WRITTEN BY: Kitty Ritchie, CFP® RICP® AIF®
A client recently asked, "how can I make sure I am happy in retirement?"
Which begs the question, what does a "happy retirement" look like for most people?
I want to share with you what I told her...
Achieving the trifecta in retirement: financial stability, purpose and satisfying relationships requires a little planning and effort along the way.
It doesn't just happen.
We have worked with so many people over the years, transitioning them to the next “glorious" chapter - retirement.
Often, we have found that there is a disconnect; "I will retire and finally do all those things I always wanted to do, but never did" - it will simply happen.
The reality - you need to take steps to ensure a happy retirement.
You have been told over the years, “work hard and save your money...” and now you are told "stop working and spend your savings."
My advice is to start with these 3 little steps before you retire:
1. Make sure you have a plan. If we haven’t talked to you about your Financial Life Plan® now is the perfect time to start this process. You need to understand what your expenses are, what your financial goals are, how and what your sources of income will be in retirement. Understand the impact of savings and compounding wealth over time. Make sure the investments in your portfolio are aligned with your goals. Financial worry can be a major source of anxiety for retirees - knowing what you have and how it works can help alleviate that anxiety.
2. Maintain and cultivate social connections. During your working years, people often socialize with people from work, that connection might be difficult to achieve when you retire. While it may seem scary at first (especially for the more introverted types)- connecting with new people or engaging in new activities are vital. If you are the shy type - start small, learn the name of the cashier at the grocery store, the coffee shop, or people at the dog park. Take advantage of online groups - there are many. Keep a list of birthdays - send a card or an email. A bunch of little things along the way can make you feel more connected.
3. Stay physical. Prioritize your health and well-being. Create a routine that includes physical activities you enjoy and keep you moving.