It’s never too early to start thinking about retirement.
You may have heard this so many times that it has become cliché, but this isn’t one of those things you can ignore. The sooner you start saving for retirement, the easier you’ll have it in the long run.
The way you think about retirement will vary based on your life stage, so let’s look at where you are now and how that applies to your retirement plan. CONNECTIFY CRACK
In your 20s and 30s
You just got your first job, and people are already talking about retirement. You may not appreciate these conversations now, but you'll be glad for them when you're a little older and have a nice nest egg.
1. Start NOW
Imagine your retirement fund as a snowball that gets progressively larger over time. Your investments combine with interest, and you have more to invest. The snowball gets bigger and bigger. Wealth compounds and grows over time. Take advantage of this and start saving today.
This is one area where procrastination could cost you big. Learn more
why you should start saving for retirement in your 20s.
2. Live Within Your Means
It’s easy to get caught in the trappings of material things, but these things do not define your wealth. Sure, a Louis Vuitton bag may tell your friends you’re raking in the big bucks, but that does nothing for your actual net worth. And isn’t that what really matters?
Try to live a modest life and save what you can. Living within your means now will help you lay a good foundation for your retirement years.
3. Invest Early in Your Financial Education
If you’re going to build an empire, you’ll need to know a thing or two about accumulating wealth. The more you know, the faster you are likely to grow capital.
If you know what you’re doing, you can benefit from virtually any market condition. Here are some resources to help you invest in your financial intelligence.
4. Pick a Retirement Age
Realistically, when do you think you’ll be ready and willing to retire? This question may seem a bit premature, but it’ll help you budget for your future. You can always adjust your retirement date later.
Need some inspiration? Read more on how to pick the optimal retirement age.
5. Hire a Financial Advisor
You don’t need to be rich to hire a financial advisor. These people are in business to help you make the most out of whatever money you have to meet your financial goals. If you can, get some advice about where to save and invest your money for retirement from a professional.
Before you settle on one person, check out this post with ten questions to ask when choosing a financial planner.
6. Think About Your Future
As you plan, be sure to avoid these five mistakes couples make when planning for retirement.
And if you’re retiring as a single person, check out these tips.
7. Plan for Unexpected Expenses
As you start thinking about how much to set aside for retirement, try to plan for every large expense that you may have. What if you need to buy a car or replace your home’s roof? It’s better to be safe than sorry, so allocate some extra money for unforeseen large expenses.
And while you’re planning, have a look at these 17 unexpected expenses you may encounter in retirement.
8. Factor in Health Care Costs
A couple retiring at 65 today can expect to spend about $275,000 over their lifetime on medical expenses including Medicare premiums, co-payments, deductibles and out-of-pocket prescription drug costs. Medicare alone simply isn’t enough. Consider how much it’ll cost to buy additional healthcare insurance or a Medigap policy.
And if you’re planning to retire early, you’ll want to learn more about health insurance options before Medicare.
9. Plan to Have Some Fun
Since you’re being smart and planning early for retirement, you should plan to live the life you want. That means having fun instead of being relentlessly frugal in retirement. As you’re creating your retirement plan, consider the lifestyle you’ll want to live. These things should have a place in your budget.
10. Consider Long-Term Care
Did you know that Medicare doesn’t pay for long-term care? The government only pays for people who are poverty stricken. If you don’t include long-term care in your retirement plans, you may need to consider buying long-term care insurance later.
Many people mistakenly believe that Medicare will pay for long-term care needs, such as a nursing home or home health care. In reality, the government will foot the bill only if you are destitute. If you don’t think you can afford to pay for long-term care needs, consider buying long-term care insurance by your mid-60s.
11. Plan for Longevity
It may seem morbid and depressing to think about the end of your life, but it’s crucial when you’re trying to create a retirement budget. The good news is that people are living longer than they once did, but that’s a bit of double-edged sword. It also means you’ll need to budget more money for retirement. It’s much better to over-plan than it is to outlive your finances.
If you’re unsure where to start, check out this guide on estimating your life expectancy.
12. Think in Terms of Retirement “Salary”
When you’re planning for retirement, try to think in terms of salary over investment. This is a tricky prospect, but as Robert Merton outlines in an article for the Harvard Business review, it can be extremely helpful. When you think in terms of your social security benefits or pension, you’ll think in terms of salary. If you apply the same logic to your retirement investments, you’ll be more likely to have a handle on your money.
A good retirement calculator can also help you figure out how your investments add up.
13. Learn the Difference Between IRA and 401K
You don’t have to choose between these two investment options (you can have both), but you should know the difference. IRAs have more flexibility because 401k plans are offered by employers. There may be greater benefits to a 401k if your employer matches a percentage of your contribution, but you won’t be able to continue investing after you leave that job.
You should be able to roll the 401k balance into an IRA after you leave your job. Learn more about IRAs and 401ks here.
14. Evaluate Roth IRA versus a Traditional IRA
Roth IRAs and traditional IRAs are similar with a few key differences. The main thing you need to know is that you will pay the taxes now instead of later on your investment with a Roth IRA. Traditional IRAs work in reverse. This can be a major benefit for people who expect to be taxed at a higher rate later in life.
Learn more about the differences between Roth IRAs and traditional IRAs here.
15. Estimate Your Social Security Benefit
Social security may not account for much of your retirement income, but it is an important part of planning. Review your social security benefit estimate to figure out how much you’ll receive at the age you plan to start benefits.
You may choose to withdraw social security a few years after your full retirement age to qualify for a delayed retirement credit.
Check out this Social Security benefits calculator to see where you stand.
16. Own Your Investments
Taking inheritance out of the equation, the only way you’re going to acquire wealth is to take responsibly for your own financial future. Own it.
You’re the one who is going to build your own empire, regardless of how large or small it may be. It’s all up to you.
You can do this. And if you need some more encouragement, check out these 31 motivational quotes to drive financial success.
17. Maximize Flexible Spending Accounts
Saving for retirement is all about making the most of what you’ve got. So be sure to take advantage of those flexible spending accounts (FSAs), if your employer offers them. In 2017, your maximum contribution is $2,600 for healthcare and $5,000 for dependent care. Any money you defer into the FSA will help you avoid federal, state and local taxes. You could end up saving thousands a year by maximizing these FSA contributions. Just don’t forget that this is a use-it-or-lose-it kind of deal.
Here are some tips to help you maximize your FSA.
18. Plan For Your Children
Plan for your kids' financial futures now, and you may avoid having to bail them out of sticky situations in the future. These things can really throw a wrench into a person’s retirement plan.
Consider funding a 529 account for college or establishing a small investment account.
19. Plan With Your Spouse
Most couples don’t talk about retirement until it’s upon them. This is a huge mistake. Imagine you want to retire at 58 and your partner is expecting that you’ll both work until 63. You each have your own set of retirement goals, but someone is going to be unhappy in the end. Talk about things like when you’ll retire and how you’d like to spend your time and money during retirement.
If you don’t know how to get the conversation started, consider these seven questions couples should answer before retirement.
20. Stay Out of Debt
Debt is a problem at any point in your life, but it’s a really bad way to start out your financial life. Ideally, you’ll want to live your life without accumulating major debt. Start with healthy habits that will help you live within your means and if you have debt, learn how to pay it off as fast as possible.
In your 40s and 50s+
If you’re in your 40s and haven’t started saving for retirement, it’s not too late. Sure, it’s not as easy now, but it’s still possible. And even if you have a good nest egg, there’s more to be done. At this stage in your life, you should start thinking more seriously about how you plan to spend your retirement years.
21. Consider Downsizing
When you’re young and have a family, you need space. Kids take up a lot of space. But as any empty-nester will tell you, you don’t need all that open air after the kids move out. By downsizing, you can save on housing and utility expenses, and you may even be able to move to a more retirement-friendly area.
Even though you know downsizing is a good idea, it can be hard to let go of stuff. Here are some tips for downsizing that may make the process easier.
22. Talk to Your Spouse About Retirement (Again)
You may have had a preliminary chat about retirement a decade or so ago, but now is a good time to touch base on your goals again. Re-evaluate your financial plan together and talk about any changes you’d like to make. Maybe you have a new dream of touring the country in an RV that you’d like to see come true. You’ll want to make sure you have room in the budget for everything.
Gearing up for that talk? Run through this list of 25 things to do when you retire first. You may find some new inspiration!
23. Learn About the Best Places to Retire
As you’re thinking about retirement, one of the major components is where you’ll live. Many people opt to move to warmer and/or more affordable locations when they retire. If it’s possible for you to relocate now, go for it. It’ll help that nest egg last a bit longer. If not, you should at least be thinking about your next move (if there will be one).
New lists come out every year, but for now, check out this list of best places to retire in 2018.
24. Consider Buying Annuities
Annuities provide a steady income stream for life, so they can be a good retirement choice for people who have maxed out their tax-advantaged retirement accounts.
Check out this guide to learn when it’s a good idea to buy an annuity.
25. Keep Planning for the Future
“Where do you see yourself in five years?” This was a question you got asked a lot in your 20s and 30s, but it's one you should be asking yourself now. The more you plan now, the better off you'll be in the future. The only way to have a happy retirement is to plan for it.
26. Consider Long-Term Care Insurance
Medicare doesn’t cover most long-term care expenses, including nursing homes and home health aides unless you are poverty-stricken. So, you may want to consider getting long-term care insurance in the event that you will need these things.
Just know that there are some pros and cons to long-term care insurance. Do your homework before you land on a policy.
27. Think About Your Mortgage Status
Americans today are much more likely to retire with mortgage debt than ever before, according to 2013 Census Bureau data. But believe it or not, there may be some pros to having a mortgage during retirement, depending on your situation. Check out the pros and cons of paying off your mortgage before retirement to learn more.
28. Reduce Housing Expenses
If downsizing your house isn’t an option, keep in mind that there are other ways to cut housing costs. You may consider home-sharing by renting to a group of friends, getting a reverse mortgage or renting out a room.
Then, in a few years, you’ll be free to downsize and move to one of the best places to retire in the country.
29. Continue Your Financial Education
If you’ve been living paycheck-to-paycheck until now, you are not alone. But there’s still time to up your financial intelligence and start making savvy moves to help save for retirement. A happy retirement is one where you aren’t forced to work, so let’s keep an eye on that goal.
Here are a few more resources on financial planning to boost your financial intelligence.
30. Live a Healthy Lifestyle
Whether you're already fit or on your way to turning your health around, now is the time to get serious. You've made all the fun retirement plans and set aside the cash. Now you have to make sure you'll be around to enjoy it. Staying fit and healthy will also help keep your healthcare expenses down during retirement, so you can have more money to play with.
You’re probably struggling to find time for exercise between work, family and thinking about retirement, so check out these ten easy ways to sneak in a workout.
31. Don’t Stop Budgeting
Your retirement accounts may be on autopilot by now, but that doesn’t mean you should stop budgeting. Now is a tricky time where you really want to be careful to avoid debt. Any debt you accumulate now could follow you into retirement and eat away at your fund.
Keeping a strict budget now will also prepare you for when you are on a fixed income during retirement. Here are some tips to help you stay on track.
32. Pay Off Your Debts
When you planned your retirement fund, you probably weren’t expecting expenses like car or mortgage payments. So, do your best to pay these things off now. If necessary, make extra payments towards the principle to pay off your mortgage on time. Do the same for credit cards and car loans.
Here are ten easy ways to pay off your debt.
33. Get a Four-Legged Best Friend
The results are in: Owning a dog is good for your health and longevity. In fact, one study found that dog owners didn’t visit the doctor as often as people who didn’t own dogs. Get a dog now, and you'll have a companion that may be around well into your retirement years. Just be sure the dog fits into your retirement plan.
34. Consider Delaying Social Security
If you can delay Social Security by a few years, you’ll get more money each month. There’s a Social Security delayed retirement credit that will help further increase your monthly payout. Check out this Social Security retirement calculator to see what your income may look like.
35. Evaluate All Possible Scenarios
When you initially started planning for retirement, you probably thought about “what-if” scenarios you could encounter. But a lot has changed since then. Now is a good time to reevaluate things in an attempt to forecast your financial future. Look at different variations in spending and rates of return to see what could happen if things change between now and retirement. If you’re uncomfortable with the outlook, you want to consider investing more.
Use this retirement calculator to see what would happen in any given scenario.
36. Make Your Money Unavailable
It is go time. This is not a drill. If you don’t save for retirement now, you’re going to be in trouble later. But while you’re saving, life happens. It’s all too easy to “borrow” from retirement funds if the penalties are slim. Put your retirement funds in a place that’s hard to reach.
Among other reasons, IRAs are good retirement options because of the penalties for early withdrawal.
37. Keep Your Long-Term Investments
When you were younger, you were in it for the long haul. Guess what happens now? You’re still reaching for that long-term goal. Now isn’t a time for risky short-term investments. Keep your best long-term investments and start thinking strategically about which to sell in preparation for retirement.
This guide on when selling stocks makes sense may help.
38. Actively Avoid Fraud
You’ve done all the hard work of planning and saving for retirement, imagine some opportunistic so-and-so swooping in and stealing everything now. Older Americans are often more vulnerable to scams, so now is a good time to protect yourself from fraud and learn how to avoid those all-too-common reverse mortgage scams.
39. Smile Because You’ve Made It
You’re only as young as you feel, or so they say. Actually, there is some truth to that old cliché. According to research from Yale University, when older adults think about aging as a positive experience, they function at a higher level and live about 7.5 years longer.
40. Maximize Your Retirement Withdrawals
There’s a right way and a wrong way to withdraw from your retirement assets – if you want to maximize your money. To start, you’ll want to withdraw from taxable accounts before tax-deferred accounts. There are many tricks to maximizing your retirement withdrawals, so this may be an area where you can use professional help. Consider getting guidance from a financial advisor.
41. Prepare for the Worst Markets
As you prepare for retirement, you’ll have to think about cash flow. What will happen when the checks stop coming from your employer? A good rule of thumb is to keep 5 to 10 years of cash in preservation assets like cash or high-quality bonds to ensure you’ll be able to endure a stock market crash.
42. Settle in on a Retirement Date
Not everyone gets to choose their retirement date, but if you can, make the most of it. Plan your retirement date so you’ll have something to look forward to while at work. Everyone dreams of retirement, but now yours is closer to becoming a reality.
And while you’re daydreaming, check out these four tips for a happy retirement.
43. Consider Selling Your Home
Home ownership is rewarding in many ways, but it can also be a lot of work. When you’re thinking about your long-term plan, think about whether you’ll want to manage home repairs in your elder years. If not, you may want to consider downsizing to a condo or small townhome.
Use this retirement downsizing calculator to see how downsizing would impact your financial situation.
44. Consider Moving Near Family
As you get older and start thinking about places to retire, don’t forget about your children. You may want to be in the same city to be close to grandchildren. Or you may want to be close so your children can help you as you get older.
45. Give Your Retirement a Mantra
You've been working towards this moment for your entire adult life. And it's just around the bend. By now, you probably have an idea of what type of retirement you want. Put it in words with a short and quippy motto. Then hang that motto proudly in your office or someplace in your home. Whenever you see those words, you'll remember that retirement is on the horizon.
46. Learn About Reverse Mortgages
You’re not quite ready for a reverse mortgage yet, but now may be a good time to learn more. Unfortunately, scammers have given a bad name to reverse mortgages, but reverse mortgages are actually a good option for some people.
Reverse mortgages are a good option for people who don’t have enough of a retirement fund. They allow homeowners to borrow monthly from the equity of their homes. So, instead of sending a mortgage payment to the bank each month, you get a payment from the bank. The bank recoups its funds after the home is sold.
Learn more about reverse mortgages here.
47. Figure Out if You’re Ready Now
Here comes the big question. Are you actually ready to retire? Take a look at your finances and health insurance plans to determine whether you are financially ready. Then, think about whether you're ready to stop working. Most people wait their whole lives for this moment and then get a bit apprehensive when it comes. It's a major life change, so that's completely normal.
Try this retirement calculator to help you determine whether you’re ready to retire.
48. Get Your Estate Planning in Order
Ideally, you should have your estate planning in order before retirement. This will help ensure that your assets are transferred smoothly upon your death.
A will isn’t always sufficient for estate planning purposes. You may need a more detailed blueprint that outlines who gets what and gives financial resources where necessary.
As you’re planning, be sure to avoid these ten common estate planning mistakes.
49. Daydream About Your Own Retirement
Your life is about to change in a major way. Take some time to daydream about what that means to you. Will you grab a matinee with your honey every Tuesday? Or maybe you'll learn to play the flute. Picture yourself in retirement, and you'll start looking forward to the time more.
50. Don’t Get Divorced
If your marriage is worth saving, now isn’t the time to walk away. A Psychophysiology study concludes that strong relationships are beneficial for nearly every part of our lives, especially as we age.
In early retirement
Hats off to you for making it this far! Early retirement can be a time for celebration and self-reflection. Just be sure to set aside some time for the following tips.
51. Celebrate Retirement!
Retirement marks the end of decades of work, so it's definitely something to celebrate. If you've saved a substantial retirement fund, there's even more reason to raise a glass of bubbly.
Check out these tips for throwing a memorable retirement party.
52. Have Some Important Conversations
Now that you’re retired, it’s time to have some serious discussions with family members about the future. If you haven’t already, talk to those who are named in your planning documents about the roles they’ll play in carrying out your estate plans.
These aren’t always easy conversations, so you may want to check out these tips for talking to your family about estate plans.
53. Spend Time With Your Grandchildren
Because retirement is a time of great change, it’s not uncommon for people to feel lonely and depressed. Try to stay active, especially in the early days of retirement. One study shows that grandparents who were able to give and receive support from grandchildren were less likely to be depressed. So if possible, spend some time hanging out with the grandkids.
54. Re-Evaluate Your Health Insurance
You can save money and improve your benefits each year by shopping for the best supplemental Medicare coverage. Your options change, so be sure to review this on an ongoing basis.
Compare your supplemental Medicare options now.
55. Make Your Mark
Now that you’ve stepped away from the working life, the world is at your feet. If you’ve prepared well for retirement, your options are virtually endless.
Want to change the world? You’ve got the time.
Want to travel to exotic places? You’ve got the funds.
You can now do all the things you wanted to do while you were working. Take advantage of this time and do the most daring things right away.
Looking for some inspiration? Check out this ultimate retirement bucket list. Then go out and create your own!
56. Don’t Pay Too Many Taxes
Most likely, the bulk of your retirement funds were tax-deferred and not tax-free. This means you'll be taxed whenever you withdraw these funds.
If possible, talk to a financial advisor about the best way to handle your specific situation. The goal is to pay as few taxes as possible so that you can enjoy more of your hard-earned money.
This cheat-sheet with four tax-efficient retirement strategies will help you become savvier.
57. Keep Saving for a Rainy Day
You’ve always known the importance of having a strong emergency fund. Keep this philosophy strong through retirement. Unexpected expenses are common, and they can be even more difficult to manage in retirement without an emergency fund. You don’t want to have to tap into your retirement savings (and pay taxes) every time you have an emergency.
58. Consider Higher Learning
Think about taking a college course for the fun of it. Have you ever wanted to learn a new skill? Why not now? Keep using your brain throughout retirement to keep it sharp.
Take advantage of one of these free college courses for seniors in all 50 states.
59. Learn a Fun New Skill
Have you always been envious of those Voice contestants who could belt out any tune? Now is a perfect time learn how to sing, dance or play a musical instrument. Or maybe you’ll learn a trade or a language. Your time is now your own, so have fun with it!
Learn a new skill to keep your mind and body active during retirement.
60. Take Advice From Others Who Have Retired
You aren’t the first person to retire or to grow old. It happens to the best of us. So, let’s use some wisdom from those who have gone before us. UC Irvine is in the process of documenting which factors determine longevity.
Of what they found so far, here are the things that are associated with longer lifespans:
- Exercise (45 minutes a day is best)
- 1-3 cups of coffee does help
- Being average weight or slightly overweight
Here are some more tips for living a long and healthy life.
61. Understand That Setbacks Are Part of Life
Positive thinking isn’t just hocus pocus. It really does have power, according to recent studies. In fact, the American Medical Association reports that seniors with a positive outlook are more likely to recover from disability than those with a negative outlook.
62. Keep an Eye on Your Financial Plans
If you’re a planner, you’re all too familiar with the concept of re-planning. You can plan something to a “T” – and then life throws you a curveball. No worries. You’ve got this. Just get out that old roadmap and start making changes. Maybe you’ve changed your mind about some things or are realizing you’re going through your funds too quickly. Try to reassess your retirement plan every year to see where you stand. Online tools like retirement calculators always come in handy for this job.
63. Get Out and Be Social
If you don’t reach out to other retirees and community members, retirement can be a lonely prospect. And there’s a great deal of research that tells us we should stay socially active as we age. One study found that loneliness in older people may increase their chance of early death by 14%.
If you need some ideas, check out this list of 25 things to do when you retire.
64. Find Your Purpose
When you were working, you may have had dreams of sleeping late and spending the day on the couch binge-watching every show on Netflix. But this isn’t a good retirement plan. Research shows that people who have a sense of purpose actually outlive their peers.
Find your purpose again in retirement with these tips.
65. Have Fun with Exercise
Exercise can help you live a longer and healthier life, but you have to get up every day and do it. There may even be an unexpected benefit to enjoying exercise too. People who have fun exercising end up eating less than those who don’t, according to research from Cornell Food and Brand Lab.
66. Don’t Sell All Your Stocks
To hedge inflation and maintain your purchasing power, keep a portion of your assets in stocks or growth mutual funds. Just be sure to keep 5 to 10 years (depending on your age) of expenses in cash or short-term bonds to ride out any market lows.
Learn more about how to protect your investments from a stock market crash.
67. Take a Conservative Approach Early
If you need your money to last 30 years, try not to withdraw more than 4% of your assets annually in early retirement. You’re in this for the long haul, so be careful about withdrawing too much too soon.
Use this retirement withdrawal calculator to help figure out how much you should withdraw and when.
68. Think About a Part-Time Job
Many people decide to work part-time in retirement, whether to pass the time or make extra money. If you find yourself bored at home or in need of funds, remember that you can always get a part-time job.
Check out this list of part-time jobs for retirees to get some inspiration.
69. Make New Local Friends
Your community probably has a senior center where you can connect with other local retirees. If not, check out the local library to see what programs they have for seniors. There are plenty of activities for seniors in all areas, so you shouldn’t find it too difficult to meet new people.
70. Enjoy the Peace and Quiet
When you were working, you probably yearned for a moment of peace. Now, it seems to be all you have. Some new retirees have trouble adjusting to all the newfound quiet time. You can always find activities to fill the space, but you can also learn to enjoy life’s quiet moments in-between the bustle. Maybe now is a good time to take up meditation?
71. Don’t Become Nocturnal
If you’re one of those retirees who doesn’t have to be anywhere at any particular time, it’s important to keep yourself on a good schedule. It’s too easy to fall into bad habits of staying up too late and sleeping the day away. This will quickly interfere with your life and health. Set a reasonable bedtime for yourself and try to stick to it.
72. Write a Book
Writing can be a form of therapy. It doesn’t have to be something you publish. Maybe you write a collection of stories to hand down to your family. Or maybe you write a work of fiction that has been bouncing around your head for years. Now is the time to do it!
73. Simplify Your Life
When we’re younger, we seem to collect belongings like it’s some sort of contest. But as we get older, most of us realize that these things are only weighing us down. If you want to downsize your home or travel the world in an RV, what will you do with all your junk? Pare your belongings down to the essentials and things with sentimental value. You’ll instantly feel lighter and freer.
74. Explore Your Faith/Spirituality
Whether or not you’ve been a person of faith in your life, you may want to explore this area. If you are so inclined, you can take time to learn about different faiths or explore deeper into your own faith. You can get involved in a choir or mission group.
Helping other people just feels good. When you were working, it may have been hard to find the time to volunteer, but now you’ve got time in spades. If you also have a passion for travel, consider an overseas volunteer opportunity.
76. Understand That Grief is Part of This Stage
You’ve likely already experienced many of the twists and turns on this road we call life. Well, you’re about to experience more. Unfortunately, death and illness are an inevitable part of the cycle. In your retirement years, you’re more likely to experience the loss of friends, family or a spouse than ever before. This is part of the reason why it’s so important to remain social in your senior years. We all need a support network to help us through the difficult times.
This article on dealing with grief in retirement offers some healing advice. Also be sure to reach out to friends and family when you need a shoulder.
77. Continue to Live Within Your Means
Retirement is an interesting time for financial planning. You want to live your best life, but you also don't want to run out of money while you're still alive. It's a delicate balance.
Check out these tips for balancing spending in your retirement years. There are a few methods that can help you determine how much to spend annually.
78. Keep Living That Healthy Lifestyle
Chronic illness like heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension, is much more likely to strike in your later years. If you have gone this far without having to pop pills daily, don't give up the good fight. Eat healthily, exercise daily and avoid bad habits like smoking and drinking.
Want to take it a step further? Here are some tips for protecting your health and wealth in retirement.
79. Don’t Be A Retirement Perfectionist
Perfection is a trap that many retirees struggle with. It’s only natural. We strive to be our best selves at work each day for decades, and then what? Forget about planning perfect days or sticking to your retirement plan 100%. You’ve done all the hard work. Now it’s time to relax and enjoy the ride.
As long as you avoid these three problems that can derail your retirement plans, you should be fine.
80. Understand That It’s Okay to Be Silly
For about four decades, we focus on productivity. Then we finally get a chance to relax during retirement. Relax? What’s that?
If you want to have the best possible retirement, start looking at life with a child-like glee again. It’s not an easy endeavor, but it’s definitely worthwhile. Start by “forcing” yourself to do things you found fun in your youth. After a while, the fun may actually rub off on you.
Want to dream? Consider these five ideal ways to spend your retirement days.
81. Get Some Vitamin D
Spend at least 20 minutes a day basking in the sunlight. When you feel the sunlight on your skin, you’re more connected with the world around you. Sunshine is also the best source of vitamin D, which can help fight off depression.
82. Be Kind to Yourself and Others
Have you ever seen the movie Grumpy Old Men? Seniors have a bad reputation for being cantankerous, but that’s not always the case. If you keep a positive outlook and take care of your mind and body, you’ll have a lot to smile about. This will help keep you from reinforcing that bad stereotype out in the world.
Everyone experiences fear, frustration and anger. Showing concern for the suffering and misfortunes of others allows you to forgive shortcomings and you will be rewarded with gratitude.
83. Find Joys in Life
It really is the little things in life that make us the happiest. What puts a smile on your face? Find that thing and surround yourself with it. Maybe it's being around your grandkids or a fresh bunch of daffodils. Follow whatever brings joy to your heart, and you can consider your retirement a success.
84. Severely Limit Screen Time
If you were to throw your televisions out the window, you’d probably have a much happier and healthier retirement. But we all do need some downtime, right? Consider limiting your screen time to an hour or two a day. This will help motivate you to do other things, like get out of the house.
85. Stay Connected
Facebook is a great resource for seniors today who want to stay connected with people they’ve known throughout their lives. You can use social media sites to stay connected with old work colleagues and even high school friends. Just try not to overdo it. Social media can easily become an addiction and should be limited.
86. Don’t Ignore the Elephant in the Room
Although it is more pleasant to think of ourselves as immortal, we know that’s not the case. Retirement is a good reminder that we’re starting the final chapter of our lives. That sounds a bit depressing, but framing things in this way can help you prioritize things you want to do. Understanding your own mortality will help you live your best life now.
87. Still Bored? Forget Retirement!
Are you the kind of person who is bored when they’re not working? These people do exist – and they usually end up changing careers after retirement. If you decide retirement isn’t right for you just yet, consider coming out of retirement to do something you enjoy for money.
You may need some guidance along this road, so check out these tips for coming out of retirement.