Recent world events have many folks looking to retire early. If your investments aren't producing the results that had hoped for, there are still steps that you can take to have a wonderful retirement. You may choose to wind down your working life or transition to part-time to protect yourself from financial shock.
Plan for When You Need Help
Your genetics have a lot to do with the length and quality of your life. If your parents lived long and healthy lives and never needed skilled care, you may not have thought of how to pay for such care. However, if you or your family members have long had high blood pressure, diabetes, or other conditions that increase your risk of serious health limitations later in life, a long-term care annuity could be a good investment.
One of the simplest things that you can do while you're still healthy is to bring in help before you have to have it. For example, you might bring in a companion for a day or two a week. That person can
● do light housework, such as laundry and vacuuming
● run errands with you, such as groceries and prescription pickup
● simply provide you with company
Again, getting help before you must have it will reduce your risk of injury over time. If you have always lived alone, or simply enjoy being on your own and are anxious about giving up your independence, remind yourself that it's just one day a week. Keep your mind flexible by changing your outlook.
Adjust Your Housing
Now is the time to take a walk around your house. If in the future you can no longer climb stairs, where will you sleep? How will you shower? Can you do laundry without having to climb down a flight of stairs with a basket? One nasty fall can radically change your retirement and may shorten your life. Simplify your living situation as you plan for post-retirement.
If you can move from a large home into a single-level living space with no stairs, you can greatly lower your risk of a tumble or a twisted ankle. If you can move into a condo where the exterior of your home is covered by the HOA, you won't have to climb on a ladder to paint, clean your gutters or check your chimney.
Align Your Budget
Once you don't have to go to work each day, your budget will change. You may no longer need two cars if you live with a spouse or partner. You will probably be able to simplify your wardrobe. You can probably reduce what you need to spend on lunches out.
As you track these savings, keep an eye on the expenses that go up. When you finally have time for hobbies, you may start to spend a lot on tools and materials. Avoid developing a habit of shopping as a hobby. If you want to learn to knit, get enough yarn and needles to start, take a class, and buy more as you need it. Fun activities such as woodworking or painting can rapidly burn up your budget. Grow your stock of supplies and tools as your skills improve to avoid having a huge stash of items that you don't know how to use.
Work On Your Health
Were you getting 150 minutes of moderate exercise before you retired? If not, now is your time to build up to that healthy goal. Technically, this goal will require only 22 minutes a day. If you have a dog, a morning and evening walk can get you there. For those who live in cold country, a treadmill may be necessary to get in your walk. If you live near a mall, check out the local senior center or Silver Sneakers program to get a ride to the mall; fill a thermos with coffee and share with your fellow riders to build community.
Now is also the time to check your diet. If your lunch used to include a restaurant meal, you may have been eating oversized portions and consuming a lot of salt. Take a hard look at your plate and work toward filling it up halfway with vegetables, preferably green and fresh. You now have time to prepare 3 meals a day.
We can Help! Our local advisors can help your family make a confident decision about senior living.