COMFORT PLUS - 6 WAYS TO MAKE A RELAXING RETIREMENT

6 great tips on getting ready for retirement so that it'll be a pleasant and relaxing journey - instead of a stressful transition.

INTRO

Entering retirement is different for all of us. I kind of leapt off the employment cliff and freefell into retirement. Fortunately we had enough in place (being excellent 'preparers') to sustain that sudden change, but for others it would be a nightmare to suddenly be out of the workforce and self-supporting. 

Today on the blog I have a lovely guest named Jenn who is sharing some great tips on getting ready for retirement so that it'll be a pleasant and relaxing journey - instead of a stressful transition that has you questioning whether you can sustain your new life choice.

6 WAYS TO MAKE A RELAXING RETIREMENT

Retirement is a reward after a lifetime of hard work. You want to be comfortable and able to relax, but you should also make sure that your future is secure. If you’re in your 50s, it's time to sit and critically think about how you want to spend your retirement.

No matter your gender or relationship status, you should take your retirement life as an individual and prepare for it so that you can live comfortably. Here are ways to organize your life for a comfortable retirement:

1. MAKE LONG-TERM INVESTMENTS

Money is one of the most important components to plan for during your early working years. Savings funds like 401k’s and superannuation exist as a way to set aside money for retirement. If you want your money to continue growing without having to put in too much extra work, you might consider long-term investments.

Investing can be like gambling if you do not know what you are doing. However, the main rule to making investments is spreading your financial risk to different projects to minimize losses. While this is sound advice, that does not mean it is guaranteed to work.

As you decide what you want to do with your money, you might opt for more passive income projects like bonds, stocks, mutual funds, and real estate, which won’t require your direct involvement to get returns that will help sustain you after retirement. Additionally, you shouldn’t assume that your employer already has a pension plan for you. As you continue with your routine work, enquire all there is about your retirement benefits.

2. TRACK YOUR SPENDING HABITS

Unfortunately, most people were not taught good financial management, which is a critical skill to have. Luckily, you can get all the money facts from renowned financial consultants. To start, make a list of your necessities (utility bills, car payments, insurance payments, groceries, etc.) and make a budget. Then, list out all additional spending on things like entertainment, eating out, clothes shopping, etc. Doing so will help you track your spending habits.

6 great tips on getting ready for retirement so that it'll be a pleasant and relaxing journey - instead of a stressful transition.

A budget will help you take charge of your finances by curbing poor spending habits and saving the extra cash for your retirement years. You may not see the importance of doing this now, but every penny is important. If you develop good money management early, it will be easy to take care of your finances later in life.

3. REDUCE YOUR DEBTS

Debt is one of the top killers of financial growth and stability. Paying off debts keeps you from saving any extra money you have each month. If you need to see the financial progression as you plan your budget, factor in all your debts and figure out how to pay them off with your current income as soon as possible. Common debts include personal loans, student loans, mortgages, car loans, etc.

Paying off debt can be another challenge for some to deal with, especially for the high-interest debts. You may feel like all your money is geared towards paying off the debts. So, if you’re in this category, start by paying off the smallest debt first, as it will motivate you to clear off the more considerable debts. However, it's recommended that you pay off the high-interest debts as quickly as possible then end with the small debts. Choose the method that works best for you. The end goal is to clear off the debts to plan for your money in other essential ways.

4. CONSIDER TAKING UP A PART-TIME JOB

For many, retirement is a break you get after a long career. For others, retirement may feel like getting fired. Some people enjoy working as it keeps them mentally, socially, and sometimes physically active. If you are one of these people, you might want to consider getting a low-stakes part-time job.

The beauty of retirement is that you now have the chance to find your path. As you choose a part-time job, you can opt for seasonal jobs like being a tour guide, photography, bookkeeping, etc., instead of a day-to-day job.

6 great tips on getting ready for retirement so that it'll be a pleasant and relaxing journey - instead of a stressful transition.

You might also consider volunteering. You can use your free time to join a mentorship program for young people in your area. You can teach a class at your local community center. You could even just pick up trash and plant flowers in your local park to make it more beautiful. Retirement is a great time to give back to your community.

5. CONSIDER SUPPLEMENTAL HEALTH COVERAGE

It's impossible not to talk about health care when talking about your senior years since health risks increase as you get older. Besides eating nourishing foods and being physically active, it's essential that you also invest in long-term care insurance to cater for medical expenses.

Consider taking these coverages as a couple if you're married since it's cheaper and you're assured more benefits. An unexpected medical complication can quickly wipe out all your savings, which is a highly likely occurrence for seniors.

6. KNOW WHERE YOU’LL LIVE

The environment you choose to live in is a huge determining factor in your retirement life. Your job may have been the limiting factor to your current location. If you have already built your home, at least rent is off the table for you. However, after retirement, priorities may change, and you may consider selling that home and moving to another town in the countryside to enjoy that calm and quiet space. You can also opt to move to independent senior living units where you’ll live amongst seniors and have all the care you need from a professional caregiver.

6 great tips on getting ready for retirement so that it'll be a pleasant and relaxing journey - instead of a stressful transition.

DON'T LEAVE IT TOO LATE TO BEGIN PREPARING

You may still have plenty of years of work left, but a comfortable retirement requires planning and setting realistic goals. The earlier you start making these progressive changes, the more manageable it becomes to navigate through the uncertainties of the latter years.

Jen - 6 ways to a relaxing retirement


Jenn Walker is a freelance writer, blogger, dog-enthusiast, and avid beachgoer operating out of Southern New Jersey.








6 great tips on getting ready for retirement so that it'll be a pleasant and relaxing journey - instead of a stressful transition.

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6 great tips on getting ready for retirement so that it'll be a pleasant and relaxing journey - instead of a stressful transition.

24 comments

  1. Great tips Jenn... thanks Leanne!

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    1. I think it's always good to be prepared Jo - I wish I'd had more time to think it through before I retired, but luckily I could tick a lot of these boxes and have no regrets.

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  2. Great tips. I have a number of friends implimenting their retirement plans - or at least setting up their ideas for what they'll do. #lifethismonth

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    1. I've met a lot of people who've put quite a bit of thought into their retirement preparation too Lydia - they seem to adjust to it more easily because they had a plan in place and knew where they stood financially etc. It takes a lot of stress out of the process.

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  3. All of these tips make good sense to me. Thank you for sharing them Jenn & Leanne.

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    1. I thought they were great too Donna - and the last one in regard to downsizing is something I have floating around in the back of my mind in anticipation of moving into a smaller place one day.

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  4. Thanks for the tips, planning is good if you can do it, we all need to think of some of these issues before it hits us one day!

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    1. I completely agree Deb - I'm a big planner, so being thrown into the deep end without having all my ducks in a row was very stressful. I'm just grateful that we had 'planned by default' and covered several of Jenn's points in the process. Next on the list is the whole downsizing the home issue - but that can wait a bit longer!

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  5. My husband and I have started planning a bit for retirement... but it's hard to know what "things" will be like 10 years or so from now. We're trying to keep our plans flexible.

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    1. Hi Joanne - I think the biggest plan is to have your finances sorted before you pull the pin on your job - to be debt free is such a blessing. A lot of plans can be spread out over the first decade of retirement, but you can't retire and relax without knowing that you can afford to be without a regular 9-5 income. Good to see you're making a positive start in the right direction :)

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  6. Hi Leanne & Jenn - those are some great tips there! They've certainly given me some food for thought. Some I'd been pondering already - like where to live. I love my house but not so much the positioning of it. We're near a school and subject to school traffic and school bells and we're also a bit too close to neighbours. I'd like a quieter environment with lots of nature surrounding. Where to move to is something I've been pondering for a long time and it is greatly affected by not wanting to be too far from Mum at this time. Hope you're having a great week!

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    1. Hi Min - I think a lot of us are pondering where we want to spend our "senior" years - and somewhere quiet (but still close to amenities) is high on my list too. It's not time for either of us yet, and I'm hoping something lovely will appear when the time's right...it did for the move we made to our current home, so who knows what's next? :)

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  7. Always good to have some tips, Jenn. Thank you Leanne for sharing this post. The one thing "I" did right from that list is to move from full time work to part time. Sadly much of the other good plans on the list don't fall into place for us now. We have, however, found an area where we enjoy living for now and we are pleased to have our health professionals nearby too. Thank you so much for linking up your blog post for the FIRST #LifeThisMonth Link Up on Denyse Whelan Blogs. I do hope you return for the next one: Monday 11 April 2022. Warm wishes,Denyse.

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    1. Hi Denyse - transitioning to part-time work before retiring certainly helps ease the way and prepare you for having more time on your hands. I'm grateful that I was down to 2 days a week by the time I left work - it was a very easy adjustment time-wise. Your generosity with your funds probably set you back a bit, but it's about what seems right at the time and I'm sure you'd do it all again - and things have still worked out nicely for you x

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  8. These are all great tips, and I am grateful that I received and heeded this advice while I was young. I feel about as prepared as I can be for this big step. Of course, I know that you can never be 100% ready. Life has a way of regularly reminding us of that fact. So you do what you can and then you take the leap of faith!

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    1. Hi Christie - I seemed to have absorbed most of these tips fairly early on too - and I'm very grateful for the fact that they made the sudden jump out of the workforce so much less stressful. Being financially ready is a huge factor in making retirement relaxing - you're going to love it.

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  9. Good advice. Very wise for one so young.

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    1. Jenn certainly knows her stuff Suzanne - I loved that I could share her tips that were actually practical and made sense (and had worked for me in the lead up to this next stage of life).

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  10. Good tips, Jenn. I'd add another tip to think about the non-financial aspects of retirement once the financial plan is underway. Thank you, Leanne, for linking up with #weekendcoffeeshare.

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    1. Yes! I have about 10 years to go, and I'm already thinking about what I want the next chapter of my life to be. What will I do to keep busy and intellectually engaged? How will I make and keep friends? Stay active?

      I'd also like to see an article on considering where to live during retirement.

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    2. Hi Natalie - yes you're right about knowing how to fill your time. I think that's when transitioning from full-time to part-time work before retirement works well - you get to ease into having extra days of leisure time and learning how to fill them in a way that feels right for you.

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  11. Hi Janet - retirement living is a really interesting topic - we found that we needed to keep a larger home for when the family comes to visit and stay for a few days. If you live near your adult kids then this isn't an issue. It's still quite a big decision in regard to timing a downsize of home and what to downsize into (and getting rid of all the extra furniture etc in the process!) We've actually begun to talk about lifestyle/retirement village living for the facilities they offer - and knowing that your neighbours are quiet and not crazy party people! Still a few years to go before we head in that direction, but it's been a real change in thought process for us as the reality of living into our 70's/80's/90's looms.

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  12. So good Leanne and thankfully things we've been mostly doing for years. But changing jobs when we were mid 40's and realizing we didn't really have retirement set up was a little nerve wracking.

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    1. Changing jobs in your 40's and 50's is always nerve wracking Kirstin - I remember changing jobs at 52 and thinking it might be a mistake - but it turned out to be a new adventure (until I changed again to the not-so-perfect job!) Tucking money away into a retirement fund and having some plans in place certainly makes for a less stressful transition as the time to retire draws closer (or arrives unexpectedly!)

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