Congratulations, and welcome to retirement. This is a critical stage in your life, an opportunity to both relax and potentially live a life void of stress for many years.
Yet often opportunity is characterized by the complete opposite, causing premature aging, and an increased risk of health conditions. One of the main culprits is poor mental health, caused by stress and anxiety.
So, let’s take all that advice we wish we could tell ourselves 40 years ago, and apply it to today.
1. Have Fun Keeping Busy
One of the main complaints that seniors have is boredom. Most people have spent their entire lives on a strict schedule, where they’ve spent 40 hours of their week at the office, and the three weeks of holidays they do get have been packed with to-do’s, and downtime.
Now unless life was truly good to you financially, you probably won’t have spent 52 weeks per year in Mexico, but that doesn’t mean you can’t feel like you’re on a lifelong holiday.
One option is to find a part time job, doing something you enjoy. An opportunity to socialize and assist others in something that you are passionate about. Most likely you have never had a job that you didn’t need, and you may find the result is something very rewarding. An alternative to a part time job is joining a board, or finding somewhere to volunteer on a regular basis.
If your family is nearby, take an active role in their lives. Go to all the grandchildren’s activities, offer to help out around your adult children’s homes, or plan family game nights or dinners. Having something active to do lets you be involved in their lives, without feeling like you are invading their space.
It is never too late to find a new hobby. You spent 40 years trying to pick up the piano but just couldn’t find the time. Well, now it’s there, and you have the freedom to practice on your own time.
The key is to keep your brain active, and moving. Change your perception of retirement from “absence of work”, to “enjoyment of work”.
2. Love That Body
One of the biggest challenges when you’re young is body image, and the hope that a quick trip to the gym can fix everything. As you age, you realize that proper diet and exercise are less about six packs, and more about health & wellness. Whether it’s a daily walk, a bike ride, or even some strength training, staying active as you age is crucial to longevity of the body.
Of course, the mind gets a huge benefit from your desire to keep moving too. Exercise gives you a feeling of accomplishment, and increases your self-esteem. It feeds your brain with a regular dose of endorphins, improving mood, and decreasing stress. The feeling of having a well-functioning body can decrease many of the anxieties that age can bring, helping encourage the feelings that you have many good years of life.
3. Make Sure Your Plans Are in Line
There are lots of unknowns about growing old, primarily based on your longevity, and your financial security during this period. Just like in your youth, making sure that all your ducks are in a row reduces your stress levels, even if getting there requires some work.
If you haven’t done it yet, make sure you and your spouse understand all aspects of your finances, expenses, and securities. If something happens that prevents one of you from taking care of these, the other needs to be in the right frame of mind to take over. The stress of dealing with a sick spouse and taking over finances can be daunting.
Go over different scenarios with your Net Worth Manager. What if we live for 40 more years instead of 20? What if the market crashes? What happens if one of our adult children needs financial help? The role of Your Managers is to help assist you in planning for these bumps in the road, so that you can be prepared without the need to panic.
Make sure you know how much you have. One of the biggest risks is either spending too fast, or not spending fast enough! During the early period of your retirement, you may still feel like you did in your 40s and 50s, with lots of energy, and good physical health. This is the best opportunity to use money for the things you enjoy. At the same time, longevity may bring extra medical needs that might require extra financial planning. Learning how to have fun in the early days, while making the money last is essential to a mentally healthy retirement.
These are some of the best years of your life! The freedom to do anything you want and on your own time. If you have any concerns approaching retirement, please don’t hesitate to reach out to a Net Worth Manager. Their sole job is making sure that you are in the best possible situation, based on your current income.