Preparing for retirement can be one of the most exciting times of your life. Dreams of coffee on the porch, long days on the links and vacations in paradise. During this time of transition, you may also wonder how you can ease your transition into the retirement lifestyle.
One of the first steps you can take is to consider phasing into retirement. There is no hard-fast rule that you must quit working entirely. Consider phasing into retirement by cutting back on your daily/weekly work hours or through part-time work. Not only may this approach benefit you, it may also benefit your employer through succession planning and easing the burden your departure may have on the company. You may choose to consult in your industry of expertise or consider getting a new job. Is there something you have always wanted to do? Do you have some unique skills or abilities that may be useful in another profession? You may not need the additional income, but enjoy keeping your mind and body active.
Begin planning for your retirement in advance. A year or two before your scheduled retirement date start making a list of the things you have always wanted to do but just never had time for. Have you always wanted to travel? Learn a new hobby? Take up a fitness class? Your retirement is a great time to delve into the things you haven’t had a chance to do.
One of the big benefits of working is the social aspect. Retirement may seem like you are entering social isolation, but it doesn’t have to! Work on replacing your social network through classes, social groups, volunteer opportunities and other gatherings.
Practice living on your retirement income prior to retiring to see if it is reasonable. A good plan has built your lifestyle wants and needs into your post retirement spending. If this has been done well, you won’t be adjusting your lifestyle much at all.
Your Financial Plan leading up to retirement is an integral part in your overall retirement strategy. Working with your financial advisor to develop your plan generally happens years, even decades, prior to your retirement date. However, retirement is more than just financial planning and isn’t just some “off” switch you push one day. Retirement is a process. Taking the time to consider how you plan to enter into retirement and what you can look forward to will ensure your transition is successful and that you can focus on what matters most: enjoying your time.
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