Feeling Apprehensive About Life in Retirement?

If you’re heading into retirement or have already retired, you’ll know there is a lot to plan. But more than just finances, it’s important that you plan your lifestyle too – how you’ll spend your time. You’ve been working for the majority of your life and though the sudden halt in work will no doubt be a relief, many of our clients find that they soon get bored if they haven’t previously thought about how they’ll spend their time.

To get some more insight on the topic, our client offered some good advice in an interview for our client e-newsletter.

*Please note our client’s name has been omitted for privacy.

How long have you been retired?

Technically, 5 years, but as she describes it, the position she “retired” from is like the song Hotel California - once you check in you can never check out!

What was your occupation?

The Director of Religious Education at a local Catholic parish.

Can you describe what a typical day looks like for you?

Mornings begin with the Today Show, coffee, and sudoku puzzles. A couple times a week she’ll have meetings at the church, as she is still very involved with various programs. She feels her continued involvement in the church gives her meaning, especially when she is able to share her faith with the children. Outside of church activities she’ll spend time with friends, walk the dogs, and do typical things around the house.

"We have so much opportunity in our later years to be

productive and give so much.”

Do you have any projects you’re focusing on now?

She and her husband recently purchased an RV and are preparing to take road trips in various parts of the country. She hopes to be able to use this time of her life to travel to and explore other parts of the world as well.

One special project she has been working on is a historical photo album of family photos that are over 100 years old.

Is retirement what you expected it to be?

Yes! She loves the luxury of sitting with a cup of coffee and the paper without having to be somewhere. She expected to stay busy during retirement and that is exactly what she has done. The joke in her family is that “she’ll get to that when she retires” because she’s so busy it seems she never actually did!

Do you have any advice for people who are looking to or are in the process of retiring?

“You need to have a goal, or passion, or something you want to do when you retire. Whether you decide to become an exercise fanatic, volunteer - you have to do something beyond yourself. If not, then you do just sit and worry. You need a post-job passion that will keep you feeling young and energized.” From experience, she believes that having a responsibility to something other than yourself will drive and motivate you. “You have to have something that you can anchor to,” she says, “or you will drift. We have so much opportunity in our later years to be productive and give so much.” But of course, she is all for a day of doing absolutely nothing here and there, and believes that allowing yourself to be bored occasionally is a necessary break from the day-to-day chaos. Retirement to her is “the freedom to do what you want, but still with an overarching goal.”

There you have it, folks! Our client’s key to a happy and successful retirement lifestyle is to have a plan for how you want to spend your time and to fill that time with activities that bring you joy. This looks different for everyone, so be sure to take some time to think about what you enjoy doing most!

This is a hypothetical example provided for illustrative purposes only; it does not represent a real life scenario, and should not be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individuals situation.

You may be mentally ready to retire, but do you know if you're financially ready to retire? Here's how to find out!

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