Does the prospect of retirement give you a bit of a scare? Whether it is coming up quickly, or whether it is still far in the distant future, it is a huge transition, and it can be intimidating.
It is not easy to move away from the working stage of your life – the stage that you have spent the most time in, the stage in which you have become the most comfortable living.
You shouldn’t feel guilty or afraid to take the leap. After all, you’ve earned it! So make sure you’re prepared for this moment, so that when it’s time you can retire happily and comfortably.
1. Become financial prepared
Take charge of your finances before retirement. From early on, it is a good idea to contribute to an RRSP. This can help you save money on taxes while you are still working, and it provides you with some sort of income when you do retire.
You should ensure that all of your debts are paid off before retirement. Even with a decent amount of savings, adjusting to a lifestyle where you are earning less money may be difficult, and you don’t want to be juggling debt while trying to manage that transition. Pay off your mortgage, lines of credit, car loan, and other major debts while you’re still working. It makes retirement much easier and worry free.
2. Make a bucket list and cross it off
Your bucket list doesn’t have to be anything crazy, but give yourself some goals and aspirations to achieve upon retirement. Many retirees become bored and apathetic, long before they have truly run out of steam. Some retirees get so bored they return to working part time, out of habit and necessity.
Give yourself something fun and exciting to do. Learn a new hobby, travel, make a reading list. Whatever it is, make the post-working stage as exciting as possible.
3. Seek help
The transition between working and retirement is often scary for people, because it is the first time they have had a major life transition in many, many years. It’s trying something new, and it is often seen as the “last stage of life”. Many people have a hard time embracing that. It is a good idea to find friends and acquaintances who are experiencing the same thing, or who have already experienced it.
These people will understand the emotions, fears, and other things you may be feeling. Confiding in them or allowing them to guide you through the process may be a really helpful tool in this transition.
4. Have an emergency savings fund
For some of the same reasons why it is important to not have debt after retirement, it is also important to have an emergency savings fund. After retirement, if any big-ticket items in your life need repair or replacement, you don’t have as much income to help you replace them. If your car or water heater breaks down, or you need to replace a major appliance, these purchases can break the bank for many retirees.
5. Take care of your health
Healthy eating and activity can truly help you make the most of your retirement. Barring chronic pain and illness, your retirement years can be some of your most active years, as you no longer have to experience the hustle and bustle of working life. You may have grandchildren, or you may wish to travel. It is worth it to put the time and effort into your health, so that you can take retirement by the horns and truly make the most out of it.