For many, retirement seems like a two-edged sword: it gives you plenty of leisure time, but for most of us who’ve spent the past 40 years working, we aren’t really sure what to do with all that leisure time. Preparing for retirement is about more than just saving money. It’s also about preparing yourself mentally for this next stage of life.
#1. Make a Bucket List – Don’t wait until you retire to start thinking of what you want to do with your spare time. Start making a bucket list a few years before retirement and write down all the things you would like to do, including hobbies, sports, and vacation destinations. Add in items whenever you think of them and soon enough you’ll have a lengthy bucket list.
#2. Keep up with Your Retirement Plan – You should already have a retirement plan in place by the time you get close to retirement. Monitor it closely in your final working years to make sure you have enough money that you think you will need. If you still aren’t sure you can afford retirement, maybe consider semi-retirement and supplement your retirement plan with part-time income.
#3. Make Friends Outside of Work – Because we work so long at the office, our work colleagues often become our friends. When we quit work, we often feel isolated because we left our friends behind. It’s crucial for retirees, especially single retirees, to start making friends outside of work. Try getting a head start on some of the items on your bucket list and see if you can find like-minded individuals who enjoy the same things you do. In fact, when it comes to happiness in retirement, findings show that a retiree’s social circle has a bigger impact than monetary worth, according to “Consumer Reports.”
#4. Spend More Time With Your Spouse – Many retirees worry about how their spouse will think about them once they retire and have spare time around the house. Try to ease this issue by taking on a household duty you didn’t have time for during your working years, like cooking dinner or doing yardwork, so that you still feel like both of you are contributing to the household.
#5. Watch Your Health – Health plays a major factor in happiness during retirement. Take the extra time you now have to improve your health by doing fitness activities like walking, learning how to cook low-fat foods, or how to manage stress through yoga classes.
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