Today’s seniors are finding themselves having a harder time retiring, due in part to the downswing of the economy in the past few years, as well as a lack of proper planning over their lifetime. While the best time to prepare for retirement is when you are younger and new to the workforce, you can still successfully plan for your retirement during your golden years.
Working towards your retirement is a good goal and can be something that you should work towards as you begin to think about what youplan to do when you are ready to retire.
Take Care of Finances
Probably one of the most important things that you can do as you prepare to retire is to take charge of your finances and get them all in order. If you have been saving for your retirement for years, sit down and look at what you can expect to get each month so that you can set a budget for yourself.
If you haven’t been saving, don’t hesitate to start now. I know that it can seem overwhelming to start from scratch, but having enough funds in your bank accounts makes it possible to retire and enjoy those years away from a full-time job. Plenty of seniors decide that they want to continue working part-time in order to save more money during their retirement. Here are some of the financial things that you shouldconsider before you retire:
• Find out about the Social Security benefits that you may receive.
• Stay away from stocks and stick with bonds.
• Build up a six-month emergency fund.
If you can get a handle on your finances and feel as though you will be able to live comfortably, then you will probably be ready for retirement.
Plan for Your New Life
Some seniors find themselves becoming bored and even depressed after retirement, but if you take some time beforehand to make a plan of what your new life will be like, you may be able to avoid those things. Consider making a running list of all the things that you have wanted to do during your life, but haven’t had the chance because of your job or other restraints. Write down hobbies you may like to try, places you would like to see, or activities you want to become involved with. Try to make sure that the majority of those activities involve other people so that you don’t become lonely and withdrawn.
Remember that you may find yourself feeling lost or underappreciated after retirement, but if you have a list that you can reference, you may be able to find something new to try out when you need it the most.
Consider Your Living Arrangements
You may find yourself thinking about your current home and whether it will work for you after you retire. Some seniors find that the homes where they raised their families are just too big and difficult to take care of as they age. In these circumstances, I often recommend downsizing or moving into a retirement community. Downsizing can give you the opportunity to rid yourself of a lot of excess items that you may have been hanging on to for years, plus you will be able to get into a home that is more senior-friendly.
A single level home with only a few bedrooms and no staircases can keep you safe during your retirement years. Making the move into a retirement community can open you up to a whole new world of opportunity.
Many of these communities hold regular activities, ensuring that their residents always have something to do. Living among other fellow retirees can give you the chance to build new friendships, as many other residents may have similar lifestyles as you.
As we age, we often find ourselves facing increasing health problems, and a retirement community can help you with your health care in order to keep you feeling your best for longer.
Talk with Loved Ones
Retirement planning should always take your loved ones’ feelings into account. Remember that if you decide to move out of your long-time home, your children may have feelings of sadness.
Make sure to include them in your decisions so that you can all be on the same page and so that you can get the support that you need. Many family members may be able to offer you advice and suggestions that you may not have considered, so try to be as open minded as possible and give them plenty of consideration.
Lauren Hill is a contributing author for Lakewood Manor, a Richmond, VA retirement community with a number of living options as well as wellness and continuing care. You can follow Lauren on Google+ and on her blog.