Recent data has revealed that about half of Americans retire between the ages of 61 and 65, while 18% retire even earlier. By age 75, 89% of Americans have left the labor force and are looking forward to spending their free time doing the things that bring them joy. However, not all people manage to retire successfully, as most fail to prepare to have a happy and successful retirement during their working years.
Why seniors are failing at retirement
If you’re used to having a set routine, a steady income, and a certain lifestyle, then taking retirement may cause you to make a few adjustments now that you’ll be out of the workforce and have a lot of free time. One reason why most seniors fail at retirement is that they didn’t save enough for it. According to a study, one-third of all adults have no retirement savings, and 23% have less than $10,000 saved for their golden years.
There’s also the fact that some older adults are not emotionally or mentally prepared for retirement. Some are undecided as to whether to age at home or move into assisted care, while others have no idea what to do with all their free time. If you want to have a happy and successful retirement, here are a few tips to get you started.
Plan your retirement
Planning leads to more savings, and it also breeds confidence as you approach your retirement years. Calculate how much money you’ll need to retire comfortably, so you’ll need to factor in your daily living expenses, utilities, rent, and the like. You should also decide whether you want to age at home. If this is the case, then you’ll need to have enough money to remodel your home to accommodate your needs as you age. If you plan to retire at an assisted living facility, then you’ll need to have a look at a few places and see how much it will cost you to stay there.
You’ll also need to have some funds for emergencies, such as hospital expenses, sudden vehicle or house repairs, or any other pressing matters that may come up that needs funding. To make your retirement more fun, save enough money so you can go on a vacation every once in a while.
Have a debt-free lifestyle
Debt-free retirees have a lot more flexibility to cope with rising health care costs. Consider paying off your credit cards, mortgage, and other debts before you retire. You should also try to live as frugally as possible and avoid buying anything that you don’t need.
Plan what to do during your free time
If you’re uneasy over the thought of doing nothing during your retirement years, take a look at the opportunities out there that will enable you to stay active and social during your golden years. Seniors can do volunteer work, or you can start a small business that will enable you to have more income. The key is to do what you love so you’ll enjoy your retirement more.
Keep in touch
Don’t lose touch with your colleagues, friends, and loved ones. Avoid social isolation by meeting up with your friends on a regular basis, and visit your family members as often as you can.
Learn new skills or pursue a hobby
Just because you’re retired doesn’t mean that you can’t learn something new. Perhaps you’d like to take some language lessons to prepare for your upcoming trip to Italy, or maybe you want to take up painting or gardening as a hobby. Pursuing a hobby or taking the time to learn is a great way for retirees to enrich their lives during their golden years.
Going on retirement is a new adventure that is full of possibilities. With preparation, a positive mind set, and a few goals for the future, you can look forward to having a happy and successful retirement.