Back in your 20’s you were thinking “I’ve got plenty of time to think about retirement. Let’s focus on which bars we want to check out tonight”. Then your 40’s hit and it became “Things are going well and I’m sure it’ll work itself out”.
That retirement age (now becoming 67) is creeping closer.
Perhaps you’re already there.
The thought process has become “What can I do to make this easier?”.
Focus on the Big Five
You need to tighten your financial grip if you want your retirement years stress-free. This includes a combination of budgeting and planning.
Focus on the big five:
Most people live paycheck-to-paycheck with virtually eliminates the possibility of a comfortable retirement without outside support from family or social programs.
The paycheck-to-paycheck lifestyle results from several uncontrollable reasons including disabilities, industry changes, and acts of God. But, many are controllable such as credit card debt and health.
This is where budgeting and planning come into play.
A detailed budget accounting income and expenses will give you ultimate financial control. It will provide an eagle-eye view of your target allocation and maintenance in retirement. The budget will help cover the necessary big five.
The other element of planning prepares you for expected (and unexpected) expenses found only when you reach the later years. One such unavoidable expense is funeral costs. The savvy planner would use this opportunity research quotes using platforms like PolicyZip to find the best policies for burial insurance.
Planning will also include the expenses like:
- Lawyer fees for trusts, inheritance, or legal disputes
- Home health care to relieve your duties as you slow down
- Maintenance on your goods by eliminating them or downsizing
You shouldn’t expect to rely on Social Security as a catch-all for your retirement expenses. Social Security isn’t exactly running out anytime soon, but recipients may one day receive quite less.
Even more reason to create and stick to a budget – with a good plan in mind – so those retirement years aren’t fraught with troublesome financial experiences.
The Personal Changes that De-Stress and Keeps Things Organized
All those years of hearing your parents saying, “pick up after yourself” is now ringing twice as loud.
The years of accumulating items has overwhelmed your living space. Combine this with lower energy levels and you can soon find yourself questioning whether you’ve become a hoarder.
It’s time for a big clean-up:
- Convert old media to digital formats
- Pass on inheritance items early
- Take inventory and donate unwanted items
No… You don’t have to throw out everything and live between four bare walls. But, there is a profound increase in happiness when owning less stuff. The items become less of a mental burden and distraction from enjoying other experiences such as time with family or travel.
Your personal health and well-being need to become a routine despite your waning flexibility, strength, and energy levels. A sedentary lifestyle is one all-too-common for those in their retirement years because they’re not active at a job.
- Get up and walk more (5-10 minutes a day)
- Double-down on your choice of healthy meals and beverages
- Socialize with friends, family, neighbors, and strangers
- Play games, read, and continually learn to off-set the creep of dementia
- Air out those indifferences and seek therapy to relieve those burdens
Your mental health is as important as physical health. Improve the mind and your energy and passion will growth. This naturally leads to an active lifestyle that will keep you feeling stress-free.
You Certainly Have the Time
The first few months of retirement will feel completely peaceful. You’ve put in your dues and now you’re taking a much-needed break from obligations.
Yet, that itch to do something will build and before long you can’t stand mingling around the home. You’ve got to do something! Seniors are returning to work to beat boredom. It will mean you take on new stressors and stuff so be sure to plan accordingly.
Your retirement is well-deserved.
Make it one that’s stress-free and organized by making the changes you’ve picked up in this article.