Changes to Expect in Retirement Life
Retirement life isn’t just ‘your life but without a job.’ As we age, we change, and we should expect retirement to change more than just our work lives and habits.
Here are the top changes to expect:
When you think about retirement, your first thought is probably money. After all, throughout our lives, that’s what we’re told to focus on. “Don’t forget to save for retirement!”
To be fair, money does play the biggest role in retirement. Without work to provide money for budgeting out our expenses, our funds must come from other places. This can include the government, a work pension, and retirement investment accounts.
Typically, even if you do your best to save, your monthly finances will be significantly different than what you enjoyed while holding a job. Whether it’s 70%, 60%, 50% and so on of your original salary, you’ll have to adjust to this change by downsizing your assets, minimizing your expenses, and looking for ways to save on a daily basis.
If you have a demanding job, it’ll feel great to finally take a break from your previous work and actually relax, focus on family and relationships, and look after yourself. However, retirement is not a vacation. It lasts much, much longer, and doing nothing for several years can take a toll on your sense of self and purpose.
Have you ever noticed that most people who help out at religious institutions and non-profit organizations are older, retired folk? There’s a good reason for this. Volunteering can help insert a degree of purpose back into the lives of retirees, without the stress that a working job typically brings.
Whether it’s watching the grandkids, taking your child’s dog on a walk, or preparing a weekly meal for family in the area, participating in family tasks and helping extended family can provide a network of support and a sense of purpose that feels personal and important.
Work a Part Time Job
If neither of the options above sound appealing, finding a hobby that comes with deadlines (such as selling crafts online) or working a part-time, minimum wage job can give a bit of structure to your days. As a plus, it gives you something to look forward to and can boost your retirement funds.
Even if you haven’t suffered health complications tied to getting older, you probably have doctor visits to look forward to. There are certainly some exceptions, but the human body begins to fail as we age, even under the best of conditions and genetics.
For some people, their health can actually improve in retirement. Why? They now have time to take care of themselves, with habits like preparing healthy meals, having time to go on daily walks, or giving up physically damaging hobbies or work.
Conversely, the lack of daily activities (which used to be structured into the day by work) may fall to the wayside in favor of resting. Where you used to walk every day during your job, you may now spend all of your day in front of the television or inside your house.
Taking care of your health in the United States is expensive. As you advance in age, sometimes, health care expenses in your budget may grow from medication co-pays, doctor visits, and even emergency or urgent care visits. You may need more medical care, more often, and with greater specialties.
When handling your finances, make sure you have enough saved for greater medical expenses as well.
A major change, like retirement, will affect all aspects of your life, for good and worse. Planning for these changes can help you avoid the more disastrous effects of retirement, and ensure this is a great new chapter instead.