Most people are relieved and happy when they finally reach their retirement date after working hard for many long years. Many individuals do experience some unsettling feelings during the initial transition period, but there are some simple remedies and expert tips to make this process easier and less stressful overall.
Early planning is key for moving into your retirement years knowing that you are prepared and ready for this exciting next phase of your life.
Read on for 15 simple and helpful tips to transition into retirement or watch our video below.
1. Begin Planning for Your Retirement Date Early for a Smooth Transition
The best tip for making the transition into retirement simpler is to begin planning for your retirement at an earlier date rather than waiting until the last moment. This period of your life should be carefully planned so that there are no unwanted surprises that could derail your dreams of fun and adventure during these treasured and much anticipated golden years.
Ideal Time to Take Advantage of Work Offered IRA or Similar Retirement Plans
Most financial experts recommend beginning a retirement plan, such as an IRA that is often offered with full-time employment at many companies these days, when the person is in their early adulthood even as young as twentysomething. This strategy can increase the amount that these tax-deferred retirement funds can grow through the years.
It Is Never Too Early or Too Late to Begin Smart Investment Measures
Perhaps you have neglected to plan for retirement using an IRA or other similar retirement account. You could still have a financially secure retirement if you are smart in your investments from this time forward. Usually, it is wise to account for those lost years by making higher deposits into the account.
2. Make Sure You Have Saved Up Enough Money to Retire Comfortably
Every retiree should save up enough money to live their best retirement years in comfort and relatively stress free from a financial angle. Knowing when, where and how much to invest in certain stocks or other investments can be complex and confusing for the average person.
Take Time to Speak with a Qualified Financial Advisor
Anyone planning for their retirement should take the small amount of time and effort to speak with a qualified financial professional. This expert can help you work out a realistic and cost-effective retirement plan. There are many ways to build a solid retirement income that will be enough to live the lifestyle that you have always envisioned when your last day of work finally arrives.
3. Take Time to Determine What You Wish to Do After Retirement
To have the funds needed to do all those exciting things during your retirement years, you must first outline a basic plan for determining what those activities are prior to your last year of employment. You will also need to have a financial cushion that can help absorb any unexpected major expenses that could derail even the best laid plans.
Create a Least of Your Retirement Dreams
Perhaps you and your spouse plan to travel after retirement. You will need to have the funds available before this dream can come true. Others might want to further their education, take on different hobbies or begin an after-retirement business. All of these dreams will take careful financial and other retirement related planning.
4. Decide Where You Will Live During Your Retirement Years
It is smart to tackle those big-expense retirement plans first and at an earlier date. One of the biggest decisions to make involves where you plan to live after you retire.
Consider Moving Closer to Family
Many retirees decide to move closer to where their children or other family members reside especially if they have lived apart for many years. This is also smart in case your health declines unexpectedly, and having family nearby can help you get through such times easier.
Consider Downsizing to a Smaller Home
Retirees can save money, time and effort by downsizing to a smaller and more manageable home environment after retirement kicks in. Many seniors move to retirement apartments or other communities. There are far more options today than there were even a few decades ago, and seniors are often surprised by how much cheaper and easier some of these living arrangements can be.
5. Start Living a Healthy Lifestyle Today for a Healthier Retirement Later
The risks of developing health ailments tend to increase with age. However, there are many things that people can do to help avoid these health-related crises that could create a less than perfect retirement.
Tips for Staying Healthy Now to Boost Chances of Good Health Later
- Eat healthy & change diet as you age
- Avoid smoking and too many alcoholic drinks
- Exercise on a regular basis
- Keep wellness medical appointments and screenings
- Take steps to decrease overall stress levels
- Make sure that you have adequate healthcare insurance for retirement
- Protect yourself if you work amidst environmental dangers
6. Consider Gradually Easing into Retirement Instead
The jolt from suddenly having loads of free time after working a full-time job for decades can be unexpected and jarring. However, there are ways to ease into this transition so that you have a better chance of adjusting in a healthy manner.
Many Seniors Begin to Cut Back on Work Hours Prior to Retirement
Some soon to be retired individuals have the option of cutting back on their work hours well before their retirement date arrives. This can ease the shock substantially of going from very busy to relaxing at home.
Other retirement adjustment transition tips include:
- Going to a part-time basis at work prior to retirement
- Taking a sabbatical or other earned leave prior to retirement
- Take a vacation period to a potential retirement destination before finalizing moving plans
- Adjusting your budget to what it will be after retirement
7. Build a Solid Social Network of Support & Friendships Prior to Retiring
Individuals often meet people at work who they may become friends with over time. Suddenly leaving employment and leaving these important friends behind can be depressing and difficult for some. It is important to put some effort into building a solid network of supportive friends and other acquaintances so that your retirement years won't feel so lonely.
Tips for Building a Strong Support Network
- Join a church for spiritual support and friendships
- Take up new hobbies and make efforts to befriend others with similar interests
- Volunteer or take classes at a local college
- Go on senior trips and participate in community activities
- Join support groups
8. Consolidate Investments & Finances for Easier Funds Management Later
Many seniors can benefit from consolidating their investments and various financial and other assets prior to their retirement date. This can make after-retirement money management a whole lot easier down-the-road.
Remember to Be Aware of How Transferring Ownership of Major Assets Impacts Retirement
Many retirees downsize or move their residence to help lessen their overall property chores while gaining funds for retirement in the process. However, some retirement homes and programs require high-priced transfers like these to be reported.
There is often a two or more-year period where homes and other expensive property must be turned over if the owner has not already transferred ownership to a child or other buyer prior to this look-back date.
9. Have a Realistic & Solid Long-Term Retirement Budget Plan
Having a doable long-term retirement budget is crucial for retirees. You should investigate your options with regards to Social Security benefits, other retirement investments or account details and other related matters.
Remember to Incorporate Extra Money to Cover Inflation & Other Changes
It can help immensely to speak with a qualified expert knowledgeable about these matters. These retirement details will vary widely between individuals, places and other criteria.
10. Include Family & Friends in Your Retirement Planning Efforts
It is also important to include family and friends into your retirement planning for several reasons. Some retirees will still have to support a dependent child or other family member even after they retire.
Some Common Retirement Planning Steps for Family & Friends
- Determine how much is needed to support any dependents if any
- Do you have plans to stay in touch with work friends after retirement?
- How will a relocation impact current friendships and family relations?
- Will your children be adding any support or funds to pay for your retirement needs?
- Are there any dependent children still in school or college?
- Will you need to pay medical or other care costs for a disabled spouse or child during retirement?
11. Update All Estate Related Financial & Medical Retirement Plan Paperwork
Finances and other criteria usually will change through the years. It is smart to update all your estate related financial and medical plans prior to retirement. This is a great time to reexamine certain paperwork like your will, medical or financial directives and other related matters.
Keep Your Heirs & Intended Designated Medical/Financial POA in the Loop
If you plan to appoint one child or your spouse as your designated power of attorney, should you become incapacitated, it is smart to include them in your retirement plans so there are no surprises or family disputes.
Estate related documents to update include:
- POA designated for financial or medical decisions
- Division of your assets in your will
- Terms of any trust funds
- Guardianship matters
- Living will or advanced directives
- Information related to assets – account codes and life insurance policies for example
- Letter about your wishes for long-term care or other retirement matters
12. Consider Ways to Earn Extra Retirement Cash Using Passive Measures
Many retirees come up with creative ways to increase their retirement income without having to do any actual work. Some retirees set up accounts that are linked to passive forms of income like investment payouts, royalty payments, real estate investments, campsite or B&B rentals and many others.
Other options for passive income methods include:
- Creating items that you can sell
- Teaching a hobby or other interest to others
- Renting out your boat, camper or automobile
- Start a blog or podcast that earns money from viewers or ads
- Consider a reverse mortgage
13. Plan & Structure Your Daily Activities During Retirement
Sometimes, getting used to retirement involves anxiety or depression when the person does not have anyone to talk to for days on end. It can help to structure your days.
Tips for Creating a Retirement Daily Activity Log
- Do meal planning prior to shopping for groceries
- Make plans to meet up with friends or family members on a regular basis
- Get contact information from people you wish to stay in contract with
- Eat at regular times & keep a regular bedtime too
- Plan fun excursions
- Consider adopting a pet
- Take up new hobbies outside the home – golfing, dance classes, art shows or theater events
14. Consider an After Retirement Job, Business or Do Volunteer Work
Some individuals can retire early, and others may be dreading their time apart from their usual work environment. Many retirees decide to start a new business venture, take on another career or job, part-time or full-time, and others fill their days doing volunteer work in their community.
15. Be Prepared to Handle Emotional Changes During & After Retirement
Even with extensive planning, there is still a chance of experiencing unwanted emotional changes during and after retirement. Anxiety, depression, agitation and other strong emotions can lead to altered sleep patterns, body aches and pains and even more serious health ailments over time.
If you begin to notice these unwanted negative emotions, take steps to decrease overall stress levels and seek professional help if you continue to have these altered emotions and troubling health ailments.
Tips for Keeping Your Emotional Status Healthy After Retirement
- Make plans to visit friends and family
- Avoid people, places and situations that tend to increase negative emotions
- Take steps to meet more individuals that share your current interests
- Consider joining a local support group for retirees or get involved with your local senior programs and events
- Seek out professional mental health guidance along with medical care for ongoing issues
Retirement is a major change that should be expected to have a few bumps and issues during that crucial initial transition period. Use the above tips to help ease your way into your retirement and to hopefully avoid unwanted issues. Remember, retirement alters your entire lifestyle, and individuals should go easy on themselves if they find the change difficult at first.