It’s likely you’ve seen or made typical New Year’s resolutions that could make your retirement better: save more, spend less, lose some weight, and so on. While those resolutions can definitely help improve your life, following are four New Year’s resolutions for pre-retirees and retirees that are different from those “same old” resolutions. And they might even be more effective.
Resolution #1: Explore the best place to live in retirement.
The house you lived in while you were working might have been a good home for raising a family and commuting to work. However, once your children have moved out of the house and your main career winds down, it might not be the best place to spend the next 20 to 30 years that you’ll be retired.
To decide whether your current home is a keeper, think about the general geographic location and the specific community and house that would meet your most important needs for the rest of your life. If you’re really organized, you can prepare a checklist of the needs that are most important to you and use it to evaluate specific communities and houses.
Don’t wait too long to explore this decision: You don’t want to be forced to make a move in a crisis or when you’re too frail to move on your own.
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Resolution #2: Think about how you’ll remain engaged with life.
It’s really not a good idea to go on vacation for 20 to 30 years, yet that’s how the media often portrays retirement. Instead, think of retirement as another phase in your life that’s filled with the activities you want to do and gives you the time to visit the people you really want to see. Studies have shown that you’ll do best in retirement if you have powerful reasons for getting up each morning, with a strong anticipation of a new day.
If you need or want to work for income, explore the jobs that might meet your needs. Many pre-retirees and retirees want to work, but they’d like to have more flexibility compared to their career years. Of course, in today’s environment, finding paid work might be difficult. In that case, consider volunteering to get you out of the house—there are certainly many ways to help make a difference. Volunteering might even serve as a bridge activity until the economy starts recovering from the pandemic and you can look for a paying job.
Resolution #3: Determine how much money you’ll really need after you retire.
Most retirees will have less spendable income compared to their working years. However, that doesn’t need to be a cause for depression. Instead, focus on what is “just enough” to meet your needs and make you happy. By making conscious choices regarding your spending, you might actually find ways to lead a more satisfying and fulfilled life.
Resolution #4: Become a student of retirement.
Nobody promised it would be easy to live for a few decades in retirement. To make things easier, you’ll want to take the time to craft careful plans and also be ready to adjust those plans as your life unfolds. You can learn much from successful retirees who have successfully lived in retirement for many years,.
You can also learn from experts who’ve thought about and written extensively about retirement for decades.
Be sure to toast yourself for being a smart, savvy planner!
Best wishes for 2021 and beyond!