The 4 Secrets To A Happy Retirement

Everyone may have a unique vision for their ideal retirement, but each scenario likely shares a common theme—joy and happiness. 

You’ve worked so hard to save and plan for this new phase of your life, so how can you make the most of it? While your finances play a role, they are far from the only element that secures a fulfilling retirement plan. 

Today, we are going to explore our four secrets to live your retirement with value, purpose, and meaning. 

Align your money and your lifestyle.

Retirees greatest fear? Outliving their savings. To allay this concern, start putting your nest egg in context. While saving and investing in retirement accounts and beyond has been mechanical for many years, as you near retirement, it’s essential to view your savings as a vehicle to support your lifestyle.  This change might be thought of as a switch from asset accumulation to asset decumulation.   

Your lifestyle has everything to do with how much money you need to save for retirement. A couple who wants to maintain their current lifestyle and even splurge on a nice vacation or two will likely need a bigger cushion than someone who plans on cutting their spending and taking on a part-time job. There is no right or wrong way to structure your lifestyle, but your savings plan must be aligned with that vision. 

As you’re daydreaming about your retirement lifestyle, think through these questions.

  • Where do you see yourself living? 
    • Does it require a move? Will, you split your time between a couple of places? How will housing and travel costs factor in?
  • How will you spend your time?
    • Building a new routine is perhaps the most challenging part of crafting your retirement plan. Retirement is so much more than relaxing on a beach or jetting off to see the world. It’s about finding ways to bring purpose and fulfillment into your daily life. For you, that might be weekly volunteering, embarking on a passion project, babysitting your grandchildren, working part-time, etc. 

When it comes to saving the right amount for you, it’s less about outliving your savings and more about saving enough to sustain your lifestyle. Until you start to think about your savings in context, you might not realize what you want your lifestyle to look like and the savings required to support it.

Prioritize your health.

Healthcare is among the most critical aspects for retirees. With nearly 15% of your retirement budget funneled to health-related expenses, proper planning can go a long way. There are several ways to make your health a top priority in your golden years. Let’s take a look at a few. 

Ensure easy access to quality healthcare.

When looking for a place to live, evaluating the quality of the healthcare system should be high on the list. Are there good hospitals in your area and are they close by? You might dream of living in a small mountain cabin, secluded and tucked away from town, but if it’s an hour away from proper care, it might not be the best place to settle down. You also need to think about any current health conditions, and if you need to find a specialist in your area. 

If you’re splitting your time between a couple of places, it’s imperative to review your Medicare coverage. If you have an Advantage plan, for example, you are likely restricted to receiving care in a certain area unless it’s an emergency. Original Medicare, on the other hand, would enable you to go to any doctor that accepts Medicare.

Now is also a good time to look into purchasing a long-term care insurance policy. Most advisors recommend buying coverage in your mid-50s to mid-60s to find good coverage with reasonable premiums.

Stay active.

Retirees who live an active lifestyle are shown to be both happier and healthier than those who don’t stay active. Maintaining your physical health can promote strength and balance, which helps ward off costly injuries like falls. 

The CDC estimates that one in four people over 65 fall each year, and falls can have several consequences. Some people experience major injuries that limit their movement and social activities, and others simply become more cautious in their efforts to prevent another one. Regular exercise can empower retirees to live as healthy as possible, and the healthier you are, the better you feel. 

There are several ways to stay active in retirement from daily walks to playing tennis to practicing yoga to swimming and so much more. Find an activity you enjoy doing and make it part of your routine. Activities also come with a social component and can help you meet new people. Before you start something new, be sure you consult your doctor as they will likely have good recommendations that take your specific needs into account. 

Take care of your mental health.

Your mental health is just as critical as your physical health. Regular exercise can boost your mood and improve the way you feel about yourself. It also keeps your brain alert and sharp. It’s incredible how consistent activity can touch several areas of your life from sleep to stress and more. Do yourself a favor and make exercise a habit for a healthy and happy retirement. 

It’s also important to challenge your mind. Keep yourself mentally engaged to stay sharp and expand your horizons. Here are a couple of ideas to remain mentally alert:

  • Read a new book that’s been on your list.
  • Try out a new activity.
  • Engage in good conversation.
  • Lean into your creative side.

All of these activities can engage your mind and open you up to new experiences. 

Develop and sustain meaningful relationships.

No matter your personality, likes and dislikes, or hobbies, people require human connections. Finding, forming, and sustaining relationships in retirement is a crucial way to find happiness. A lack of connection can make people feel isolated, a feeling many have experienced in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Being separated from family and friends can harm your quality of life. Adults with a rich and fulfilling social life are even expected to live longer than those who are more isolated. Where can you develop these relationships?

  • Current network of family and friends
  • Volunteering
  • Part-time work
  • Community activities
  • Church or place of worship
  • Hobbies

Once you start looking, there are several ways to form new connections in retirement. It does take effort, intentionality, and courage to form new relationships, but they will add depth and richness to your retirement experience.

Fill your life with purpose.

Everyone wants to live a life that matters and retirees need to be extra tuned into the way that they find meaning and fulfillment in their lives. A life of purpose comes from spending your time, talents, and resources on your values. For you that might be family, community, spirituality, etc. 

There are so many ways to fill your days with meaning, so take the time to find out what that looks like for you. 

A happy retirement is found by living your life according to your goals and values. It’s our goal to help you use your resources to construct an engaging and fulfilling retirement plan. Are you ready to take your retirement plan up a notch? Schedule a call with our team today

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