Before you’ve officially retired, you’re likely daydreaming of life where you get to do what you want with all your time, whether it’s spending time outdoors, traveling, returning to beloved hobbies, or learning new ones – all activities that bring you joy.
While it’s a lot of fun to look forward to this new, exciting chapter in life, pre-retirement is a great time to go over your retirement plans. It’s important to make sure you’ve taken all the steps to ensure a smooth transition to retired life.
Reviewing your investments and accounts like a 401k, IRA, or pension and knowing when you can access them will allow you to access your money without penalties or early withdrawal fees. If you need to make any changes, you’re still earning an income and can contribute to your savings. You won’t have to worry about any surprises when you make the major transition to retirement.
You’ll also want to prepare for the emotional aspect of this life change. Learning about the five emotional stages of retirement can provide you with a guide to how you may feel during this time and how you can create a happy and fulfilling retirement.
You may have been preparing for retirement for years, but now it’s finally here. You can stop work, don’t have to worry about checking email on weekends, and no longer need to keep your PTO balance in mind – that’s all behind you.
At the same time, this transition can be bittersweet. Saying goodbye to coworkers and the lifestyle you’ve led for years is a big change. While after a retirement party, you may not step foot in your office again, you can definitely keep your colleagues in your retired life.
Tip: Make plans to stay in touch with your friends from work.
The honeymoon phase is when retirement is brand-new, and you have the freedom to do anything and everything. You may wonder where you should start without a full-time job taking up nearly all of your time Monday through Friday.
This is the perfect time to identify what you’d like to do now that you have the time and money for it.
Tip: Think about what you love to do and make a plan – it doesn’t matter if it’s a big or small commitment. Hike that trail, spend a day in the city, or take the trip you’ve always wanted.
During the disenchantment phase, your honeymoon lifestyle may have lost its luster. While you’ve had a lot of fun, you may be missing the structure that work gave you. It’s also common to fall into an inconsistent diet, exercise, and sleep schedule that’s not helping you to feel your best. This can lead to a repetitive schedule where you may start to become bored in all your free time.
One of the best things you can do is make your schedule work for you again. With 8 hours of sleep at night, regular exercise, and getting the nutrition you’ll need, you’ll feel energized and ready to shape your retirement into the happy retirement you deserve.
Tip: When the honeymoon phase has worn off, and you realize you’re dealing with boredom and uncertainty, take a moment to remember what you love to do. This will lead you into the next phase.
For many retirees, they found a great sense of purpose in their careers. This doesn’t mean it’s time for you to pick up a part-time job or start a new career – it just means you’re searching for ways to make each day feel meaningful.
You may like the idea of a part-time job where you can interact with others, and you get some additional income. If you don’t want to go back to work, you can look into other opportunities like volunteering. Not only can you feel proud of contributing to your community, but you also benefit your wellbeing when you volunteer.
Do you love to learn? You can be a student for the rest of your life with continued education. Take a deeper dive into subjects that have always fascinated you, or learn about something completely new.
Consider hobbies like reading, creating, bird watching, playing, or listening to music, and identify which ones bring you the most joy.
Tip: Reorient your lifestyle, choose to do things that you love and connect with friends and family. This can help you rediscover the spark that motivates you to make each day special.
5. New Perspective
After you’ve done the work of the reorientation phase, you’ll transition into the new perspective phase. This final stage is embracing this phase of your life and realizing how you’d like to live.
For some seniors, this may involve moving to a senior living community so they can meet new people and participate in all the exciting events available to residents. This can help prevent isolation and provide you with a lifestyle of aging well and in place.
“Finding community is often one of the most important things for seniors in retirement,” said Diane Mortenson, Community Life Services Director of Timber Ridge at Talus, a senior living community in Washington. “Having a community of your peers provides you with a built-in social life with clubs and activities, not to mention the endless socialization opportunities to meet new friends anywhere you go.”
Love Your Retirement at Timber Ridge at Talus
Retirement is a huge step for older adults, and many times, a senior living community like ours is the best way to ensure safe and happy golden years. Give us a call to learn more and add your name to our waitlist.