Retirement should be a time to relax and enjoy your spouse, your family and your quality, work-free time. It is a significant life change though, and you need to be prepared for this shift to avoid stress and make the most of it. So what do you need to do to ensure you have the retirement you have always dreamed about?
Manage Your Money
Money is one of the most prominent sources of stress throughout most people’s lives. To avoid worrying about money when you retire, start planning as early as possible. Start by estimating your annual budget and assess this against your savings, 401K and any government entitlements.
If you have any financial concerns, then you need to look at ways to increase your income and savings. One option is to use the equity in your home. Equity release is suitable if you want a short-term quantity of cash to supplement your income, or if you need a lump sum for home renovations or medical treatment. Alternatively, look at other ways to bring in some liquid assets. You could rent out a room in your house on Airbnb, become an Uber driver or turn your crafting hobby into a moneymaker by selling things on Etsy.
Practice Living on Your Retirement Budget
When you have worked out your retirement living expenses, try living on that amount for a few years before you stop work to see how it feels. Many people underestimate their annual costs when they retire because they will no longer be commuting or buying work clothes, but fail to account for the extra time they will have. There are some online calculators available to help you plan your budget. Alternatively, you can meet with a financial planner to discuss your personal circumstances in more detail.
Check Your Health Insurance
Keep in mind that your medical requirements change as your body slows down. If you have private health insurance, double check which government support or discounts you will be entitled to after retirement and then review your private health insurance inclusions to confirm that your cover is right for you. That hip replacement cover that didn’t seem so important when you were thirty might come in handy at 65!
Set Goals for What You Want
When you finally do retire, you may find yourself with more time than you know what to do with. To avoid feeling like you are at a loose end, have a good think about how you want to spend your time when you stop working. You may take the opportunity to spend more time with your family, or volunteer for a local community organization. Maybe you want to go back to school and study something that has always interested you, or learn a foreign language. Set some personal goals and some joint objectives with your husband or wife. This will give you a sense of direction and purpose.
The world is full of unique and fascinating cultures and sights just waiting to be explored. If there are places that you have always wanted to visit, either locally or overseas, there is no time like retirement. If you are on a strict budget, you could look at buying or renting a caravan. House sitting is also a fun option. Alternatively, if you have friends living in exotic locations, you could suggest a house swap!
Retirement is the time to relax and do what you love. So, make sure you have plans in place to ensure that you can enjoy it to the fullest.