Some people approach retirement with eager anticipation. But in recent years, there are those who would describe their feelings with trepidation. Naturally there is the money issue. But often in spite of being assured by their financial advisor that they will be fine, clients experience some anxiety about what lies ahead.
Here are some questions that can help pre-retirees create their own strategies for an exceptional life.
Do you have a plan for staying engaged?
For many, their work provided regular contact with the outside world. Absent that, do you have another outlet or activity that will get you out and around other interesting people?
Do you have a plan for staying healthy?
Mens sana in corpore sano is a Latin phrase, usually translated as “a healthy mind in a healthy body“. The phrase is widely used in sporting and educational contexts to express the theory that physical exercise is an important or essential part of mental and psychological well-being. Keep in mind that your body is the house that your mind lives in. As we advance in years, maintaining health becomes critical in our enjoyment of living.
Do you have a plan to protect your time?
Who doesn’t want to ditch the alarm clock? Isn’t it nice to be able to have the whole day ahead of you to do whatever you want? The danger is if you don’t have a plan, you might find someone else has a plan for you. In some cases that could be fun, but it can be a slippery slope. You need to know what YOU want to do and make sure that others know your plans as well. Time is precious, we cannot manufacture time; we cannot buy time. Protect it.
Do you want to continue working but at a reduced pace? How do you make it so?
Some people love their job and their co-workers. They don’t want to suddenly cut that off, but they also don’t want to put in as many hours. Maybe they want less time on the road, or shorter workdays, or fewer workdays. There could be ways to work that out with your current employer, or perhaps by becoming a consultant.
Work has been my life, I don’t have hobbies. What will I do if I retire?
This is part of the control of your time issue, as well as the issue of staying engaged. There are myriad ways to stay active and busy. You can start a hobby at any age. Volunteer work is also a great opportunity to be with people. Find your passion and then find a way to make it a part of your life.
Will being around more put a strain on your relationship.
Many stay-at-home spouses have a daily routine that has been established for years. Add a retired spouse with nothing to do and that could spell trouble. Consider the wife who returned from grocery shopping to find her husband rearranged all her kitchen cabinets!
When I was working I didn’t worry about budgeting. I don’t want to live on one now.
On a recent trip to St. Petersburg and the Baltic, passengers were unfailingly checking the daily stock markets. They were worried about their investments. But Ray Loewe, The Luckiest Guy in the World, never did. That’s because he continues to work even at age 75. He knows there are lots of places to go and things to see. Work is the wild card that makes the impossible, possible for him.
If I move to a new geographic location, how do I rebuild my social community?
Florida and Arizona are filled with retirees escaping their frigid states. But before packing up the moving van, consider what you might be leaving behind besides the snow and ice. More than likely, you’ve built a strong network of friends and family over the years. Despite assurances that those you’re leaving behind will come to visit, daily life often gets in the way of good intentions. On the other hand, do you want to be the hotel for guests who use your home as a base of operations to go do other things?
If my social life revolved around my job, what will I do now?
It doesn’t have to end just because you stop showing up every day. But you need to make a plan and stick to it. Relationships take work.
I invite you to explore these retirement issues and more on my bi-weekly podcast, Changing the Rules. Find it on your favorite podcast site or go to Changing The Rules.
by Raymond D. Loewe