It’s finally happening – after many years in a career you loved, you’ve arrived at retirement. Congratulations! Many of us dream of the day we can hand in our badge and say goodbye to the 9-to-5. But after you’ve done that, what happens next?
“A fulfilling, happy retirement can mean many different things to different people,” says Greg Lazzaro, Life Enrichment Director of Waterstone at the Circle. “These days, it’s less about kicking back and relaxing and more about volunteering, visiting friends and family or even starting a new business or a second career. The first question every one of us has to answer is: what does retirement mean for you, and what would you like it to look like?”
Greg says that the best time to shape the course of your retirement is right after – or better yet, before – you officially push the button and say hello to this next chapter of your life. “By putting a plan into place as soon as possible, you’ll be able to start enjoying the benefits of retirement with added peace of mind.”
Let’s help you get started with some simple, fun steps you can take right now.
Step 1: Define Your New Lifestyle
What does a happy retirement look like to you? Take some time to write out your goals, focusing on the most important ones first. Don’t think about budget right now – instead, focus on specific, actionable ideas. It’s okay if your goals are vague right now. You can always go back and flesh out your goals when they become more clear to you.
Step 2: Assess Your Assets
How much money do you currently have in the bank and in your investments? What about other nontraditional assets, like valuable antiques or even your home? Finally, do you have skills that could translate into informal (or even formal) income in your retirement? Perhaps you can teach piano, or become a consultant for younger individuals in your career field.
Step 3: Take Stock of Your Health
Being as healthy as possible will allow you to get the most out of your senior years and make retirement as enjoyable as possible. To that end, schedule checkups and preventative exams in order to get a comprehensive view of your health currently. If you have any underlying health issues (like high blood pressure, diabetes or others), make sure you’re on a plan to keep things under control. At the same time, commit to keeping your brain and body active through regular exercise and a healthy diet. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Step 4: Determine When the Eagle Flies
The phrase “the eagle flies” relates to getting your monthly Social Security check. Although the idea of getting that check right away is very tempting, you’ll want to review your financial situation to determine the best age for you to start drawing this benefit. The longer you wait, the more money you receive – but it’s possible that taking your check now will net you even more benefits than waiting. Talk to your financial advisor or use AARP's Social Security Benefits Calculator to determine the right time for you to claim.
Step 5: Build Your Network
Networking is just as important during your retirement years as it was when you were working. After all, you’ll want to have a platform to showcase your talents, stay involved with activities or careers you enjoy or simply allow you to stay in touch with interesting people. LinkedIn and Facebook are good social networks for creating connections, but don’t forget the importance of face-to-face meetings. Reach out to acquaintances or former co-workers to set up regular coffees or lunches. Join a club or society that interests you. The more active you are, the more opportunities will come to you.
Step 6: What’s the Word on Work?
Even if you’re completely financially set for life, you may have a desire to continue working. But “work” can mean many different things. Is there a career you always wanted to try? A hobby you can translate into cash flow? Perhaps you’ve been an office worker but have always enjoyed doing handyman-type work. Take into consideration how much work is necessary (and what you want to do) and weigh the pros and cons before you throw yourself into anything full-time.
Step 7: Create a Retirement Budget
Creating a budget will help you stretch your money and make sure you’re diversifying your income streams in order to fund your lifestyle for many years to come. Track your income and expenses for several months to get a baseline for what your actual needs are. Then, work with your financial advisor to manage your accounts in the best possible way. Of course, don’t forget about an actual monthly budget – using an online service like Mint or YNAB can help you create a comprehensive plan.
Step 8: Find Ways to Save
Once you’ve created a budget, look for ways to shave off some unnecessary expenses. Saving more now will make you better prepared in the future. For example, maybe you don’t need cable anymore – streaming services like Netflix and Hulu may be all you need. Or perhaps you don’t need to go out for coffee as much and can buy a fancy coffee maker instead.
Step 9: Prepare for the Unexpected
The only thing constant in life is change. And although we may not like to think about it, lots of things can happen to us as we get older. Take some time to prepare for the unexpected so you’re not caught off guard later. For example, how would you pay for a suddenly leaky roof? Or what if you were diagnosed with a major illness? Having a plan will give you peace of mind and give you a roadmap if and when things happen.
Step 10: Execute Your Plan (And Revisit When Necessary)
Now that you have a plan, it’s time to put it into place. Sticking to your plan may take some practice at first, but after a few months, you’ll find your new habits have become old hat. After a few months of this, take a look at your plan, see how you’re lining up in reality and make adjustments accordingly. Remember, the best plan is one that you will actually follow – and enjoy doing so!
If you’d like to learn more about steps to take after retirement, or if you’re wondering how a luxury senior living community like Waterstone at the Circle can help you live an active and fulfilled life with a secure plan for the future, contact us today at 617.431.1880.
Luxury Senior Living in Boston
Waterstone at the Circle, located in Boston’s historic Cleveland Circle neighborhood, is more than just independent living in Boston … it’s a sophisticated urban setting for today’s active seniors. Enjoy best-in-class service and an urban lifestyle with arts and cultural and historical attractions right outside your front door. From high-end amenities to gourmet dining and more, experience the best of city and suburban life at our upscale senior living community located on the crossroads of Brookline and Chestnut Hill.
Elegant Independent Living Apartments
Each of our 92 independent living apartments is the height of luxury and modernity, with sophisticated design, upscale features and stunning views of the city. Create the urban senior living experience you want with one- or two-bedroom apartments, a variety of floor plans and monthly rentals.
Senior Living Supportive Services
As an over-62 community, residents may require support from time to time. That’s why we’ve developed an on-site coordinated care program, in cooperation with our premier community partners, that allows our independent living residents to receive the assistance they need.
The best part? Residents don’t have to leave our senior living community – or even their apartment – to receive high-quality support. They can receive the services they need, when they need it, in the comfort of their own homes or in our on-site therapy gym.
Waterstone at the Circle is the opposite of retiring. . . it’s a place to enhance your active, on-the-go lifestyle. Call 617.431.1880 for more information or to schedule a visit to our premier Boston Independent Living community and discover The Circle lifestyle today!