For many, the thought of retirement is worrisome and daunting, to say the least. Over the course of our lives as adults, we have many obligations: the demands of work, raising a family, helping care for aging family members, community service, keeping up with home maintenance, saving for retirement and perhaps providing financial support for family members. This list is by no means comprehensive – we’re sure you can think of more equally important things that have demanded your attention over the years.
Retirement does not necessarily mean being less busy, but hopefully it can be a time with fewer stresses. With that in mind, let’s look at some strategies that might remove some stressful complications and leave more time and energy to enjoy retirement.
Mindful Retirement: small steps towards simplicity lead to less stress.
It’s easy to lose all your excitement for life when you have too much on your plate. A key way to simplify your life after retirement is to focus only on what you can control. Retirement can be a beautiful phase of life and you deserve to enjoy the fruits of your lifelong struggles to the fullest.
If you feel that your “to do” list is too long, take a step back and focus on one thing at a time so that you don’t get overwhelmed before completing your tasks.
It’s time to declutter all that junk that’s been piling up in your head and take a breather. And there is no better way of doing so than by adopting minimalism. The art of minimalism has to do with focusing only on what is meaningful and valuable. This is accompanied by removing everything that distracts you from your purpose. Start by defining what is truly important for you and then go from there.
Does downsizing your residence make sense?
It’s not uncommon for retired couples to sell their homes and move. “Empty nesters”, with no more children in the house, often consider downsizing. This might mean moving to a different part of the country, perhaps to get away from cold winters. Experts recommend viewing the current market and comparing that to the actual cost of moving. A smaller house won’t necessarily cost less to buy – there are many variables. Having said all that, downsizing can make sense, and not just financially.
Clearing clutter for clarity.
Have you heard that phrase before? If you have lived in one home for many years, you’re bound to have accumulated a whole lot of belongings. This clutter can be very overwhelming. Heading into retirement with a lot of stuff you don’t really need may not be the best of ideas. Declutter to make your life simpler and easier. It might be helpful to have loved ones assist you in sorting things out – they might want some of the things you no longer need or use.
Garage sales seem to be quite popular here in Southwest Florida –and that is due in part to recently retired people getting rid of the “stuff” they moved down from up north. Don’t want to have a garage sale? There are likely worthy charities in your community that can make good use of the many of the things you no longer need. Many of them will even come to your house to pick up things like furniture.
Eliminate extras from your budget.
This always makes sense, not just in retirement. Perhaps you have a cable TV package – but you don’t watch most of the channels. Maybe the basic package will be fine –and it will save you money. Or how about a digital antenna for local TV networks and subscribing to one of the streaming services like NetFlix or Amazon Prime? That also might save you a little money. Magazine subscriptions, season tickets, club memberships – examine them all honestly. If you’re not really using them in meaningful ways, then cancel them. The extra money might come in handy for you – or for some worthy cause you’d like to help.
Is it time to clean up your banking and investment clutter?
Over the years, many of you probably have collected a number of banking, investment and retirement accounts. It likely makes sense to consolidate many of those accounts, and that’s something worth reviewing with a financial advisor. It’s not just the investments that probably need reviewing – it’s how the accounts are titled, beneficiary designations might need updating, and you might be paying unnecessary service fees. The same goes for your credit cards. If you have multiple cards, make life easier by selecting only two or three to keep,
The whole process of decluttering, downsizing, a reorganizing our lives takes some effort and some time, but the results can be beneficial in more than one way. Simplifying your life can leave more time and energy for the things most important to you in retirement.
Presented by Clear View Financial Services, LLC. Opinions expressed are that of the author and are not endorsed by the named broker-dealer or its affiliates. All information herein has been prepared solely for informational purposes, and it is not an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any security or instrument or to participate in any particular trading strategy. The information in this article is not intended as tax or legal advice. You are encouraged to seek tax or legal advice from an independent professional advisor.