The majority of retirement planning advice focuses on how to save enough money to replace your salary.

However, employment supplies us with much more than just money. What we do gives many of us a sense of meaning, purpose, and even identity. Work also offers us social relationships and structure.

Losing all of that can be unsettling, which is why expert including some who have already retired advise planning ahead of time for how you will substitute those qualities of employment.

Most individuals don’t crave a life of complete leisure. They want a feeling of purpose, important daily activities and relationships, and the flexibility to do whatever they want, even if that involves working.

A Typical Day

Retirement is frequently marked by a bustle of activity as people travel, see relatives, and indulge in beloved hobbies. However, retirement experts advise imagining a more normal day once you’ve completed some of your bucket list items. From the moment you wake up, how will you spend each hour? With whom would you spend your time? What will you say if someone asks you, “What do you do?”

Studies suggest that working during retirement is positively associated with higher levels of satisfaction. Part-time work can also help you gently transition into retirement.

Some individuals feel really worried about retiring because it does seem very final. Think about working part-time to have less work and more leisure time so you can ease into it.

Take a Retirement Test Run

You should put your retirement plan to the test before quitting your job. Consider taking a two-week vacation to do something you want to do in retirement, such as golfing, volunteering, traveling or caring for the grandchildren. If you are preparing to relocate to another place, you should consider renting a property there for a few weeks if possible. You might find that reality fulfills or exceeds your expectations. If not, you can change your plans before committing.

Consider how you will replace the social connections you enjoy at work. People who have strong social relationships are happier, healthier, and have longer lives. Spending more time with family and friends might help you invest in existing relationships both before and after retirement. Set aside specific days and times to communicate on a regular basis, either in person or through phone or video conference.

As you age, you will lose connections when people die or move away. Volunteering, joining community organizations, or simply getting to know your neighbors better can all help you meet new people. Companionship from a dog, cat, or other pet can help improve one’s mood.

Have a purpose

Without the framework of employment, some people begin to fade, with one day merging into the next. Setting objectives and working toward them can help restore a sense of purpose and accomplishment.

Stay healthy by walking 10,000 steps every day, eating healthy foods, and having at least 7 hours of sleep every night. It is critical to look after your physical well-being. In a 2014 poll, 81 percent of retirees rated good health as a critical factor for a happy retirement.)

Achieving defined, measurable goals can help people redefine their definition of productivity, which is crucial to many people’s sense of identity. Goals might also help to compensate for a propensity to postpone doing tasks.

People who are accustomed to saving and delaying gratification may have difficulty “flipping the switch” to simply enjoying their life. However, time, good health, and vitality are not limitless. Many people struggled during the pandemic not just because their plans were cancelled, but also because they were acutely aware that the clock was ticking.

How to enjoy your retirement

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