Monday, March 30, 2015

10 Tips to Get Mentally Ready to Retire

When Marty Stroud retired at 65, his retirement savings were not his biggest issue. In fact, he had enough to live comfortably. Marty’s problem was finding a new routine after having spent decades in an all-consuming 9-to-5 job. "I lost purpose. Gardening may have saved my life”, he recalls of his first months of retirement.

Stroud is not alone. According to an Ameriprise Financial survey of retired baby boomers, some common concerns among retirees include:

  • Missing out on daily social interaction with colleagues (37%)
  • Getting used to new routines (32%)
  • Finding ways to give meaning and purpose to their days (22%)


Many retirees know that the change from a full-time job to a life with less structure and purpose can be challenging, especially emotionally.


10 TIPS TO GET MENTALLY READY TO RETIRE


1. CELEBRATE WITH A PARTY


You’ve celebrated every other milestone in your life – new home, new baby, birthdays, weddings and so on. Why not celebrate the milestone called "retirement"? It’s an achievement, especially if you’ve saved enough to live comfortably. You’ve earned it! Get great retirement party ideas on Pinterest.


2. REALIZE YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE ANYWHERE


Gone are the days of waking up early, sitting in traffic and drinking bad cafeteria coffee. You’re now free to lounge in your pajamas and take your time with errands. You can finally focus on doing what you love, when you want to. 

Just remember that at some point, you may start to miss the structure, purpose and community a job provides. Our advice? Create a schedule sooner than later and try to get out of the house as much as possible.


3. ENJOY AGING GRACEFULLY


Do you want to be 18 again? Probably not. With age comes wisdom, self-realization and satisfaction. Enjoy your age at every age. Check out the Advanced Style blog for inspiration and proof "from the wise and silver-haired set that personal style advances with age".


4. EXERCISE AND STAY ACTIVE



Look forward to exercising – now you have the time! You have the flexibility to join classes and activities in the middle of the day when most people are at work. If you prefer walking, hiking or biking, get a friend to join you. A workout partner will help you stick to a schedule and make exercise a lot more enjoyable.


5. KEEP LEARNING


Learn something new, it will keep your mind sharp and add some structure to your day. Check out the City College in your town or Google "adult education" for free or affordable classes near you. There are also lots of online puzzles and games to keep your brain working.


6. SPEND MORE TIME WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS


Retired or not, this is the #1 wish for most people. Who doesn’t want to spend more time with the people they love? You don’t have to be anywhere between 9am and 5pm on the weekdays, so make a trip to see your children and grandchildren. If you want to be even more involved, you can move closer to family and volunteer your time for babysitting duties.


7. ADOPT A DOG


Share your life with a dog in exchange for unconditional, tail-wagging love. Besides the emotional benefits, your canine friend will need regular walks that will keep you in good shape. Research shows that dog-owners also need fewer doctor visits, have lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and a lower risk of heart attack compared to those who don’t.


8. PLAN FOR THE FUTURE


Just because you’ve stopped working, it doesn’t mean you have to stop planning. With recent advancements in medicine, people are living well into their 90s. Set both personal and professional goals for yourself. Always wanted to run a marathon? Never visited the Grand Canyon? It’s never too late to get started. It’s also important to continue planning and adjusting your finances as you go.


9. LEAVE A LEGACY


What do you want to leave for your family, friends and the world? Research shows the happiest people are those who help others. This may be the time to think about giving back to your community. Leave a positive legacy by giving the gift of your time, knowledge, wisdom or money to local schools, community centers or charitable organizations that are close to your heart.


10. STOP OBSESSING ABOUT RETIREMENT


You’ve probably been anxious about retirement your entire adult life. Now that you’re there, stop worrying. Live for the moment and enjoy being the master of your own schedule.

In Stroud’s case, learning new things helped his transition into a new life. His daily ritual now includes making breakfast for the family and practicing yoga. "My time is filled with activities that inspire me and keep me healthy. I volunteer, paint, exercise and cook regularly," he gushes. “I love my new life!”

Even if retirement seems a long way off, you can start on some of these ideas to prepare for an easier transition. When it’s time to retire, embrace your newfound freedom and make the most of it. For more ideas and tips on how to make the most out of your retirement, emotionally and financially, visit aboutLife.com

1 Ameriprise Study: First Wave of Baby Boomers Say Health and Emotional Preparation are Keys to a Successful Retirement: http://newsroom.ameriprise.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=1963


Author: Lidia Shong from aboutLife

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