While retirement sounds euphoric, for many individuals the absence of routine and demand creates a lack of purpose, provides no measure of accomplishment, and cultivates a sense of apprehension, anxiety, and fear. Often the “what next..” principal kicks in and the way a person deals with their newly acquired free time may mean the difference between enjoying years of gratifying, fulfilling retirement or enduring a life of solitude, depression and regret.
Listed are nine practices that help support a productive, happier retirement life.
1. FINANCIAL FREEDOM
By the time an individual retires from daily employment enough money should be saved to provide for their needs for the rest of their life. Financial considerations certainly predict the timing and relative lifestyle of retirement. Smart money and personal behavior determine a comfortable, enjoyable existence. Lack of economic resources or irresponsible spending can result in the “gold” of the golden years turning to rust.
Discuss an annual budget with a qualified financial planner. Calculate total monthly income (Social Security, 401 k, IRA, investment returns, savings). Deduct total monthly expenses (mortgage/rent, utilities, insurance, health care, food, clothes, transportation, and entertainment). Be realistic and pad expenses to allow for unexpected variables. It is important to adjust the retirement lifestyle to fit within the budget. It will be impossible to sail into happily ever after while drowning in debt.