Today I Learned...
- It is important to establish a routine and organize your days during retirement
- The act of staying in touch with friends and family—whether face to face or online—can help you feel connected and happy
- Keeping yourself engaged through new activities and a willingness to embrace change can help you maintain satisfaction
etirement can be a stressful time. It's a new chapter, and it can be difficult to know how to navigate this new phase of life.
The following tips will help you make your retirement years more enjoyable:
Leverage the power of technology.
Technology can be a key ally in your retirement planning. Use online tools to help you manage your finances, stay connected with friends and family, find ways to make yourself feel more fulfilled, and more.
Use an online tool such as Mint.com or YNAB (You Need A Budget) to plan out how much money you'll need each month once you retire. You can use this information when researching retirement homes or deciding whether it makes sense for you to pay off debts before retiring. Plus - this way, there won't be any surprises once the day comes!
Use Skype or FaceTime with grandchildren who live far away so they know what's going on with "Nana" even though she no longer lives nearby!
Create a routine.
Having a routine is one of the most important things you can do to take the stress out of retirement.
A routine helps you stay organized and on top of your game, which means you’ll be more likely to stay healthy, save money, and have time for relaxation and spending time with family. An added bonus? The more regular things become in your life, the easier it will be to adjust when something unexpected comes along.
Learn more about the importance of establishing routines: Creating a Morning Routine for a Better Day.
Maintain strong friendships.
Maintaining strong friendships is important for your mental health and well-being, so you should make a point of staying in touch with friends from different stages of your life.
You can try one or more of these strategies to stay in touch:
- Have regular phone calls or video chats with people you care about (and if they are far away, try skype!).
- Plan vacations together! If possible, plan one every year — maybe even two so that you have some room for spontaneity as well!
- Send handwritten thank you notes. It’s an inexpensive way to keep in touch and it will mean a lot more than an email chain.
Organize your days better.
One of the first steps to taking the stress out of retirement is to organize your days better. You can't sit around and wait for things to happen, or you'll feel like you're wasting time.
Instead, figure out what you want to do during the day and make a plan for it. That way, when your friends ask if you'd like to join them for lunch, you can say "yes!" instead of feeling guilty about having nothing planned for the day.
This will also help you stop feeling overwhelmed by all the things you're not getting done—because there's no shame in saying "no" when something comes up that would take away from your plans for the day.
- Prioritize your tasks. Assembling a to-do list is a good way to get in the habit of prioritizing tasks and can help you feel more organized. It also makes it easier for others around you to understand what’s going on with your schedule, so they know when they can expect things from you and when they can plan ahead.
- Use a calendar to plan your days. A calendar is an indispensable tool for any productive person, but especially one who is retired or has no set work schedule (or both!). It will allow you to set goals for each day, keep track of appointments and events, and ensure that nothing slips through the cracks!
- Set goals for the day. Being organized doesn't mean being rigid—if something comes up during your day that takes priority over another task planned earlier on in the week/month/year then go ahead and adjust as needed! Just make sure everyone knows about any changes made so there aren't any unpleasant surprises later down the road.
Looking to master personal organization? Take our organizational skills class to learn more!
Get involved in your community.
One of the best ways to stay engaged and active is by getting involved in your community. Volunteering at a local nonprofit or driving for Meals on Wheels are two easy ways to help others while also keeping your mind sharp, but there are countless other ways that you can participate through your local community center or church.
If you’re looking for something more structured, try joining a book club or participating in a civic group that promotes literacy skills among children. You could even join an intramural sports team—the camaraderie will give you a sense of belonging as well as provide exercise!
Learn something new.
You've probably heard that it's important to keep your mind active and learn new things as you age. But what if you don't have a lot of time to dedicate to crossword puzzles, or spending hours in front of the TV? Well, there are plenty of ways for retirees to learn about new hobbies and skills that can be enjoyed with friends who share an interest in the same thing.
For example, maybe you've always been curious about photography but never had time for it before. Or perhaps you've always wanted to learn how to play piano but never got around to it when you were younger because life was too busy raising kids and working full-time at the office. Whatever your interests may be, chances are there is some kind of class or community group that meets regularly where retirees like yourself can learn something new together!
Check out all the classes offered on GetSetUp and learn something new today!
Be open to change.
One of the most common complaints among retirees is that they don't know what to do with all of their free time. If this sounds familiar, take some time to think about what you want to do before you retire so that when the time comes, you can start doing it right away.
One way to make sure that your retirement is enjoyable is by being open to change and trying new things. If there's something in particular that keeps coming up in your thoughts (perhaps it's a hobby or interest), give yourself permission to explore it further and see where it leads. You never know where life may take you!
If something isn't working out for you during this period of transition, don't be afraid to ask for help. Retiree support groups, family members and friends can provide valuable resources when trying something new or taking on unfamiliar tasks—and even if they don't offer advice directly related to their own experiences, these people may still have valuable insight into what worked well during similar transitional periods in their lives. Ultimately though: if something isn't fun anymore then why continue doing it? Try something else instead!
Learn more: 4 Simple Ways To Embrace Retirement.
Make your money last.
Making your money last in retirement can be a stressful experience, but it doesn't have to be. The first step is to determine how much money you will need to live comfortably during your retirement years.
The answer is not as simple as it may seem. You'll need to consider all of your expenses, including food, shelter, transportation, healthcare and other living expenses. After determining these costs, you'll need to subtract any additional income you may receive from Social Security or other retirement benefits.
Learn more about budgeting in retirement with our class: Budgeting Basics.
Staying on top of your finances during this time can be overwhelming at times but with careful planning and proper budgeting techniques, stress levels will decrease and allow for more enjoyment throughout these important years ahead!
Looking to make some extra cash during retirement? Here's some ideas:
- Creative Ways to Make Income in Retirement
- 5 Jobs Retirees Can Do From Home
- Earn Money from Your Hobbies During Your Retirement Years
Retiring doesn't have to be stressful, focus on what's fun about it!
If you're retiring, you'll have more time to do the things that are important to you.
You'll be able to spend more time with family and friends, travel more often, or volunteer if it's something that has always been on your bucket list. There are so many ways to make retirement a great experience for yourself, so don't focus too much on all the things that could go wrong!