What does living in retirement mean?
Though you’re still the same person in retirement that you were during your career, it’s important to acknowledge that many things have changed, including your day-to-day priorities and habits.
As you enter retirement, take the time to ponder what pieces of your identity you’d like to maintain going forward, and recognize what parts might require an upgrade. This internal step will help you get in touch with your present needs and offer a newfound sense of peace during your golden years.
11. Play the Long Game. Retirement is a phase of life that can span decades. Focus on long-term planning by managing your financial needs, healthcare requirements, and personal goals for the years ahead. Positive relationships are as important as nutrition and physical activity, so don’t be afraid to make the effort – the rewards are often exponential. And as the movie, Groundhog Day, teaches us, tomorrow offers a new beginning.
12. Start Early, Reap the Benefits. Participating in the workforce is hard on both your mind and body. Deadlines, long hours, and workplace conflicts can all contribute to physical and mental stress. While everyone’s path is different, an earlier retirement may provide relief in stepping away from a difficult situation, and allow additional time and energy to adjust to what lies ahead. Of course, the financials need to align, which is why you need to consult with your professional advisors.
13. Address Regret. If you have any regrets about lost relationships or unfulfilled aspirations from earlier years, consider addressing them in retirement. In his book, The Power of Regret, noted author and researcher, Daniel H. Pink, challenges the idea of a life without regret as nonsensical and even dangerous.
Pink concludes we’d be better off acknowledging our regrets than pretending we don’t have any. He argues that if we lean into our negative emotions, if we talk about them and fear them less, we can use past regrets to live a better life – and isn’t that what retirement is all about?
14. Embrace Change and Adapt. Life after retirement doesn’t have to be complicated. The first thing to do is simple -- start with what makes you happy. With that being said, don’t be afraid to step a little outside of your comfort zone.
Retirement will bring about a variety of life changes. Be open to adapting to new circumstances, whether it's relocating, adjusting your lifestyle, or exploring new opportunities. Understand that many other retirees are likely in the same boat as you. In fact, you can probably find someone willing to try a new activity or two with you – or share a story of adjustment and hope.
15. The Fallacy of Legacy. Instead of solely focusing on leaving a financial legacy, consider the impact you can make during your lifetime. Contribute time to causes you care about, share wisdom in a letter or with a conversation, make gifts to family and friends, or create meaningful memories with loved ones.
16. Reinvent Your Identity. Retirement offers a chance to redefine yourself beyond your previous career or family role. Embrace new identities, such as becoming a mentor, artist, or traveler, to find fulfillment in this new chapter.
17. Plan for Healthcare. Health expenses tend to increase with age. Prioritize healthcare planning, including insurance coverage and long-term care options, to safeguard your well-being and financial stability.
18. Stay Engaged and Active. Don't let retirement become a time of inactivity. Engage in regular physical exercise, participate in social activities, and continue challenging yourself intellectually to stay vibrant and energetic.
19. Let Go of Perfection. Embrace imperfections and allow yourself space to enjoy leisure time without guilt. Avoid comparing your retirement journey to that of anyone else, as everyone's path is unique.
20. Seek Professional Guidance: If navigating retirement decisions becomes overwhelming, consult with financial advisors, retirement planners, or counselors who can offer valuable insights and support.
Retirement is an opportunity to live life on your terms, so embrace the freedom it brings and make the most of this exciting phase with purpose and enthusiasm.