Get the Most Out of Retirement

Some people approaching retirement may be asking with trepidation: What’s it going to be like? Others slide into retirement with the view that they’ll take a couple of months to relax and then see what happens. Somewhere between trepidation and lethargy may be your sweet spot, as I explain in my new bookGet The Most Out of Retirement: Checklist for Happiness, Health, Purpose, and Financial Security.

Credit: Shutterstock

Credit: Shutterstock

The Best Thing About Retirement

The best thing about retirement, I have found, is that for the first time in my life I’m in charge of my time. From kindergarten through college, from that first to that last job, my time and tasks have been governed by others. Now that I’m a couple of years into retirement, I decide what I’ll do and when I’ll do it.

As liberating as this may sound, you still should be strategic in planning how you are going to spend the next couple of decades.

Think about all the changes you made between ages 20 and 40: You probably got married (once or twice), moved several times and saw your children grow from infants to young adults. You had some exciting vacations and moments of heartbreak when things didn’t work out as planned. Through those early years, you set goals, made plans, had to readjust and most likely changed your mind about where you were headed.

The years between ages 60 and 80 aren’t going to be that much different. You need goals, plans and the flexibility to adjust when circumstances change.

Setting Retirement Goals and Staying Flexible

Some of the key goals I set for myself: stay healthy, pursue my passions, be connected, keep talking, get organized and give back. Yours may be different. In planning for how you will spend your time, think strategically about how you want to spend each day. Choose to do fewer things you don’t like and more things that make your heart sing. Whenever you can, don’t say “Yes” when you want to say “No.”

Keep in mind that you don’t have to accomplish everything you set out to do in that first year of retirement. Think of retirement as an adventure when you can try new things, meet new people and have a different schedule. Deliberately taking small steps down multiple paths is a way to try out something that’s new to you.

It’s OK to take detours or explore byways that seem attractive as you transition through retirement. You can always come back to the familiar path if you want. Be flexible so you can adjust your sights when needed.

The 5 P’s of Retirement

One of the biggest mistakes people make when approaching retirement is not taking a close look at all their options. Preconceived notions of what retirement looks like — whether that might be “it’s going to be boring” or “it’s a rest-of-my-life vacation” — are roadblocks to creativity.

The adventure called retirement is full of options regarding the 5 Ps: place, people, possibilities, purpose and passion.

Choosing Where to Live in Retirement

Retirement is one of those life events that many people use to think about whether they want to move. You might be considering relocating closer to your family (or farther away), to a senior community, to an…

This article was sourced from Forbes.

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