By Paulette C. Pasquale,CFP®
During this past six months, our lives have been impacted in many ways, some enlightening, some disturbing and many in between. For some, it is causing them to consider retirement sooner rather than later. Perhaps their job has been eliminated, or perhaps they are concerned about their health with returning to the workplace. But for some, this period of staying home more and slowing down the pace of our lives has given us an opportunity to actually consider what it might be like to retire.
The first thing, and perhaps only issue most people look at when considering retirement is whether they can financially afford to retire. However, it is just as important to think about the non-financial aspects of retirement. Retirement is a major life transition. While it is portrayed as something positive that you have worked hard to achieve, that doesn’t mean it automatically unfolds in a beautiful way. Just as you have developed a plan for the financial aspects of retirement, you need to also develop a plan for the non-financial aspects.
Retirement can be empty if you don’t take time to plan how to retire with the right tools. Successful retirees have found a way to replace their work identity, fill their time with meaningful tasks, stay connected and relevant, keep mentally fit and physically active, express their spiritual beliefs, and feel financially secure.
Take some time to write down concrete and tangible things that will help you replace your work identity, fill your time, stay connected to family and friends as well as keep mentally and physically active. A great place to start could be “What brings you joy at work?” You may really enjoy your co-workers, appreciate deadlines, like to mentor others or simply value the feeling of contributing to something. By writing down what you love about work, you can start developing a plan to replace those things when you make your transition.
Another key area to consider is how you will use your time in retirement. There are a lot of options. Perhaps you can continue to incorporate what brings you joy at work by sharing your knowledge and experience through volunteering, part-time work, or starting a business. Or this may be a great time to re-engage in the things you used to love to do and could get lost in. View this as an opportunity to replace boring and uninspiring activities with those that make you feel alive. Enjoy the time learn something new or delve deeper into your areas of interest. It can be an opportunity to share your interests with new people or build your relationships with family and friends.
Remember, retirement does not have to be a once-and done. Many of us have redirected or completely changed our careers as life has unfolded. Retirement can be an opportunity to redefine your life yet again, maybe several times! So while it is important to plan for your financial future in retirement, it essential to also plan the mental, social, physical and spiritual aspects so that you can live your best life in retirement. Why not take this time to start building the life you that will carry you into and through retirement.
Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board) owns the CFP® certification mark, the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification mark, and the CFP® certification mark (with plaque design) logo in the United States, which it authorizes use of by individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.
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