When you’re getting close to hitting your desired retirement age, you might be feeling a variety of emotions. Maybe you’re excited about the prospect of all that free time you’ll finally have available, allowing you the ability to travel across the country and experience new things, or simply just work on perfecting your golf swing. Or, maybe you’re feeling a bit anxious about walking away from a steady paycheck and a daily routine, and aren’t sure if you’ll be able to afford the lifestyle you’ve been looking forward to all these years.
As you start your retirement planning, it’s normal to feel all of the above when it comes to moving forward with this next chapter in your life. Preparing for retirement means you need to be ready not only for the financial changes coming your way, but also the social and emotional changes, too.
Of course, the first step of retirement planning is to evaluate your financial needs. Know your numbers; how much you can expect to get from Social Security, for instance, and unless you’re already 65 and eligible for Medicare, how much private health insurance will cost you on a monthly basis. If you haven’t already, you should also figure out your monthly budget and figure out if you’ll have enough income to cover all your bills. Some seniors find that semi-retirement, or picking up a part-time job, can help provide the financial security they need until they can transition into full retirement.
It’s important to be emotionally ready to retire, too, as retirement living can be an entirely different lifestyle from what you’re accustomed to. Or, maybe you’re overwhelmed with all the possibilities that now are ahead of you and aren’t sure what activities you’ll want to take on first! Set some goals for this new lifestyle; make a list of activities you’ve always wanted to do and consider how much time you spend on them now. You need to be somewhat realistic about these goals to keep from getting disappointed in yourself. For example, maybe you’ve always dreamed about writing the next great American novel, but to date you’ve never even put pen to paper. That said, retirement can be the perfect time to learn new skills, like playing an instrument or taking classes at a senior center or community college. The main takeaway is to have a plan ready for how you’re going to fill the hours you used to spend working so you don’t get bored or start to feel useless.
Finally, being socially ready to retire is something most older adults may not even think about, but having a support system throughout this major life change is vital to help you adjust to your new lifestyle. Talk to friends and colleagues who have already retired about their experiences with the transition. If you’re retiring before your spouse, consider his or her feelings, too.
When you have a plan and set goals throughout your retirement planning, this stage of life can offer some of the best years ahead of you. You can also start considering downsizing and moving into an active retirement community like Concordia, where you’ll enjoy maintenance-free living and a full spectrum of services and amenities to make life comfortable. Contact us today to schedule a tour!