Retirement planning is one of the most important financial decisions in a lifetime.
But the process is so much more than investment returns.
A comprehensive retirement plan will encompass investments, tax strategies as well as estate planning. Once these important aspects of the retirement plan are in place, the really important decisions come into play.
Over the years, the most successful retirees are those who continue the planning process to ensure a successful and content retirement.
There are several very important concepts that should be implemented upon retirement. They include health and exercise, community involvement, social life, fulfilling life-long goals and giving of your time, talents and treasure.
It’s important to remember that it is common for people, within the first few days and weeks of retirement, to feel lost. When you’ve been working for decades and then suddenly stop that routine, it’s jarring. But the great thing about retirement is you can finally do all those things you’ve wanted to do that you didn’t have time for previously.
Concentrate on your health! Everyone wishes they could exercise more often, and now you have the time to do it. It is important to get into an exercise routine early in your retirement. Your mental and physical well-being is dependent on a healthy body and mind.
Think about joining a gym or health club. Begin a regular exercise program that really fits you. Working out with friends can add to the experience and brings accountability and community. Eat healthy and stay in shape!
Think about a sport you would like to take up or a sport you wish you had more time to dedicate to before retirement. Whether you take up a new sport or want to get back into a sport you love, retirement gives you that opportunity.
Everyone wishes they could read more. Perhaps there are books you always wished you could read. Look at the “best novels of the past 25 years,” or pick a subject you enjoy and start there. Regardless, reading is a fun and rewarding hobby that will also help keep you mentally fit.
Consider taking a class. There are plenty of free or inexpensive classes available for you to learn a new skill or explore a topic that really interests you. Challenge yourself and learn in a way that is both enjoyable and rewarding.
Travel the world! One of the top things people hope to do when they retire is travel. Odds are, there is probably somewhere that you’ve always wanted to visit. Well, now is the time to do it!
Get a rewarding part-time job. If you miss the routine of working, you can always get a fun job. You might want to impart your wisdom to others. There are many mentor programs out there that are always looking for people willing to help. Perhaps you’re not ready for a part-time job just yet. Volunteering can be a rewarding hobby. Find a “cause/non-profit” organization that means a lot to you and get involved.
A good retirement community is an absolute haven for seniors looking for engaging activities. These communities are chock-full of incredible amenities that can cater to just about every possible desire you might have as a retiree.
Take the time to research the retirement communities in the area you would like to live. These living centers are great places to congregate with old friends and new. They offer various restaurants and dining experiences you can share with friends and family.
Remember, socializing is an important part of a healthy retirement.
Finally, retire well by keeping your family and friends close and by keeping the Good Lord in the middle of it all!
Stay the course!
Tim Tremblay is president of Tremblay Financial Services in Santa Barbara (www.tremblayfinancial.com).