Retirement can mean many things for people. Some look forward to the free time in hand. Some worry how they will manage to meet ends. Others wonder how they will pass their time. If planned properly, retirement can be a great phase in a person’s life. Here are 5 steps to take before retirement and what to do after retirement that can help you have a healthy happy retirement phase.
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5 Steps for Happy Retirement – Before you Retire
1) Plan for your income post retirement –
Once you retire, you will not have your regular source of income. You need to plan beforehand on how to take care of your expenses post retirement. Decide on investments that will give you regular returns. Your wealth and returns should be such that they take care of living expenses taking inflation into account.
You could start a side business before retirement or make the arrangements for the same so that you can work post retirement. Else you can equip yourself with some skills or brush up on your existing knowledge and skills that can be used post retirement for earning income.
If you have your income post retirement sorted, you will be less stressed. You know you can take care of your expenses and fund your lifestyle and also take care of emergencies.
Your investment portfolio should be such that it is diversified and protected from risks in different markets. It should be a mix of debt and equity related investments, commodities and real estate.
2) Decide when to retire and take appropriate steps –
When you are earning, have a plan as to when to retire and what to do after retirement.
Many people will not be able to choose when to retire. But if you do get a choice as to when to retire, you will be happier as you will feel you are in charge.
When you are working, you have a sense of purpose. You have many things to do, places to go and people to interact with. This will not be the case during retirement. Some might get depressed that they are being unproductive or not sought by people. You have to prepare yourself for a less hectic life. Make sure you have something to do during retirement. You should also have a social life. Looking forward to doing something that you like and engaging with people will keep you enthusiastic.
Set up your retirement goals. They cannot be vague like ‘I will enjoy life’ or ‘I will provide for my children.’ They have to be concrete. Some examples –
– Buy a house for retirement in my hometown
– Spend Rs. 1,00,000 per year on vacation.
You can set short term, medium term, and long-term goals. Short-term goals could be to pay off the car loan. Medium Term goals could be to do with children’s education depending on their age. Long Term goals could be building a house or having an appropriate sum in the retirement fund.
It is good to do Estate planning. You should plan on how your wealth has to be distributed. You have to plan for debts to be paid off and how they are to be managed if you are not around.
3) Plan for Appropriate Medical Coverage –
Health is Wealth. It is important to be healthy to have an enjoyable retired life. You should take care of your health and also buy health insurance. Buy health insurance when you are young. Your premium will be low and you will get benefits like health regular health check-ups and medical consultation. Apart from health insurance, you should have an emergency fund to cover sudden medical emergencies.
4) Plan for the Unexpected –
There can be unfortunate emergencies. There can be a major repair in the house or you need a car for mobility. You or your spouse might have an accident or an illness. Such events can take a toll on you physically, mentally and financially. It is important to keep some money separately as an emergency fund to take care of such exigencies so that financially you are protected.
5) Communicate with near and dear ones –
If you have a spouse, talk about retirement frankly. You both have to be in it together. You both have to be aware of
- The time of your retirement
- Amount of money needed post retirement
- Sources of income post retirement
- Your activities after retirement
- Status of your retirement goals.
If you do not have a spouse, talk about these topics to any other person close to you.
Must Read – 5 Reasons you should not retire
What to do After Retirement
1) Be physically and mentally active –
You have worked hard all your life. It is time to enjoy the rewards during retirement. Be ready to do what you love. You have time for learning the musical instrument you always wanted or spend time to volunteer for a cause close to your heart. You can do all that now.
Do not spend all the time idling. Fill your time with hobbies and doing things that interest you. Meet like minded people. Make sure you keep yourself physically active and mentally alert.
2) Have a Schedule –
Even if you are retired, it is good to have a schedule. It will help you look forward to something. The schedule can involve work and leisure activities. You should maintain a positive frame of mind and not get bogged down by thoughts that destroy your self-image.
You can make a daily routine and stick to it so that you do not waste away your time. It need not account for every minute of the day but be such that you have some activities to fill your day. If you have a kind of schedule, there are lesser chances of getting bored or depressed.
3) Financially Active –
You should stick to your budget, Keep a track of your income and expenses. Review your financial plan once in a while. If you have a financial advisor, get advice on how to improve returns (beating inflation). You should educate yourself in financial aspects and investment aspects. You may not have had time to educate yourself about finances when you were young. Retirement is a good time to learn and implement what you have learned after discussing with your advisor.
4) Take a part-time job or an income stream –
If you are healthy and have an inclination to keep yourself busy, you can take up a job. It can be a consulting role or a part-time job. You can tutor children if you are interested. If you are from the field of finance, you can take up auditing and taxation related assignments. It will add to your income and keep you active. But no need to take unnecessary pressure if you are financially free.
5) Make Retirement a Positive Phase of Life –
Retirement is a great time to enrich your life. You can travel to different places and understand more about our country and the world. If you are fit, you can try out new experiences. You can start reading and get various perspectives on life. It will improve your vocabulary and keep your mind fresh.
If you have grandchildren, spend time with them. You can otherwise spend some time with younger people around. It will give you a fresh perspective on life. You can learn a lot of things about today’s world.
You can reduce bad habits like smoking and follow good practices such as daily exercise, follow current affairs for time pass etc.
A healthy mind fit body and a proper retirement plan will help you look forward to a happy retirement phase. You can be in charge of your retired life and add value to it instead of just allowing life to drift by. Must share your plans or thoughts on happy retirement or if you are already retired “what to do after retirement” in the comment section.