At a certain point, we start dreaming about our retirement. This is typically well into our careers, when instead of feeling the rush we feel tired. We’ve achieved our goals and have settled into a routine that has helped us support our families. Dreaming about your retirement can help you make the transition a happy one. Retiring too soon can leave you feeling unfulfilled, after all, as can retiring without a goal in mind.
It can be easy to get bored when you retire without any goals in mind, because you are so used to a regular, active schedule. Retiring might mean that you need to make new friends, start new adventures, and otherwise change your life in ways you might not yet be comfortable with. That is why you need to prepare for your retirement just as you prepare for any other stage of your life. Sure, you’ve put money into your savings and your 401(k) and are financially prepared, but that isn’t enough.
The lifestyle transition can be very daunting for anyone, but it doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Finding ways to make your retirement fulfilling can mean all the difference in how you live out your golden years. Your retirement is the time to make new pursuits and new goals that don’t have anything to do with making money or working for someone else. It is the time for you to complete the things on your bucket list, to rediscover your partner, and to become closer with your loved ones. It’s the time that you have to really live your life out the way you want it.
To live out the retirement of your dreams, however, there are a few things you need to do first:
Improving Your Health for a Greater Life
Stress from work and the infamous youthful immortality that many young people believe they have can mean that you haven’t taken your health seriously. You feel fine, after all, and you like the foods that you eat and the way your day goes. How you feel now, however, is not what you need to be healthy for. You need to change your lifestyle for your health as you age.
Aging comes with it a lot of health concerns, but a healthy lifestyle can help you stay active and stay yourself for years. Healthy living can even improve your current self in ways you didn’t think were possible, from more energy to how you feel, and even how you look. There is so much about your diet that goes into your body’s health, so the first place to start improving your health for the better is there.
Cut out unhealthy foods from your diet. These foods are those high in saturated fats, high in salt, and even high in sugar. These foods can increase your blood pressure, your cholesterol, and lead to weight gain. Stop putting stress on your heart and instead aim to eat foods that are low in calories, and high in nutrients instead. A short answer on how to achieve this is to cut out processed foods and instead opt for raw ingredients.
If you have pre-existing health conditions, you might also benefit from visiting a dietician, who can help you organize a diet that benefits your health and helps tackle the health concern, especially if it’s diabetes. Your diet requirements will further change as you age, so it’s important to stay on top of what your body needs to be healthy.
Another factor to consider is that as you age your body retains less water, meaning it becomes easier and easier to become dehydrated. Not only is dehydration fatal, it can lead to numerous health concerns, and can also make you feel lethargic, slow, and can cause pain.
Leading a More Active Life Naturally
If you already go to the gym, you’re already doing wonders for your health and your longevity. If gym memberships have only ever been a waste of money, it’s time to look elsewhere to get your exercise. Going on hikes, biking, swimming, and other fun activities that get you outside can all help improve your health tremendously. They are also excellent ways to make more friends or nurture your relationships.
Join a group to help keep you regularly active, make friends, and start to set your life up for after you retire. You can always continue going to a biking group, which gives you the physical and social stability that can make the retirement transition easier.
Being Medically Prepared
It’s hard to accept that your body might be failing you, but the best solution is to be prepared. This includes keeping your will updated, your finances in order, and keep up to date with any life insurance policy you would like to have for your children. On a more day-to-day basis you can get an ATC alert system, which will give you and your children the piece of mind that if something were to happen, like a fall or even a heart attack, you could easily get help, even if you find you can’t talk. Having this system in place before something happens is the best option, which is why you should learn more about its benefits and decide whether it’s right for you.
Commit to a Life of Learning
Keeping your mind sharp is important, of course, but the biggest benefit of learning is feeling like you are progressing. No one wants to feel like their retirement indicates that their potential is reached. Instead, use this time to learn the things you’ve always wanted to learn. Take a language course, a community class, or travel the world. Do this, and become the person you’ve always wanted to be.
Exploring the World
It is a mistake to assume that travel is for the young. Once you retire, there is no better time to travel, both due to your life experience and your savings. Traveling for long periods of time can also give you more opportunities. For instance, you could rent out your home instead of selling it while you travel. In many countries, this monthly rent can more than cover your costs abroad, meaning you can continue without any financial worry. To help you plan out your worldwide travels, follow these steps:
- Pick Your Destination
The first step will always be picking your destination. Reading up and doing a little research, however, can mean you avoid the tourist hotspots. This can make all the difference if you want a beach holiday. Instead of sharing the beach with thousands of other tourists, you could enjoy quiet serenity. The only difference is how well-known the destination is.
- Create a Master List of Things to Do
Once you’ve chosen your destination, it’s time to find what there is to do. Traditional guides are a good place to start, yes, but reading up on local blogs and other traveling sites can help you create a better picture of what there is to see and do. A good tip is to split your time between experiences and sites, so that you can live as much as you see.
- Finding the Perfect Place to Stay
Before, the only way to travel abroad was to stay in a hotel. Today, you can rent out an entire apartment of your own, allowing you to make your own food and save on costs. These apartments can be absolutely beautiful, and are found on sharing sites like Airbnb. There’s never been a better time to live like a local than now.
- Learning Customs and How to Stay Safe
When you visit a new country, it’s always useful to read up on the important laws and customs that you should follow. What might be perfectly legal back home might get you in trouble at your destination. Similarly, knowing areas to avoid and common scams can help you stay safe abroad.
Making Friends After You Retire
One of the many tactics that seniors use is to sell their home in order to fund their retirement. If that is your plan, make the next step to move to a retirement community. Unlike old-age homes, these communities are full of independent seniors just like yourself, which can make it easy to make friends and live out a fulfilling and fun retirement. Not all retirement communities, of course, are equal, so it’s important to ask tenants what they think of their life at the building before you sign on.
Unlike making friends as an adult, making friends as a senior is much easier. That is because many seniors are in the same boat as you – they have slowly lost friends through the years, and now that they are retired they are looking to expand their social circles. Joining groups, meeting your neighbors, and otherwise getting out there can mean you make friends at every turn.
Your retirement should be all about you loving life. It should be full of friends, family, new experiences and new adventures. Age is just a number, but so long as you live a healthy life, you can make your retirement the best years of your life.