At some point most of us will reach an age where we must consider retirement. However, retirement should not just be an inevitability of old age, but the attainment of a goal. Retirement means being able to live comfortably and happily while never being obliged to work again. After all those tireless years laboring, all those long days and nights taking a job and not being able to shove it, retirement should feel like a reward. In this regard retirement is not an end, but a new beginning.
Nevertheless, it’s shocking to note how many retirees are unhappy as they shift toward the autumn of their lives. Some of these reasons are financial, others related to health. Some simply feel the depression of nostalgia for halcyon days gone by. The key to staying happy in retirement is staying flexible and prepared for the vagaries of life rather than weathering them as they come. The following are 5 tips to help you enjoy a happy retirement:
1. Get Regular Health Check-Ups
It’s hard to have a positive outlook on life when you are suffering from interminable pain. As you advance in age, the odds of contracting a debilitating or life-threatening illness rise dramatically, and the best way to prevent such an occurrence is to catch the disease in its early stages. Having constant check-ups will help you identify any warning signs before they develop into crippling maladies. Take particular care with any issues that may have affected previous generations, as you may be genetically predisposed to certain kinds of disease.
2. Manage Your Finances
As a result of regular check-ups and improved medicine, people today are living longer, healthier lives. On the flip side, this also means that retirees need a larger nest egg in order to adequately fund their retirement. Before retiring, calculate your average income and determine whether you can afford to live lavishly or need to exercise some frugality to prevent financial trouble toward the tail end of your life.
3. Take On New Challenges
The stereotype that afflicts the elderly is one of stubbornness and unwillingness to change. Despite being granted the time and money to do as they please, many simply sit and grouch about how the world has passed them by. This can not only lead to bitterness toward society as a whole, but make life more difficult as you become less familiar with new technology. By embracing new technology, trying out new foods, or taking on a hobby, you can help keep your mind active and engaged during the time you have left. By devoting yourself to new challenges, you will feel happier and more productive than you ever did during your youth.
4. Focus on Family
Retirement also gives people a chance to reflect on the things that are most important to them. Grandparents play an important role in imparting values, wisdom, and education to their grandchildren. In turn for this advice, the children imbue you with their energy and exuberance, almost as if youth itself were a transitive element. The support of grandparents is vital to help solidifying the family unit, and playing this role will ultimately translate to a more happier retirement for you and your spouse.
5. Contribute to Society
Many elderly individuals feel the need to make a difference, in the lives of their children and society as a whole. Unselfishness itself is paradox. After all, charitable endeavors are really gifts for yourself, providing all the warmth and gratitude that comes with helping the less fortunate. The contribution doesn’t have to be financial, as often times the most valuable asset you can provide is volunteering your time. Being active in the community can help you feel good about your legacy and yourself, which are key aspects for maintaining happiness throughout your golden years.
Contributed by: Noel Smiths writes for EquityRelease.net covering a wide range of retirement finance topics.