Retiring from work brings new opportunities and challenges. To get the most enjoyment from your retirement, it’s a good idea to set some priorities.
Although retirees no longer answer to an employer, having some focused objectives will make for a better quality of life in retirement.
Finances and budget
Many recently retired folks find living on a retirement income can take some adjustment. Set some time aside once or twice a month for a review of your budget, monthly expenses and investments.
If your retirement plans include lots of social activities or traveling, make sure you’re setting aside enough money for that every month. If you’ve never gotten advice from a financial planner, now is a good time to interview some who are recommended by family and friends.
Not having the daily mental challenge of a job can contribute to a loss of mental acuity. Retirement is a great time to take on new challenges that will keep your mind active and sharp.
Some good ways to keep the mind sharp are hobbies that use hand and eye coordination, such as painting or sculpting. Learning a new language or playing a musical instrument is also great for the brain. Even just doing a daily crossword puzzle provides some exercise for the brain.
Add life to your years
Speaking of exercise, your body needs it as well as your brain. There is simply nothing as important in retirement as getting regular moderate amounts of exercise. Find something you enjoy, such as golfing or swimming, where you use large muscles and raise your heart rate, every day.
Many communities have senior centers where fitness classes are held for little or no cost. Many studies have shown that regular exercise adds greatly to quality of life. People who exercise feel better, sleep better, have fewer health problems, and spend less on medical care.
Retired folks may not have the same good health insurance they had when working. It’s important that you get set up in a new health care plan, such as Medicare or Medicaid, and that you understand how it works.
Take the time to learn what your out-of-pocket costs and fees will be when you need care, so that you won’t have any surprises. You may want to look into supplemental insurance policies to cover any gaps. The best time to get new insurance is when you’re newly retired and still in relatively good health.
Long term care, including things like Cornerstone Hospice and Palliative Care, can be devastatingly expensive. A little planning up front can bring lots of peace of mind down the road.
Happy and healthy retirement
Being on top of your finances and mental and physical health will provide a solid foundation for a secure and happy retirement. The challenges here are different but no less important than those of your career. Keeping on top of these key priority areas will help your retirement years be the best of your life.
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