Retirement planning: More than dollars and cents

retiredlifeWhen most people think about retirement planning, they focus on having sufficient savings and income to enjoy a comfortable retirement. Certainly, financial planning is a crucial part of planning for retirement – without sufficient income and savings, you may not be able to retire when you want, or have the lifestyle you envision.

But many people overlook another important part of retirement planning: planning for the retired life. After 40-plus years in the workforce, retirement is a major adjustment and many enter this phase of their life unprepared for what awaits.

Some people are simply unsure what to do without a daily routine. It’s best to enter retirement with a plan for what you will do with your time. Exercise, engaging in hobbies, volunteering, part-time work, travel, visiting friends and relatives – these are all popular options for new retirees.

Wherever your interests lie, you would be well advised to have a plan to remain occupied and to fill up the time you’ll suddenly have. A fulfilling and interesting retirement won’t just happen, you’ll have to make it happen.

Others look forward to finally being able to pursue the hobbies they’ve largely put aside while working and raising kids. However, many people find the retired life is different from what they envisioned.

Maybe you find that the hobby you were looking forward to for so long is not really that interesting after all. Or maybe it requires more time and investment than you expected. In that case, you’ll need a fallback plan. The more potential interests you have, the better. Like every new phase of life, retirement will have unexpected twists and turns, and you’ll have to adapt.

If you’re lucky enough to be retired at the same time as your spouse or partner, you’ll want make sure you’re both on the same page as far as retirement plans. If you want to travel and your spouse envisions spending time at home tending the garden, you’ll have some discussing to do.

Also remember that just because you’re both free now doesn’t mean you have to be together all the time. You might each want to retain some identities and interests individually. No matter what, retirement can be a new and rewarding experience based on the lifestyle you create.

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