Planning for Life After Retirement: Everything You Need to Know

Retirement is one of the most significant transitions in your life. You’re free to do what you choose after years of reporting to a boss and punching a clock. While you may find the idea of independence is appealing, many people have a hard time adjusting to life after work. In order to make the transition as smooth as possible, it helps to think about your life after retirement and consider what you’re going to do, where you’re going to live and how you’re going to pay for the life of leisure you worked so hard for.

Social Security

You spend your life paying into social security so that you can draw benefits when you retire. The amount you’re paid is calculated from the 35 highest income years you had during your working years. 35 years of income numbers are used in the calculations whether you worked for 35 years or not; this means an income of $0.00 is used for any years you didn’t generate income. Ideally, you will have 35 years of income and retire at the age of 65 in order to earn the maximum benefits allowed. There is a reduced benefit option for those who retire before the age of 65, which means that if you’re in a financial position to retire early, that is an option.

Cash In on Life Insurance

Many people take out life insurance policies to cover funeral costs after they die. Now that prepaid funerals are a popular option, sometimes the reason a person has a life insurance policy is to ensure their partner or spouse isn’t left with a mortgage they can’t pay if they die unexpectedly. Whether you have your mortgage and funeral costs paid or not, you can turn your life insurance policy into a financial resource while you’re still alive and use it to fund your retirement plans. You can sell your life insurance policy through a viatical settlement company. You won’t get the full value of the insurance policy, but you will get a large cash payout that you can use for any expenses you have.

Stay Connected Socially

Many people have a social network based on their work colleagues. It’s important to stay in touch with friends and find new people to interact with so that you enjoy your retirement. Join a golf club or a bowling league to stay active and meet new people with shared interests. Community centers and senior centers offer opportunities to socialize. Spend time with your children and grandchildren. You can also meet people by pursuing their interests. Join a writers’ group or a book club. Indulge in Bingo games or take craft lessons. It’s common to feel lonely after retirement, but there are ways to maintain old social connections and make new ones that will enrich your life during your golden years.

Stay Busy

Boredom can be a source of depression and that can lead to emotional and physical issues. One way to avoid boredom is to make plans. Set aside time for favorite activities, such as gardening. Keep an exercise schedule. You may be able to join a walking club in order to stay active. There are also many volunteer opportunities in every community that you can choose from. You can consider a part-time career as a dog walker or pet sitter if you love animals and want to earn a little extra money. Make a list of the things you always wanted to do and prioritize them. Whether you wanted to see the Grand Canyon or learning to paint, it’s never too late to make your dreams a reality. 

Consider Your Living Options

You may decide you want to sell your home. Downsizing is common after children move out, and this can be a way of gaining some extra income to fund your retirement. Whether you decide you want to pursue assisted living in Wyoming, MI or move to a condo in Florida, there are plenty of options to consider. Assisted living can be an ideal choice if you have health needs. The idea of living through dozens of cold winters may not be appealing. You can move to a southern state full time, or you can opt to spend your winter months in the south and return home in the spring. It’s also a good idea to note that most of the states with the lowest tax rates for seniors are in the south, adding to the reasons to consider a move to a warmer climate. 

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