaving that for a life of leisure without having to clock in day after day can be a huge adjustment. And that’s before you even consider the financial concerns that come along with retirement.
That’s why it’s good to take a moment to stop and make a plan. What will you do to make sure that you live out retirement in ease? We’re here to help. Check out our 5 tips to help retirees make the right choices and set themselves on a comfortable path for retirement.
The first step in having a fulfilling retirement is to ensure that you have the financing you need before you leave your job for good. Securing financing can be a difficult problem for many retirees, so if you have the time now, it’s important to start thinking about it as early as possible.
Many sources suggest having at least 1 million dollars in your retirement savings before leaving your job behind. While this is a great goal to have, it might not be possible for everyone. It’s wise to at least have enough to cover a decade or more of monthly expenses, however.
If you do not have sufficient retirement savings to consider leaving your job when you’d like to, don’t worry. There are other options. HECM loans – commonly called reverse mortgages – allow you to convert your home equity into retirement funding. You can use a handy online reverse mortgage calculator to get a sense of the amount you’re likely to make if you apply for a reverse mortgage.
Make a budget
Budgeting is an important skill to have throughout life, but it becomes especially important during retirement. Why? Because, unlike during your career years, where you might more easily be able to expect raises from work or money from side projects, many retirees live on a fixed income.
That makes it critical that you carefully manage the money that you are bringing in, and that you precisely plan how much money you’re expecting to be able to spend on various daily, weekly, and monthly costs.
Sit down and sort your various expenses into categories that make sense for you, like utilities, food, entertainment, clothing, etc. Once you’ve fully sorted all of these expenses, estimate how much money you regularly spend in each area each month. Once you’ve done this, you’ll also gain insight into how much you ideally want to spend each month. (Maybe you discover that you’re overspending a bit on clothes, for instance.)
Budgeting is helpful because it both gives you more control over your finances and gives you directly actionable insights into how you should change course if you do find that you’re not managing your finances in an ideal way.
Make a plan for yourself
In addition to planning how you’ll spend your money, it’s also wise to make a plan about how you plan to spend your time. For many retirees, the excess time you have in the day without a job to clock in to makes retirement overwhelming.
Before clocking out on your last day, sit down and make a list of things you want to do with your newfound free time. Maybe it’s starting a new hobby, or maybe it’s finally backpacking in Europe. This is your time to get creative!
Connect with loved ones
Something many people struggle to find time to do during their working years is connect with loved ones. Between long hours at work, overtime, and all the hassles of day to day life, finding time to spend with people you care about often falls by the wayside. Remember to allocate some of your time in retirement to doing that. Both you and your loved ones will cherish the memories.
Remember to enjoy
Lastly, keep in mind that this is your time. You can do with it whatever you please! Live life to the fullest, enjoy the fruits of your labor, and try to soak up as much joy as you can. After all, you’ve earned it!
Image Credits: istockphoto.com
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