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Planning for retirement can sound daunting – but really it’s an exciting time. And it’s never too early to start!
For starters, think about all of those things on your bucket list and make plans to do them. It’s time to focus on you and how you want to spend your remaining working years and the years that follow.
You’ve worked hard for many years and now it’s time to reap the rewards of your hard work.
It’s time to focus on the top 7 things you should start doing now to prepare for retirement:
- Get your finances in order.
- Develop a health and fitness schedule.
- Consider downsizing or moving to a smaller, more suitable home.
- Pursue things that you’re passionate about.
- Always be learning or creating.
- See retirement as a chance for self-exploration and spiritual growth.
- Get involved in the world around you, doing good things whenever you can.
It’s time to consider all of those things you love – and maybe some new hobbies – so that you aren’t defined solely by your job. Spend some time investigating balance in your life right now, so that you aren’t “lost” when you are no longer working.
#1 – Get your finances in shape.
Choose a weekend and devote your time entirely to assessing your finances. Above all, be clear about how much money there is in your name.
The keys to achieving financial comfort are to have a clear understanding of the financial resources you have and the demands on your money that will come from the life you lead -both now and in the future.
Consider all of your investments. And if you haven’t made a will, do it now. It isn’t the most pleasant of tasks, so get it out of the way as soon as possible.
#2 – Get your health in shape.
Good health and sound finances are the pillars on which a happy retirement is built.
Everyone knows the basics: exercise daily, quit smoking, minimize alcohol intake, eat lots of fresh fruits & vegetables, and avoid sugar & red meat. But what else can you do?
- Get into an exercise routine.
- Do all that you can to avoid inflammation in your body.
Exercising throughout your adult life keeps you healthier longer as you age, helps ward off serious health problems, improves sleep, and can make you happier by relieving stress & boosting your mood.
#3 – Consider downsizing or moving.
For now, you may be quite content where you are. As I’ve gotten older (I’m in my early 40’s) I’ve realized I am much happier with less stuff and a smaller space.
If you are an empty-nester, consider the fact that your family home may just not serve you well anymore. The larger the property, the more work, maintenance, and stress is involved.
Some questions you should ask yourself:
- Will you still be able to maintain your garden?
- Could you move closer to those who love you?
- Is your home isolated?
- Are you near enough to a hospital, doctors, and pharmacy?
The home that you will live after you retire should be no more and no less than what you need to enjoy a comfortable life. Anything in excess of that will simply be a cost that you don’t need to bear.
#4 – Pursue things that you’re passionate about.
For most people, their job is their identity. And not only their identity, but also their hobby, purpose, and creative outlet.
I’ve always loved to work, but have realized that just working isn’t enough for me to find balance and purpose in my life.
Now is the time to expand your interests. Take on a new hobby – such as fishing, hiking, gardening, painting, photography, or even just playing cards.
#5 – Always be learning something or creating something.
Find a new way to be creative – learn a musical instrument, take art lessons, write poetry, write a novel, write a screenplay, join a choir, take up gardening, learn to knit, it really doesn’t matter.
If you’re not creating, you should be learning. What you learn doesn’t matter, so long as you find it fulfilling and enjoyable.
For example, you could learn a new language. You may have overseas travel on your bucket list. What could be better than learning the language before you travel?
Be fearless. Throw yourself into anything that attracts you – from ballroom dancing to playing the mandolin!
#6 – Explore your spiritual side.
Many of us can become obsessed with work. Until recently, I have not been able to strike a true balance between work, home, hobbies, etc.
I have always envied colleagues who can leave work at the door and live exciting lives outside of work. In order to strike that balance I began to practice mindfulness meditation.
Living in the moment and enjoying each day allows you to focus on activities other than work. If you live in a large town or city, there will almost certainly be a meditation class you could attend.
#7 – Do some good in the world.
The more wrapped up in yourself you become, the more likely you are to be lonely, unhappy, and depressed. A great way to avoid becoming self-involved is to volunteer.
When preparing for retirement, become a resource and guiding light for people in need.
While every little bit counts, don’t believe that you have to maintain an 8- to 10-hour work schedule, or jump at every opportunity to be busy and useful.
So long as you have breath in your body, you have something to give.
Retirement is one of life’s major events. For some, it cannot come soon enough. For others, it looms ominously on the horizon.
Planning for retirement should not be feared. As with anything in life, preparation is key.
More Tips To Help You Plan For Retirement
- What Do You Know About Health In Retirement?
- How To Find Hobbies In Retirement
- Take This Retirement Priorities Quiz
- When Is It Time To Retire Early?
- Should You Get A Part-Time Job In Retirement?
I’m a health nut, a frugal mom, a dog lover, a DIYer, and a gadget girl. Personally, as a post-divorce, working single mom on a budget I have a lot of experiences that I enjoy sharing so others can learn from the things I wish I knew earlier! Professionally, I’ve worked full-time in a variety of marketing, sales, and editing jobs. You can always find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as Managing Editor at The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites).