10 Tips for a Successful Retirement

10 Tips for a Successful Retirement

If your job is something less than ideal (or you just hate it), you might catch yourself daydreaming about retirement. A successful retirement is more than just the cessation of work, it’s an adventure that can bring joy and happiness to your life. With that in mind, here are 10 tips for a successful retirement.

1. Embrace a Healthy Lifestyle

More than 80 percent of retirees agree, the most important factor in a successful retirement is your health. You simply cannot enjoy life if you are sick or in pain. 

To achieve success in retirement, you need to embrace a healthy lifestyle. Eat wholesome foods and limit your intake of junk food. Exercise regularly and strive to maintain your ideal weight. Don’t smoke and do not drink alcohol to excess. 

Diet and exercise are not the only components of a healthy lifestyle. Accident prevention is also important. Your body is fragile and susceptible to damage. For most of us, driving is the most dangerous we do. Always err on the side of caution when you get behind the wheel. Strive to be a safe and courteous driver.

Another important part of accident prevention is to avoid risky activities. Did you know that on a per-mile basis, motorcyclists are 5 times more likely to be injured than those travelling by automobile? 

In this year’s winter Olympics, we witnessed skiers doing stunts that included triple twisting backflips. The human body is simply not designed to do that. Participation in extreme sports results in over 100 head and neck injuries each day

Is the fleeting thrill of participating in these types of activities worth the chance of spending the rest of your life in a wheelchair? Who’s going to break the news to your spouse or partner that not only is your sex life over, but now they have to change your diapers? Stop and consider the choices you make. Your actions have consequences, not only for yourself but for the ones you love. 

2. Create the Best Retirement Plan

When it comes to having a successful retirement, financial security runs a close second to health. Having enough money and knowing you have enough money gives you the peace of mind to relax and enjoy your golden years.

3. Research the Best Places to Retire

Due to your employer's location, you may live near a crime-ridden city or in a northern climate with harsh winters. When you retire, you no longer have to live there. You can live anywhere you want.

In The Best Places to Retire, we outline important factors for finding the ideal retirement location. If frugality is near the top of your list, you might want to check out Most Affordable Places to Retire. If you are considering a retirement community, then you don’t want to miss The Villages.

Create a list of viable options and visit each one. You can weave the destinations into your vacation plans and business travel if you travel for business. Start now because it might take several years to visit all the possibilities.

4. Connect with Others

In our working years, it’s easy to take our social interactions for granted. We see clients and coworkers on a regular basis. Once you retire, it's unlikely that you will have that level of social interaction.

You need to have a social network in retirement. If you have a spouse or partner, obviously that will be your most meaningful relationship. But you also need to spend time with your children and grandchildren as well as friends and other family.

Seek opportunities to cast your social net by participating in clubs, groups, and organizations that align with your interests. These can be sports-related, volunteer opportunities, church, hobbies, or other interests. These types of social opportunities do not find you; you have to find them. Spend some time on Google and generate a list of possibilities then go visit each one.

5. Travel

For most of us, travel is limited during our working years because we never seem to have enough time. Once you retire, you are free to travel anytime you wish.

Discuss options with your significant other and create a list of potential destinations. You might need to take turns if you don’t agree on travel destinations. For example, one trip might be to a big city and the next to a national park. Don't miss out on this golden opportunity to travel and see the world.

6. Be Adventurous

As we grow older, we tend to get set in our ways. The key is to get outside your comfort zone and experience things that you wouldn't normally do. We’re not saying be crazy and throw caution to the wind, just that it’s important to maintain an adventurous spirit.

7. Have a Side Business

Having some type of commercial enterprise on the side can help you feel alive and engaged. Find something to make or some service to provide, something that you enjoy doing. 

You should limit it to a part-time basis, that’s where the side comes in. You don’t need a fulltime job, you’re retired. Just a little something to keep you from going stir-crazy. The extra income is an added bonus.

8. Structure and Schedule

It's important to have some structure in our lives. No one is saying you should wake up to an alarm every morning. It can be as simple as setting aside mornings for exercise and chores. Maybe every Tuesday is date night to avoid weekend crowds. Whatever works for you. Schedule something on a regular basis and do it.

9. Choose the Right Age to Start Taking Social Security

The age you start taking Social Security makes a difference in your retirement benefits. In When should I begin taking Social Security?, we outline the financial ramifications of starting Social Security at age 62 and 70 and everything in between.

10. Get a dog

Finally, we come to number 10 in our list of tips for a successful retirement. A recent study found that dog owners have a reduced risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and fewer doctor visits. If that’s not enough to make you want a dog, consider the unconditional love and companionship that a furry friend will bring you.

Photo credit: Pixabay

The Eggstack Blog will never post an article influenced by an outside company or advertiser. There are no external affiliate links or advertisers on the Eggstack Blog. Our mission is to help you overcome uncertainty about retirement planning and inspire confidence in your financial future.
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