Part of the HOME, HEALTH & YOU Series
Whether you have already retired, are preparing to do so in the next few years, or are in the peak of your working career, it’s always smart to consider your options, and make decisions that will protect you as you age. More people are working toward the goal of retiring early, too, before the traditional retirement age in the 60’s.
So with that in mind, the question is, are you preparing for retirement? My response is, I’m working on it, with a lot yet to do!
Leaving work behind should be one of the most freeing and exhilarating experiences of your life, with new doors opening and new experiences to look forward to. However, with economic uncertainties, money not stretching as far and the propensity to live in the present rather than saving for the future, retirement can look a bit scary (like a big, black hole!)
When it’s time to retire, there are a number of important considerations. Some are more lifestyle related and may be short term or even immediate. You have the opportunity to engage in new hobbies, possibly do some traveling, or other exciting things that you haven’t had the chance to embark upon while working nine til five every day.
Down the road there may the decisions of where you are going to live and the potential need for additional care. These can require significant expenditures. Right now I’m looking at long term care insurance, because in my early 60’s I know that it’s a ‘now or never’ for me in terms of affordability.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways of preparing for retirement as well as the activities and adventures that may await us when we reach the goal.
Preparing for Retirement
The most significant aspect of waving goodbye to full time employment is knowing where your money will come from to pay the bills, your mortgage and fund disposable income.
You may have invested in a buoyant 401(k), or are anticipating a retirement lump sum that you can invest, and hopefully, there is a savings fund that you have been accruing.
If ‘all of the above’ does not apply to your investment portfolio, today is the best day to start! Even if it’s just a small amount each week, at least it is something. And if you’re young, that small amount will add up over time.
If you have some time ahead of you to invest, and a savings account seems a little too mundane, consider a foray into the world of property development, cryptocurrency or stocks and shares. These investments are riskier for sure, so be smart about what you do, and always seek the advice of a professional. Go easy and take tentative steps, starting small and learning the Forex trade, for example.
Whatever you do, do it now! If you are in your midlife years, like me, you’ve probably already noticed that time marches on, and more quickly every year.
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Releasing some of your savings to embark on new experiences is an exciting prospect. It might involve a vacation or two, or more. Where in the world do you want to visit?
Perhaps you’re keen on seeing the Northern Lights in Iceland. Maybe you want to take a trek through the Inca Trail in Peru. Or perhaps you want to spend the wintery months sunning yourself on the white sandy beaches of southern Florida. Now is the time plan for those dreams, to turn them into a reality.
Life in Retirement
When you retire, you may be struck by the amount of free time you have. Sitting all day indoors watching TV might not be your thing, and it is really not the healthiest of past times, so ensure that you utilize your social circle.
Head out for dinner, invite friends over, go to the movies and enjoy leisurely walks in the park. The benefits spending time outside are immense and really crucial to our health.
Make sure that you keep your mind alert and keep challenging your brain. You might be a big fan of board games, crosswords or sudoku so keep mentally sharp by doing them.
Consider taking up a new hobby to broaden your horizons. If you set a goal of being more physically active, don’t feel like you have to train for a marathon down at the gym. Instead, join a beginner yoga or pilates class.
Perhaps you fancy learning a new language, taking up a musical instrument or heading to an art class. Don’t just think about it…do it!
Right now, you might be a fit and healthy thirty, forty or fifty something. However, there may come a time (far, far down the road, of course!) when the odd niggle becomes a little more chronic, and you realize that age has caught up with you.
If and when this happens, you may have to consider your living arrangements. Your home is your castle, and the thought of moving from it can be terrifying.
Don’t feel like you have to surrender all of your independence. This website looks at assisted living where caregivers can come to your home regularly to ensure that you are managing well. They may come to help with cooking or simply to ensure you are taking your medication. If you can still make a cup of tea, are of a sound mind, and you can take care of your everyday needs, you may be more than capable of remaining within your own home.
Alternatively, there may come a time when you do need more help. Even though we don’t like to think about giving up our homes, it may be the safest and wisest decision for your own well being. Plan ahead and consider the independent living options in your community, or in the area where your children reside. Don’t wait until the time is upon you and then have to make a hasty decision.
Hopefully, by planning ahead and making wise investment decisions, your retirement years will be full of life, adventure and many happy memories!
HOME, HEALTH & YOU is a series of posts that cover a variety of personal improvement, health, fashion and home decor topics. They include helpful resources, tips and advice. I hope you enjoy them!