At the outset, retirement seems like such an easy concept — pick a new, sunny locale, say goodbye to the workplace grind, and ride off into the sunset with your significant other. But, as many new retirees find, it’s not that easy. Retirement is a journey that begins long before you punch your last time card — it’s a series of decisions and movements that require a great deal of thought and discussion.
While every situation is undoubtedly different, here are a few general tips and tricks for developing your retirement plan and goals:
1) Create goals and save, save, save: The most obvious, but most important item on this list. Retirement saving can be done in many different forms, but the most essential part to any retirement savings plan is that it should be done as early as possible. Start by determining how much money you will need to accrue in order to retire comfortably. Your estimate may change over time, but it is important to begin monetizing your goals and what it would take to reach them. With your goals in mind, start saving money, and most importantly, don’t touch it. It’s tough to watch money accumulate and not be able to touch it, but in the end, discipline is key, and your future self will thank you for it.
2) Choose your new place carefully: Just as creating goals takes time, so too does finding the perfect place. There are a lot of decisions that go into finding a new place, including locale, proximity to family and whether or not to downsize. One important consideration to keep in mind when finding a new place is how your new community can adapt to your needs as time progresses. Don’t choose a new apartment or area only to realize that you’ll have to uproot again because your new place doesn’t fit your physical or medical needs. Take your time and do your research on websites like AFTER55.com™.
3) Search online: With thousands of listings in cities nationwide, AFTER55.com provides an all-encompassing senior housing search experience. AFTER55.com’s search experience allows you to browse a variety of different senior housing and care options, enabling you to find the housing type that best suits your lifestyle.
4) Go slow: If you are retiring in your 60s or early 70s, be mindful about jumping into new living arrangements. As you downsize, it’s natural to want to move in with family or friends who are also downsizing. While this can be a perfectly good senior housing solution in some cases, it’s worth testing out before making a commitment. If you’ve been on your own for 40 years, moving in with new roommates or family takes a bit of getting used to. Again, do your research and have plenty of discussions with your prospective housemates before taking the plunge.
5) Don’t wait until the last minute: As important as it is to go slow and evaluate your senior housing options, it is equally important to be mindful of your future. While some seniors are excitedly planning for retirement, others dread the idea of retirement and constantly put it off. As hard as it might be to leave your familiar surroundings, it is much better to determine your retirement plan on your own terms, and not have them dictated to you by your health or other uncontrollable circumstances.