Money & Retire

Plan Ahead for a Joyful Retirement

It’s not just about money – these 6 aspects may matter more. Here’s what you may be missing in your planning.

We all know that a good financial retirement plan will impact our ability to choose the lifestyle we desire. Scores of financial planners are available to help us initiate our plans, but what’s missing in this scenario is a concentrated effort to inspire retirees to create an effective life plan for retirement. Through discussions with numerous retirees, I’ve learned that those who gave serious thought to how they want to spend their retirement years believe that their retirement satisfaction is far greater than if they had only considered their financial plan.

While finances clearly affect our ability to afford certain things, you become part of someone else’s plan if you don’t have a plan of your own. Clarity on what you want to do in retirement strengthens your ability to realize your dreams. It will also allow space for spontaneity and modifications if needed.

Through my research and discussions with retirees, I’ve identified six steps to building a joyful retirement. Even if you are five, six or ten years away from this new life stage, I urge you to reflect on the following thoughts for an objective plan will help you create meaningful and happy retirement years.

1. Build Strong Relationships

• Most human beings choose to live in some sort of social relationships. Whether married, single or in a life-partnership, contact with other people is essential. Once retired, strong relationships become even more important for most people.

• When retired couples are at home together more often, they may experience some friction — no matter how much they care for one another. A relationship built on understanding and patience will reduce the stress of, perhaps, too much togetherness.

• Without strong relationships, retirement can bring a sense of isolation and loneliness for those who live alone. Those living with a partner may also feel isolated if they have not created friendships beyond the partnership.

• It’s important to nurture friendships that come from corresponding interests or concerns because friends with similar interests support and challenge us in retirement.

2. Be Painfully Analytical

Terence McKenna, American Philosopher

• Think back on your adult years. What did you enjoy most and what do you wish you had done differently? Identifying such feelings will inspire you to recognize activities or situations you might enjoy in your retirement years.

• Identify what makes you happy, what you do well, what excites, worries, or bothers you and give serious thought to how you will approach those issues in retirement. When you’re raising a family or entrenched in a work environment there may be issues that you cannot change, but in retirement you’ll want more control over your life.

• Keep in mind that a solid retirement plan provides a degree of flexibility and helps soften the sting of surprises that might otherwise detract from your goals.

• After analyzing the pros, cons and possibilities of retirement life, decide what will make you happy and healthy. This is not a selfish act because meaningful activity keeps you healthier and reduces the possibility of someone having to take care of you.

3. Allow Yourself to Dream

• Dreams are the things from which greatness comes. Even if you fear that your finances or skills won’t enable you to reach an extraordinary goal, an attainable goal may come from your fantastic dreams.

• If you have trouble dreaming of things you’d like to do, consult the internet for “bucket list” information or go to my webpage for some ideas on creating a meaningful retirement.

4. Choose Your Abode Wisely

• Where you live will dramatically affect your ability to do what matters to you. Will you be able to afford your current home? Is your house the right size and layout for your retirement dreams? What do you love about your home, and what would you change? If you move, what environment and climate will satisfy your needs?

• If you plan to move a distance consider how you will maintain contact with friends and family? Will visiting be easy or will it require traveling? Wherever you decide to locate, your strategy for maintaining contact will be more easily resolved if you have planned ahead.

5. Put Your Plan In Writing

• Retirement planning builds a Road Map for success. After many years of working and taking care of others, retirees have earned the right to care for themselves and create a life with joyful activities. A written plan will reinforce your motivation to create the life you desire.

• Only two criteria should determine the right plan for you. Does your plan meet your goals and offer satisfaction? Of equal importance if you are in a committed relationship, is that you and your mate have considered one another’s needs and have made reasonable compromises to assure that each will enjoy this life stage.

6. Tell someone

• Once your plan is tangible and you have discussed it with your partner, it’s critical to tell other people. Thoughts without commitments seldom become actions.

• When I decided that my retirement purpose was to write and my first project would be the book Survive Your Husband’s Retirement, I told everyone. I knew that when people asked about my progress, as many did, I would have been too embarrassed, proud or stubborn to say, “I gave up.” Vanity is a great motivator.

by: Nora Hall

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    Paukl Cronin

    great post! At thePlatinumYears.com, we ask folks to use a framework of to create written plans for ten aspects of life, using robust decision-making. When people do so, they end up with greater peace of mind.

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