Are You Prepared for Retired Life?

May 2, 2023

Your retirement has the potential to be the most fulfilling period of your life–but you need to have a plan for your time as well as your finances.

Key Takeaways

  • To maintain a healthy lifestyle in retirement, find ways to stay physically and mentally engaged every day.
  • Keep in touch regularly with family, friends and your community to help maintain connections and stay active.
  • Check in with your Financial Advisor to align your financial plan and portfolio with your retirement goals. 

You’ve spent decades working hard and saving for a financially secure retirement. But planning for your golden years is more than a financial consideration: It’s also an emotional one. Even with a healthy nest egg, it can be hard to leave a career, explore different pursuits and find a new sense of purpose.


The bright side: For many people, retirement is one of the most fulfilling periods of life. However it’s important to plan for how you’ll make the most of it. Here are five tips that may help you enjoy retirement life:


1. Prioritize your physical and emotional health

After decades of working at a desk or on your feet, your ideal retirement may involve as little movement or activity as possible. While relaxing can be both necessary and restorative, a sedentary lifestyle is not sustainable and can lead to health issues.


To maintain a healthy lifestyle during retirement, find ways to stay physically and mentally engaged every day. As you age, nourishing your mind with meaningful stimulation is important to maintaining good cognitive health. Research shows that sustained engagement in cognitively demanding activity, such as learning a new skill, can enhance memory function.1 Learning a new instrument, sport or craft can help you stay mentally engaged and fill your time in a meaningful way. 


Preparing emotionally for retirement is equally important. Research shows that making new social contacts can be associated with improved physical and psychological well-being.2 Need some ideas? Join an exercise group that meets a few times per week. Schedule a weekly walk-and-talk with a fellow retiree. Take regular trips to a farmer’s market or health food store and cook a fresh meal for yourself or a group. Try out for a local choir or theater production. Journal, start a meditation practice or join a book club. The options are endless.

Even with a healthy nest egg, it can be hard to leave a career, explore different pursuits and find a new sense of purpose.

2. Find your “encore” opportunities

Retiring doesn’t have to stop you from honing your skills or building new ones. In fact, there's a world of opportunity for doing just that in your second act. If retiring meant leaving a job or career you loved, consider working part-time, mentoring, consulting or even volunteering in the same industry. You could also explore a new field entirely.


One study shows that older adults who spend at least an hour per day reading or engaging in a hobby had a decreased risk of dementia, compared to those who spent less than 30 minutes per day.3 This period of your life gives you the chance to pursue opportunities you’ve always been curious about without the added pressure of needing to generate income from them. If you already have a hobby you’re passionate about, consider taking it to the next level. Now you have the time to become an expert at your craft or try out several different ones.


3. Focus on relationships and lean on your support network

Many people rely on their coworkers for personal and professional support. Leaving your job means you won’t have access to that support system daily, so it’s time to be intentional about maintaining those relationships and others that are important to you. Research shows older adults who are socially isolated or feel lonely are at higher risk for heart disease, depression and cognitive decline.4


Keeping in touch regularly with family, friends and your community at large can help you stave off stress and loneliness, boost your mood and introduce you to new and exciting experiences. Strike up conversations about your interests and curiosities, as well as any struggles or concerns you’re working through.


If you’re feeling stuck as a new retiree, confide in your loved ones or seek out a professional counselor. Many people underestimate the positive impact of sharing their challenges, dreams and feelings with their social connections, but simply having a shoulder to lean on can make all the difference. You don’t have to cope alone. 

Retiring doesn’t have to stop you from honing your skills or building new ones.

4. Revisit goals with your partner 

If you have a partner or are married, your relationship can take a new shape during retirement, particularly if you’re both navigating life without 9-to-5 work for the first time. Sit down with your partner and discuss what you’d like to do, see or accomplish in this next chapter of life. Simply occupying the same physical space every day probably won’t be enough to keep you feeling connected and enlivened as a couple.


It’s important that each of you share your own individual goals and vision while also carving out space and the financial means for shared plans. Brainstorm ideas for mutual exploration, such as signing up for a dance class or planning a trip. When you find activities you both enjoy, incorporate them into your daily or weekly routine. They can be big or small—the important thing is that they’re a priority. 


5. Communicate new goals with your Financial Advisor

As your vision and goals for how you want to spend your retirement become clearer, check in with your Financial Advisor. Whether you want to travel, volunteer, give to charity or pursue other new interests, your Financial Advisor can help ensure your portfolio and your financial plan align to help bring your vision to life.

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