If you’re like most people, you probably see a doctor when something doesn’t feel quite right to get things checked out and your health back on track. But what happens when “retirement” doesn’t feel right? After decades of looking forward to retirement and a more carefree lifestyle, many retirees find that life in retirement falls short of their expectations. There are many reasons for this from boredom, the loss of a sense of purpose, or difficulty adjusting to life after work. Maybe you miss the social interaction you enjoyed with coworkers or are living on too stringent a budget because you’re not sure how long your income may last. Maybe you’ve moved to a location far from family and friends only to find you miss them more than you thought you would. Like any transition in life, retirement is an adjustment, complete with emotional, financial and lifestyle changes. Fortunately, if life in retirement is falling short of your expectations, there are steps you can take to change your situation. Consider these five signs that to assess whether it's time for a retirement lifestyle checkup. Answer with the five questions below:
1. Are you happy?
If not, re-examine your goals to discover what’s missing. Maybe you completed items on your bucket list sooner than expected and need to work on new and different goals that inspire you. Or maybe part-time or volunteer work would fill the void that fulltime work left behind.
2. How’s your health?
Are you taking good care of yourself, exercising and eating right? If not, consider working with your healthcare provider(s) to put a plan in place to pursue a healthier, more energized lifestyle.
3. Do you have budget concerns?
Once you’ve been in retirement for a few months or a few years, you should have a good sense of your essential living expenses – housing, food, clothing, healthcare and transportation – as well as discretionary income for things like travel, hobbies and social activities. Review your budget annually with your advisor to help determine if you’re spending too little or too much, since either can cause anxiety.
4. What’s changed in your life?
Maybe you moved to a retirement community only to find that lifestyle wasn’t right for you. Or maybe you divorced, remarried or lost a spouse. Keep in mind that change doesn’t stop with retirement. Make sure you’re giving yourself the time required to adjust to the changes in your life and remain open to making additional changes if you’re not satisfied.
5. Are you living the life you envisioned?
A recent survey of retirees in the U.S. cited insufficient income and rising healthcare costs as the leading reasons why 28% of respondents said life in retirement was not living up to their expectations.1 As income needs change over the course of retirement, based on health, activity levels, life events and personal decisions, take time to re-evaluate your goals and review your financial plan with your advisor on a regular basis. Most of all, don’t be afraid of changing course if your original plans aren’t working out the way you anticipated.
If you have questions about how your income will support your lifestyle needs and preferences in retirement, contact the office today to schedule time to talk about your concerns.
These are the views of Katie Williams, a freelance financial writer and news commentator, not the named Representative or the Broker/Dealer, and should not be construed as investment advice or a recommendation. Neither the named Representative nor Broker/Dealer gives tax or legal advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If expert assistance is needed in these areas, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. Please consult your Financial Advisor prior to making any investment decisions.