The thought of your retirement years is both exciting and nerve-wracking. It is exciting because it means finally settling down and enjoying the fruits of your many years of labor. On the other hand, it is nerve-wracking because you are leaving behind a lifestyle you have always known.
One thing is for sure: you are meant to live your retirement years to the fullest. But you may ask: how does one even do that, though? We have a number of ideas on how you can approach your retirement in a way that lets you prioritize the things you want to while staying healthy.
Do a Preliminary Check
Do not immediately dive into your retirement activities without checking if you are financially, mentally, and physically capable of taking on the challenges involved in it. Take time to do these to make sure you are prepared for retirement.
- Ensure that you have the financial capacity to pursue your interests.
This is arguably the least enjoyable part of going into retirement. You must sit down and map out your current financial situation with your accountant or financial advisor.
Have you fully paid your home loans, student loans, and other debts? Do you have enough money in your retirement savings account? How about your emergency fund?
Remember that not even retirement is a time to throw caution to the wind and simply spend every cent of your hard-earned money. It still requires an assessment of what you can realistically do and preparation for possible emergencies down the line.
- Consult your family, friends, and physician.
It is important to speak with your spouse or partner about your plans and goals for your retirement years. Have an honest conversation to find out if your wants align with each other. If they do not, then discuss further to come to a conclusion that aligns both your goals or leads you to an agreeable compromise.
Speak with your children, too. Allow them to voice their concerns and questions and see how you can address these as you retire. It can get stressful but remind yourself that your children only have your best interests at heart, and they want you to be safe.
Finally, do not neglect your doctor’s checkups. Retirement age naturally brings in more health concerns, so stay on top of your prescriptions and recommended activities to be in good physical shape.
- Establish a healthy routine.
Aside from following your doctor’s instructions, you also need to be intentional about staying healthy. Do not retreat into a sedentary lifestyle just because you have now retired.
First, maintain a balanced diet. If you have dietary restrictions due to a condition or illness, put reminders on your fridge to make sure you avoid these foods when you get groceries or order food from restaurants.
Next, have a regular workout routine. Keep in mind any mobility issues you have and consult your doctor first to know what kinds of exercises are safe for you to do.
Do Things that Keep You Looking Forward
With retirement sometimes comes feelings of depression and anxiety. A sense of loss can occur with leaving a job you have had for many years, which can make starting over challenging. There’s a couple of ways to stay excited about life.
- Maintain relationships with loved ones.
It is the people that we keep close to us that truly make life meaningful. During your retirement years, maintain strong ties with the most important people in your life, whether it is your immediate family or your longtime group of friends.
No matter what they say, it is never too late to build new connections. Make friends with your neighbors or even join a volunteer group to meet new friends while serving the people in your community.
Loneliness and isolation do not have to come with retirement. Stay social and create friendships with the people around you.
- Keep learning new things.
Learning also does not have to stop at retirement. In fact, it is the perfect time to try something new because you do not have the setback of juggling these creative pursuits with work anymore.
Take classes offered by experts and neighbors in your area and learn to create something with your hands. If you have always wanted to dance, take dance classes (after consulting your doctor). Let yourself discover new interests or focus on old ones.
Sure, retirement is a time for rest and relaxation, but that does not mean it should lack challenge. Remember: stay mobile, stay motivated, and stay healthy.