Planning for a Successful Retirement

successful retirementMost of us know how important it is to stay flexible with our retirement planning due to life situations.  Things can happen that will set us on a different course.  Many of these have happened to me.  In order to not get discouraged, it is important to stay as flexible as possible.  Acceptance is the key.  Just know that it is okay to take a different road if necessary or even just because you want to do it.

Tips for a Successful Retirement

Here are some things that may require flexibility as you go into your retirement journey.

  1. Housing – You may own your home but decide that a smaller one would be less work.  Then a senior apartment or villa might interest you.  Recently, I looked into some that offered house cleaning services, meals, health care provisions, recreational activities and trips.  If you enjoy the company of those your age then a 55 community might be what you would like.
  2. Travel- Some people decide to travel after many years of raising children or working.  This may not have been something that you were able to do during your earlier years.  Maybe you have found that your finances in retirement may not include cruises or trips to Europe.  Consider touring your own city or a near by state.  There are bus tours that are offered at adult centers.  These groups have fun!
  3. Television has changed.  Some of your favorite programs are no longer there.  Try reading, going to the library, exercising at the senior center, volunteering, or starting a new retirement hobby.
  4. Maybe in your earlier years you had a mate but you now find yourself alone at retirement age.  Friends can be made at church, senior centers, and social media.  You might even want to join a site for dating which is for seniors.
  5. Then there are those of us that have not been so successful with finances due to life circumstances and changes in the economy.  There are part time jobs that you may want to consider to supplement your retirement or social security income.
  6. Maybe you thought that your grown children would always be there for you.  Instead, they may have had to move far away due to job needs.  In that case, look into long term insurance, learn about assisted living, have an immediate emergency plan.  Learn about the resources in your area that are offered through hospitals, churches, senior centers, and many civic centers.
  7. Times are changing.  Post offices are even starting to disappear.  Be receptive to change.  Take a computer class.  Take advantage of learning opportunities at a near by college or library.  Many courses are offered for free.
  8. Transportation- There may have been a time that you drove your vehicle.  Now, for whatever reason, driving is not possible.  Find our about transportation that is in your area.  Some areas have public transportation with discounts for seniors.
  9. Gardening and lawn care-  Plant what you love!  Try some new things that might grow easily.  It might even be time to invest in a riding lawn mower if your yard is large.  Then again, if finances allow, look into hiring some help for those hot summer days.  Also if you live where there is lots of snow, help another by having them shovel your driveway.  They can use the money and you can use the help.  It is okay.  After all we want to stay safe and warm in our golden years.
  10. Diet and exercise-  At one time you may have enjoyed all those high calorie and high cholesterol foods.  I am hear to tell you that weigh is much easier taken off in the early years.  Read all you can about healthy eating, exercising and then do what you can.  You may find you feel better and really enjoy it.  It doesn’t take an expensive gym or exercise equipment.  Walking can reduce stress and is very healthy.
  11. Support system-  Some of us lack a healthy support system of friends or relatives.  Socialization is important as we age during our retirement years.  This is something that I need to work on myself since I am a night shift worker.  Remember, you are not alone.  Keep trying to meet people that understand, are caring, and honest with you.  Reaching out can sometimes be hard but we must do it.  Again, there are many clubs that you can join to meet people.  There are book clubs, fitness clubs, bird watching clubs,nature clubs, travel clubs and many others.  Find your niche and go for it!
  12. Pets-  If you are able to care for a pet and like animals, then get one.  Of course you must be able to care for their health too.  They can make a great companion and supply unconditional love.  There are many shelters with loving pets that may just be waiting for your love.

As you can see from reading, I did not focus on finances for a reason.  Many times in life, we plan and our plans can be taken away in a day, week, month or year.  This happened to me as it has happened to many of you that are boomer age.  I hope that this blog has made you think, not worry.  Our brains need exercise to stay healthy.  I hope that you add many positive comments to this list for all of us to consider. What have you encountered in your retirement planning that has helped when staying flexible as things change to stay the course for a successful retirement?

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