After working hard for many years, retirement can be an exciting part of life to think about; but it can also evoke feelings of stress and anxiety when pondering about finances, health, and a sense of purpose while retired. Luckily, there are many ways to plan for retirement and steps to take to prepare and transform your life and reduce your anxiety when it comes to retirement planning. Here are 6 essential steps to take:
1. Prioritize savings.
Prioritizing finances and savings is arguably the most important step of retirement planning. If you have a 401K retirement account, you can contribute to this with each paycheck. Additionally, if your employer offers to match your 401K contributions, make sure you are taking full advantage of this opportunity and contributing enough to make it worth it for you! Opening an individual retirement account (IRA) can be another helpful option when saving for retirement. Contributions to an IRA account may be tax deductible and the earnings could potentially be tax-deferred until retirement depending on the type of account. Make sure to do your research on which account would be best for your situation.
2. Plan for long term care.
While declining health and aging are not the most fun parts of retirement, they are inevitable and important to think about. Planning for the possibility of long-term care by considering long-term care insurance can be a very helpful step in the retirement planning process. Having this piece of the retirement puzzle planned out, can ease some of the potential stress and anxiety that may be looming. www.NPFBA.org is a helpful resource to browse long term care retirement benefits and plans.
3. Create goals for retirement.
Setting goals for retirement can be an important move to decreasing the overall anxiety that comes with such a huge life shift. While financial goals are important and useful, personal and/or health goals can also be beneficial to retirement planning. Weekly exercise and eating healthy as well as getting outside daily and traveling are all examples of health and personal goals to attain during retirement. Check out this blog for inspiration on 5 tips to setting and achieving goals: https://npfba.org/featured-news/5-tips-to-set-and-achieve-personal-goals/
4. Discover new interests or hobbies.
Exploring and finding activities that bring joy will be an important piece to reducing anxiety with retirement planning. Maybe taking up golfing or yoga or maybe volunteering at the local library. Planning for leisure is helpful in reducing the stress surrounding retirement to give a new purpose and reduce feelings of boredom. These interests or hobbies can provide a sense of enjoyment and relaxation during retirement.
5. Prioritize health and wellness.
With more time on your hands during retirement, it is a good time to prioritize health and wellness. This could mean a multitude of things and vary from person to person. One individual might enjoy spending time meditating, while another may take up yoga or an exercise class. Also, prioritizing healthy cooking and eating is a great way to keep health and wellness in check. Additionally, looking into long term care insurance plans ahead of time can be important to health and wellness in the case that assistance might be needed later on the retirement journey.
6. Consider your housing situation.
When retiring, some may choose to pay of the mortgage on their house and remain in that home, while others may choose to downsize to something smaller with less maintenance. Also an important consideration may be contemplating housing with assistance if necessary, such as an assisted living facility with nursing help, a meal service, cleaning assistance etc. Additionally, during retirement if health begins to decline it may be time to move into a home that is safer, more accommodating and with help when needed.
Planning for retirement can be stress-inducing as it is a big life decision and change. However, making these important moves before or during retirement can help ease some of that anxiety and stress and make the experience much more pleasurable!