Your retirement plan may be to save as much money as possible. That’s not a bad idea. Your strategy may consist of contributing to a 401(k), an IRA or even a health savings account. When you’re young and have many years until retirement, asset accumulation is an important priority.
As you near retirement, however, you may want to consider issues besides asset accumulation. It’s important to think about not just accumulating assets, but also how those assets will be put to use. That means asking yourself questions about your desired lifestyle.
Below are four questions you may want to ask yourself as you develop and hone your retirement strategy. These questions can help you think beyond the financial aspects of retirement planning. They can also inform your spending decisions in retirement so you can protect your assets and your financial stability.
How will you spend your free time?
One of the most exciting aspects of retirement is that you gain control over your schedule. You’re free from the constraints of work and can spend your time as you like. However, many new retirees often struggle with this freedom. They may feel that they lack purpose, and some fill that free time with costly activities such as shopping and travel. The risk is that you spend too much money in the early years of retirement and deplete your assets.
Think about how you would like to spend your time in retirement. What does your typical day look like? Which activities are most important to you? How would you like to spend your time? Then think about how you can achieve these objectives in a cost-effective manner that won’t bust your budget.
How will you stay social?
Loneliness is another challenge for many retirees. Work is often a primary socialization opportunity for adults. Without work in your life, you could have limited opportunities for interaction with others. That could turn into loneliness, which could have a big impact on your happiness in retirement.
Consider ways to stay connected with friends after you leave the working world. Are there any local clubs or hobby groups you could join? For instance, if you enjoy gardening, could you participate in a local club or volunteer in a civic group? If you like golf, could you work as a ranger at a local course?
Also, consider your relationships with family. Many seniors love to spend time with their children and grandchildren. You may even want to spoil them with gifts and financial assistance. However, be aware of how those gifts can impact your own financial stability. Look for opportunities to spend time with your loved ones without threatening your own financial future.
Where will you live?
Your living situation can be a big factor in your happiness and financial stability in retirement. Retirement is often a good time to consider downsizing, especially if you’re living in a large home in which you have equity. By selling your home, you could reduce your expenses and boost your retirement assets.
Also, think about your neighbors and surrounding community. By moving to another part of the country or even a different neighborhood, you may be able to reduce your cost of living. If you live in an area with businesses within walking distance, you may be able to get by with one car instead of two. A change in location can have multiple positive effects on your budget and your happiness.
What’s your plan to protect your health?
As you get older, you may find yourself more vulnerable to illness and injury. Health care is usually a major expense for retirees. Fidelity found that the average retired couple will spend $280,000 on out-of-pocket health care costs.1
Medicare will help cover some of the costs. However, you can reduce your risk and exposure by investing in your own health. Think about ways to improve your wellness. Perhaps you could reduce or eliminate unhealthy habits. You may be able to improve your diet or exercise more frequently. Your doctor can help you develop a health care plan that minimizes your risk for serious health issues.
Licensed Insurance Professional. This information is designed to provide a general overview with regard to the subject matter covered and is not state specific. The authors, publisher and host are not providing legal, accounting or specific advice for your situation. By providing your information, you give consent to be contacted about the possible sale of an insurance or annuity product. This information has been provided by a Licensed Insurance Professional and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting insurance professional. The statements and opinions expressed are those of the author and are subject to change at any time. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, presenting insurance professional makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. This material has been prepared for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, accounting, legal, tax or investment advice. This information has been provided by a Licensed Insurance Professional and is not sponsored or endorsed by the Social Security Administration or any government agency.
17597 – 2018/4/19