Retirement is often viewed as an end goal. We work hard for years and invest well, and as our eventual reward, we get to retire. While it’s true that retirement is something that we must plan for and should look forward to, it’s also important to remember that life doesn’t end after the working years. Not only should we be prepared financially for retirement, we must be prepared emotionally. Going from full-time employment to days with open-ended freedom is a major adjustment, and can be unexpectedly challenging. Here are our tips for adapting to retirement so you can truly enjoy it.
Don’t Go Cold Turkey
Many retirees fare better when they transition out of work gradually instead of stopping all at once. Consider entering “semi-retirement” before leaving the workforce entirely. If you’re a medical professional or business owner, create a plan for someone to gradually take over your role and responsibilities. If you are employed by a company, look into options for part-time employment or job sharing in the year or two leading up to your retirement. Retirement doesn’t have to be a sudden leap – you can ease into this phase of your life gently.
Participate in Scheduled Activities
When you’ve spent your entire adult life on a schedule, either running a business or working for one, a sudden wealth of free time can be daunting. Maintain some normalcy by participating in several scheduled activities, such as fitness classes or cooking lessons. Organize regular golf games with friends or take a class at the local community centre. You can join a sports team or a book club, or attend interesting workshops and seminars. Fill up your calendar as much or as little as you want, and enjoy your new weekday routine!
Volunteering in retirement can give you a sense of purpose and personal satisfaction. There are volunteer opportunities almost everywhere, from the local hospital to museums and charitable organizations. Something like walking dogs at a local shelter will help you stay active while giving back. The possibilities are endless – think about what interests you and has meaning, and then go for it.
While perhaps a bit cliche, retirement is a great time to travel. You don’t just have to fly south for the winter (though, that’s not a bad plan by any means). Consider taking that Alaskan cruise you’ve always thought about, going on a scenic tour through Europe or South America, or visiting friends and family in other countries or provinces. If you have Air Miles, make use of them!
Become a Mentor
If you know you’ll miss the professional element of your lifestyle, consider becoming a mentor in your industry. By having regular communication with a younger or less experienced colleague, you’ll be able to stay engaged professionally while giving back to others. You can do this independently or through an organization in your area – look into all options and determine what is best for you.
If you’re interested in financial planning and investment management services, please contact Saikali Portfolio Management to arrange a confidential, no-charge consultation.