Retirement often represents a dream come true for working professionals, yet transitioning into retirement may be difficult. Thankfully, saving experts who understand the ins and outs of retirement can prepare accordingly. Now, let's take a look at 10 things you need to know about retirement:
1. You May Face a Budget Crunch
Some retirement experts project that an individual's expenses drop by 30% during retirement, according to Senior Living. While this is definitely good news, keep in mind that the choices you make may actually cause your expenses to rise during retirement. With so much new free time on your hands, you may actually find that your expenses can rise during your retirement. This is largely due to finding new hobbies, eating at nice restaurants more often, house remodeling, vacations, and more. For example, if you plan a Hawaiian vacation to celebrate your retirement, you'll need to budget properly and live conservatively in the coming months.
2. Keep An Eye on Your Expenses
Every penny counts, and that is especially true for retirees. Since you will no longer have a standard income when you retire, you should still watch your expenses closely. If you are worried about your retirement expenses, you should look into meeting with a financial planner. By getting some extra help and keeping a vigilant eye on your expenses, you can keep your expenses low.
3. Take Advantage of Accrued Time-Off
If you accumulated lots of vacation days or sick time during your career, you may be able to "cash out" your accrued time-off once you retire. By doing so, you can earn extra cash that you can use to cover your housing, food, and other retirement expenses. If you aren't sure if your place of employment offers this benefit, you can meet with your HR representative and see if they feature this or similar benefits for retirees.
4. Learn About Medicare
When it comes to your health, only the best will do. Medicare is available to U.S. residents who are age 65 or older, and many types of these plans are available for retirees. You can learn more about all of the Medicare plans at your disposal here, and find the one that suits you perfectly.
5. Check Out Supplemental Insurance
Medicare alone sometimes isn't enough, and you might require supplemental insurance to ensure that you're always covered. For instance, Medigap Plans are sold by private insurance companies to help cover copayments, coinsurance, and deductibles that are not usually covered under Medicare. Or, if you plan to travel, you can also choose from traveler's insurance to cover any medical costs that you encounter during an international trip.
6. Map Out Your Time
Staying active and involved is key, especially in the first few weeks of your retirement. By planning regular activities, you can ward off boredom and boost the likelihood of a successful transition into retirement. We suggest looking into activities that will keep you active in the community such as joining a book club, church group, low-impact workout class, or even by signing up for a class at a local community college. You can also look into picking up new hobbies or learning new skills including woodworking, swimming, golfing, yoga, painting, volunteering, etc.
7. Make Firm Plans with Family Members and Friends
Making concrete plans enables you to look forward to gatherings with your family members and friends. Additionally, setting up weekly game nights, dinners, or other gatherings will help you stay engaged with your loved ones during retirement.
8. Keep your TV Time to a Minimum
For some retirees, the temptation to watch TV for hours on end can be overwhelming. Remember, watching TV may be addictive, and too much television can impact your mental acuity. If you limit your time on the couch, you can reduce the risk of becoming a couch potato.
9. Address your Stress
If you feel stressed or overwhelmed with the process of retirement, talk to a family member, friend, or seek professional help. By discussing your concerns over retirement, you may be able to understand the root cause of your stress and address this issue.
Reaching retirement is a wonderful achievement and it should be celebrated! Therefore, if you want to skydive, travel abroad, or accomplish other bucketlist items, there is no time like the present to do so!
Ready for retirement? Use the aforementioned tips, and you can make the most of your life as a retiree.