By Darrell Bryant
Whether retirement is just around the corner or still many years off, you know that in order to enjoy those golden years, you have to properly prepare for them. When you think about preparing for retirement, what comes to mind? Most of us just consider the financial aspects of it, but it’s also important to prepare for the emotional and psychological changes that come along with retirement.
Yes, retirement means having enough money in the bank to quit work. And yes, you need a stream of income you can’t outlive. But retirement is also a time to take adventures, find yourself, and begin a new chapter in life (a chapter that could last 20-30 years).
So let’s look at 3 things women need in retirement to be happy.
1. A Structured Schedule
For the majority of your life, you’ve stuck to some type of schedule. Throughout grade school, college, and then your working years, your days were mostly planned out. Retirement is arguably the only time in your life when you have no structure at all. The calendar is completely blank, and you’re free to spend your days as you wish.
This newfound freedom is fun at first, but a lack of structure can lead to restlessness. The days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months, and before you know it, you don’t know where the time has gone.
To help with this aimlessness, keep some type of schedule when you retire. You don’t have to plan out every second of every day, but implement some routines to keep yourself from getting bored.
Want to stay healthy in retirement? Sign up for workout classes a few times a week. Want to keep in touch with friends? Schedule a weekly lunch date. Want to pick up a new hobby? Dedicate a specific block of time to it. Create a schedule you can look forward to.
2. A Sense Of Purpose
Most of us find our purpose in our careers. Our work is ingrained in our identity and it’s hard to find new passions once we retire. So, what will your purpose be in retirement? How will you stay engaged and content?
According to a recent retirement survey, 76% of retirees who engage in 10 or more activities are very satisfied in retirement, compared to only 52% for those engaged in 1-4 activities. (1) Some activities that give retirees a new sense of purpose include:
- Spending time with family
- Socializing with friends on a regular basis
- Gardening and improving the home
- Joining a club or organization
And don’t think it’s too late to find your life’s passion. A recent study found that people with a sense of purpose have a 15 percent lower risk of death compared to those who are aimless. (2) The study also found that it doesn’t matter when you find your direction. Even if you’re in your 70s, it still leads to a longer life.
3. A Strong Community
Last but not least, surround yourself with people you love. Studies show that 62% of women miss their daily interactions with colleagues after they retire. (3) If you stop and think about it, this makes sense. Women spend the better part of their lives connecting and building relationships in the workplace. Once retired, it can be difficult to replace this type of connection.
The good news is, engaging in the activities listed in #2 (spending time with family, volunteering, joining a club, and so on) is a great way to stay connected and add meaning to your life.
Let Us Help You
At D. Bryant Retirement Strategies, we want to help you live a worry-free retirement. We believe this starts with taking steps today to make sure you’re financially, emotionally, and psychologically prepared. If you need assistance securing your financial future and planning for a happy retirement, schedule an introductory meeting to see if we are the right fit for you. Call us at (402) 932-2141 or email firstname.lastname@example.org today!
Darrell Bryant, CFS®, CAS® is Omaha’s Retirement Strategist. As the founder of D. Bryant Retirement Strategies, he focuses on helping individuals and couples nearing retirement do so successfully. Along with more than 30 years of experience, he received the Certified Fund Specialist (CFS®) designation and a Certified Annuity Specialist (CAS®) designation from the Institute of Business & Finance. Passionate about helping as many people as possible in his community, he hosts Retirement Strategies Radio, heard Saturday mornings at 8 a.m. on 1110 KFAB. He has also written articles on financial planning that have been featured on Fortune.com, FoxBusiness.com, Money.com, and in the Midland Business Journal. To learn more, visit his blog, his website, or connect with him on LinkedIn.