What does living in retirement mean?
Sometimes it feels like life is one major event after another: school, career, marriage, house, children, aging parents. When life falls into a predictable patterns, your actions are understood and predictable. But what happens once you retire? Time suddenly becomes your own.
The challenge with “one-size fits all” advice is that we’re all different. Whereas “free time” may offer some infinite opportunities to explore, that same freedom becomes a prison of boredom and uncertainty for others. The 20 offerings, over this and the next blog post, are ideas from which to develop your own toolbox for life in retirement.
0. Take stock. As you begin, consider how you got here. What was your path? What have been your greatest achievements and failures? What have you learned? What do you do better than most? What did you sacrifice along the way? Such insights will help shape the direction you take going forward.
1. Health Matters. For most retirees, health is the most prized possession. You invested too much time and talent to let everything slip away now. Prioritize your physical and mental well-being through regular exercise, balanced nutrition, continuous learning, and social engagement to maintain a healthy lifestyle in retirement.
2. Find Purpose and Meaning. When you are providing for a family, contributing to a business, or serving individuals, you have a ready-made mechanism for finding importance and value in the day-to-day. Retirement changes that. The invitation is to direct your talents to something important for your next chapter.
Discover activities that bring you joy and fulfillment, whether it's volunteering, pursuing a new hobby, learning a new language, or helping others within your community. As we have addressed previously:
what would you do with your time if the amount of money you made no longer mattered? This is your opportunity to think outside the box.
3. Embrace Authenticity and Curiosity. Be true to yourself and your interests, and don't feel pressured to conform to societal expectations during retirement. Economic freedom does not mean you have to stop working. Yet it does not mean you continue to do things you know, simply because you don’t have a clue what else to do. Take a flier on something you’ve never done before, such as filmmaking, birdwatching, or pickleball. Or, find a new way to share your abilities in project management, teaching, information technology, or [fill in the blank] with those who would benefit.
4. Power of Perspective. If you start to feel bored in retirement, remind yourself of the stress and exhaustion you felt when you were still working. You now have time to decompress and take in all of the things you enjoy about your life.
This newfound freedom is a luxury many people don’t have. Whether they are too young or do not have enough saved to leave the workforce, millions of people are striving to reach the point you are at.
5. Connect with Older Adults. Seek out opportunities to socialize and learn from other retirees, as they can offer valuable insights and support during this phase of life. Senior centers and retirement communities offer classes and ways for you to teach, as well as meals and other opportunities to interact. Participation in these activities can help you feel less isolated and more fulfilled overall during your retirement.
6. Engage with Younger Generations. Stay open-minded and connect with younger individuals, such as family members, neighbors, and students through mentorship programs, to foster intergenerational relationships and learn from those who may see and experience the world differently from you.
7. Financial Planning. Ensure your financial security by managing your retirement savings wisely and seeking professional advice when needed to make informed decisions about your finances. Many financial planners also engage in financial life planning, which emphasizes the connection between life choices and your wealth. Money can only take you so far – it’s who you are and how you carry yourself which carries the day.
8. Travel and Exploration. Travel is often at the top of everyone’s list during retirement and for good reason. Use your newfound free time to explore new places, cultures, and experiences, as the world offers insights and perspectives to expand and enrich anyone’s life with memorable adventures.
9. Pursue Lifelong Learning. Engage in continuous learning through courses, workshops, or online platforms to stimulate your mind and stay intellectually active. Senior adults (age 60 and over) who are residents of the state of Washington are eligible to enroll (audit only, no credit) on a space available basis using the Senior Citizen Tuition Waiver (RCW 28B.15.540). Think about it: free tuition, in college level classes, in a safe learning environment – what’s not to like?
10. Balance Leisure and Productivity. Strike a balance between leisure activities and productive pursuits to keep a sense of purpose and structure in your daily life. You don’t have to do everything at once – yet remember Newton and the universal laws of motion: “An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.” If you are able to stay active and engaged, you will be amazed at what you’ll accomplish and enjoy.
Retirement is a unique journey for everyone, and it's essential to find what suits you best to live a fulfilling and happy life during this phase.
Disclosure: This material is presented solely for information purposes and has been gathered from sources believed to be reliable, however, Pacific Asset Management cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of such information, and certain information presented here may have been condensed or summarized from its original source. The preceding information is not intended to be tax, legal or accounting advice, and nothing contained in these materials should be relied upon as such. It may not be used for the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties. Please consult legal or tax professionals for specific information regarding your individual situation. Nothing in this presentation in intended to serve as personalized investment, tax, or insurance advice, as such advice depends on your individual facts and circumstances. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Pacific Asset Management and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. No advice may be rendered by Pacific Asset Management unless a client service agreement is in place.