With a bit of planning, you can find meaning and purpose for this stage of life.
While we’re in the daily grind of working for a living, we visualize life after retirement as happy, relaxing and stress-free. However, as retirement draws closer, without a plan for life after retirement, many retirees find themselves feeling vaguely unfulfilled and panicked at the reality of what lies ahead.
Here’s four steps to take to ensure you’re ahead of the game in finding peace and enjoyment in your golden years.
1. Make a Will
This doesn’t have to be as depressing as it sounds! Your will tells everyone what should happen to your money, possessions and property after you die (AKA your ‘estate’). If you don’t leave a will, the law decides how your estate is passed on – and this might not be in line with your wishes. You will need to ask a trusted someone to carry out your final wishes as executor of the will. By making a will early on, you have one less worry on your mind.
2. Get Reading
Hitting the books is just as powerful for pursuing a passion in a career as it is for finding your meaning for life after retirement. Some suggestions are:
- Happy Retirement: The Psychology of Reinvention
- Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
- The Five Minute Journal: A Happier You in 5 Minutes a Day by Intelligent Change
- Tax-Free Retirement: 10th Anniversary Edition. Get this FREE from CKS Summit Group here.
For a full list of self-help retirement books, click here.
3. Take Care of Your Finances
Organizing your finances will make the transition into retirement easier to manage. It is never too early to start thinking about and saving for retirement. In fact, the earlier you start, the better. However, you can still start saving even if you think it is a little late.
To save successfully, you have to earn more and spend less. Unfortunately it’s not always that straight forward. From 401(k)s to Roth IRAs, and healthcare costs to asset allocations; tackling the ins-and-outs of retirement income planning can be overwhelming. This is where a retirement planner is an excellent way to help you figure out if you are financially prepared for life after retirement.
4. Set Retirement Goals
“The happiest retirees include those with a strong sense of purpose”, says Catherine Collinson, president of the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies. You don’t need to set up a new business or climb Everest. Your goals could involve seeing friends, setting aside time to see your kids or to babysit your grandkids, taking a class, or learning a new skill.
Among the happiest retirees are those who never really retire; They may have changed to a different occupation that may even be a part-time position, but they still work. So why not why not turn a passion into a small business like a bakery or an online clothing store? Or you could even get a diploma and become a counselor. Whatever occupation makes you happy go for it.
Your retirement is a blank slate so it’s important to have a reason to get up in the morning and find something that will propel you forward.
What does your dream retirement look like? Take action today to make it a reality.