Retirement brings a major change in the life of not only the retiree, but also their family. It is a shift from a structured way of life to an unstructured one, which is unnerving and overwhelming, especially if you are not prepared.
This article will help people prepare themselves financially, physically and emotionally for that unavoidable phase of life:
Being Prepared Financially
- Start Saving – saving, whether for retirement or any other goal, is a rewarding habit. If you are already doing it, great; if not, you should get started. Start saving from a small amount, and gradually develop a habit of keeping aside a specific amount of money every month.
- Know Your Retirement Needs – if you wish to maintain the same standard of living after retirement that you currently have, you will have to save at least 70% of your preretirement income. Retirement savings programs like the Thrifts Savings Plan can help you plan for the future.
- Participate in a Retirement Savings Plan – Retirement savings programs like the Thrifts Savings Plan can help you plan for the future.
- Participate in Your Employer's Pension Plan – Private sector is offered to participate in a retirement savings plan, the most common one being the 401(k). This plan offers the employees to decide how much they want to contribute to their retirement plan. Once they decide on an amount, that percentage amount is deducted from their monthly paycheck.
- Know Where Your Money Is Invested – The type of investments you make play a significant role in how much you will have saved at retirement. Keep a track of where your savings or pension plan gets invested. Diversifying investments minimizes risk.
- Learn About Social Security Benefits – Social Security pays for benefits that are nearly 40% of what you earned during employment.
Being Prepared Physically
- Stop Smoking – Smoking causes life-degrading and life-shortening diseases.
- Control Blood Pressure – after quitting smoking, the next most important thing that Americans should do is to control their blood pressure by eating healthy and having an active lifestyle.
- Eat Healthy – The expression 'you are what you eat' proves to be right when people start having health problems after retirement because of their preceding unhealthy lifestyle. They should eat healthy both before and after retirement to avoid common health issues like blood pressure, hypertension, ulcers and others.
- Stay Active – Many people have an active workout regime while they are employed, but once they retire, they give it up. Having an active lifestyle after retirement is equally important to stay fit.
- Control Blood Pressure – High cholesterol means blocked blood vessels. The best way to lower cholesterol is to keep a check on your weight and exercise regularly.
- Get a Regular Checkup – Even if you feel fit, getting an annual medical checkup is important as some health problems like diabetes, cholesterol and others might not have any obvious symptoms until they get worse.
Being Prepared Emotionally
- Set Lifestyle Goals – Make a list things that you would like to do or places you would want to visit after retirement, for which you were too busy while employed. You can also plan your financial savings accordingly. Occupying yourself with interesting activities will offset feelings of uselessness after retirement.
- Build a Network – It is important to have a good support system and social circle after retirement to mingle with people who are going through the same transition as you are.
- Consider Your Spouse's Feelings – Retirement is as much of a life changing event for you as it is for your spouse, especially if they are still employed. Discuss their expectations, your feelings and sharing of responsibilities to make the transition easy for both of you.
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