Three-day weekends like the Labor Day just passed give us all the tiniest snippet of a glimpse into what retirement might be like…i.e., extra time to do what we want. But to have a fulfilling and enriching retirement, you need to do more than just wait to stumble upon your retirement. You need to plan! And we’re not just talking about the financial planning side of things, although that is obviously critical.
Make the best of it. Accepting the realities of aging and making the best of whatever life throws in your path is the best mindset to approach your retirement with – and a sense of humor doesn’t hurt either.
Take it easy on yourself. Give yourself permission to make mistakes, because you will. Don’t feel guilty if you spend some time just doing nothing; instead, enjoy your good fortune at just being retired.
Live your legacy. The legacy we all want to leave our families is much more than just money or things. Be – or continue to be – the person you want to be remembered as by your children and grandchildren.
Take a chance. Approach retirement with a goal of trying something new. In other words, step our of your comfort zone. Keep learning; it’s a key to staying young.
Be frugal. Try to leave below your means, since it is highly likely you will encounter unexpected expenses at some time during your retirement.
Just do it. Strive for a good balance between relaxation and activity – too much of either doesn’t usually work out too well.
Live in the now. None of us knows for certain how much time we have; don’t let planning be the enemy of doing.
No regrets. Make amends, clear the air, and do what is necessary so that you have no regrets that will haunt your retirement years.
Pursue a passion. When you were working, you likely dreamed of following your passion in some area. Retirement gives you the opportunity to do that; don’t waste it.
Family first. Research shows that retirees with a rich family life enjoy their retirement much more, so spend some of that extra time you now have on fostering any neglected relationships and just being there for family and friends.