You have worked hard for the majority of your life. You have looked forward to the day when your morning began on a golf course instead of in a board room. You have always thought these would be the years you would enjoy the most… yet now that they are here – they are not as carefree as you hoped.
This description is not an exaggeration, but a reality for more than 50% of retirees who describe their retirement as ‘unsatisfying’, according to a study conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute. Over that last 5 years, the number of older adults who find their retirements ‘very satisfying’ has decreased. Many financial professionals attribute this data to growing concerns over money and fewer feelings of financial peace.
If you are not enjoying your retirement as much as you hoped, and you feel that money might be a main reason why… the best thing you can do is take a step or two towards financial peace. We all know that financial freedom may not be entirely possible (unless there’s a magic wand in the mix!), but small steps can make a big difference in the stress you feel about money & spending, both today and tomorrow.
#1: Don’t Wait to Downsize. One of the biggest stressors retirees face is repaying debt… especially on a now fixed income. Downsizing can eliminate the stress of a large mortgage AND minimize concerns over ongoing home improvement expenses. In addition, you can retain control and take a proactive role in your safety if you move before you truly ‘need’ to.
#2: Recognize Your Budget Busters. Do you really need two vehicles… and the double insurance, gas and maintenance costs that come with them? Are you using your gym/spa/book club memberships? Cut costs where you can to make up for where you can’t. The stuff that is in your control is also yours to prioritize!
#3: Ask For Help. Are you concerned about missing the key deadlines of retirement planning… and the fees associated with them? Do you know you need to prioritize spending, but don’t where to start? Are you ready to downsize… but need an extra pair of hands or two? Enlist the help of your financial planner, tax consultant, trusted move manager (that’s us!), Senior Real Estate Specialist, etc.… without guilt! Let us love what we do AND help you: it’s truly a win-win.
If you are still feeling overwhelmed with how to make your retirement a happier & healthier one, try taking a step back and setting realistic expectations. Remind yourself that enjoying retirement is a marathon and not a sprint. We’ve all been trained how to ‘work’ – but no one ever trains to retire!