To make the most of your retirement years, it takes a fair amount of financial planning to ensure that you can support yourself. But along with smart budgeting, retirees should also give an equal amount of thought to how they want to live out their retirement days.
With the guidance of a “retirement coach,” officials at Retirement Options, based in Mansfield Center, Conn., say people approaching the end of their working years can make the most of their golden years by following a few recommendations.
“Today, retirement is likely to last 20 to 30 years, so you don’t want to miss the opportunity to create the lifestyle you want,” says training director and retirement coach Joanne Waldman. Retirement, she says, is the time to further current interests, pursue dreams previously put on hold and discover new passions.
First, plan your retirement living with your spouse or partner, and anyone else who would participate in your daily life. Often overlooked, this step can lead to big differences if not addressed early in the planning process.
Retirees should be flexible and open to changes that may occur as a result of their spending more time at home, and they should also talk to their children and try to include them in their planning.
“Retire to new plans, rather than just from a job,” says Waldman and Corine T. Norgaard, president and owner of Retirement Options. “The happiest retirees seek out new passions or purposes.... It’s important to do things that…provide a sense of accomplishment.”
The retirement coaches say it’s natural to experience loss or grief when leaving a job, because most people identify themselves by what they do for a living.
The coaches' final recommendations romote healthy living.
They suggest that retirees build health and fitness into their retirement plans - a lifestyle that is easier to maintain if it’s enjoyable.
Staying mentally and socially active can help to ensure successful retirement living. Mind exercises, such as reading, games and puzzles, and maintaining social circles can also help retirees lead full lives after leaving the workplace.“
Ideally, life planning should begin at least two to five years before retirement, and include both members of a couple,” Norgaard says.
For more information, visit www.retirementoptions.com.