As financial advisors, we frequently speak with people who are approaching retirement. While some individuals are well-prepared, others may experience apprehension, and not just from the financial perspective. Retirement is a significant life event and change. Having a strong sense of purpose and engagement in activities beyond work is essential for the next fulfilling act in life.
The Journal of Positive Psychology conducted several studies on retirees over the years. These studies have revealed that retirees who reported having a strong sense of purpose and who engaged in activities that were meaningful to them were more likely to experience greater life satisfaction and well-being in retirement. Similarly, another study from the Journal of Happiness found that retirees who reported having a greater sense of control over their time and activities were more likely to enjoy greater life satisfaction and a higher quality of life.
To avoid feelings of aimlessness or unfulfillment during retirement, it is important to start planning early. Here are some specific strategies to develop a comprehensive plan for your "second act" in retirement based on the activities you enjoyed during your working years:
- Reflect on your interests and passions. Think about the activities you genuinely enjoy outside of work and how you can incorporate them into your retirement plan. Consider taking classes, joining clubs, or pursuing hobbies that you have always been interested in but haven't had the time to explore.
- Develop a retirement budget. Understanding your financial situation as you near and enter this retirement phase can help you plan for your goals, objectives and those experiences you have worked hard to get to enjoy. Consider meeting with your financial planner to help you create a realistic budget and well-structured plan of course.
- Create a social network. Maintaining social connections is important for overall well-being in retirement. Many people find volunteering, and ways to stay connected with friends from work or new hobbies in retirement create meaning in one’s everyday.
- Prioritize health and wellness. Make a concrete plan for staying active and healthy throughout your retirement years. Incorporate exercise, sporting routines, healthy eating habits, and regular check-ups with your doctor to ensure a vibrant and fulfilling lifestyle.
- Consider part-time work. Some find that part-time work can provide a sense of purpose and structure and helps reduce the “what do I do with myself now” angst. Consider exploring part-time work opportunities in areas that interest you.
Planning for this new reality for you and your family, including and beyond just the financial planning aspects, is essential for a fulfilling and purposeful life after “work” to set yourself up for a successful "second act" in retirement. Keeping your mind active and your skills sharp is now important as ever.
In 2007, a life-long friend gifted me the book, Second Acts: Creating the Life you Really Want, Building the Career You Truly Desire, by Stephan Pollan. This book is specifically geared toward individuals experiencing a career shift. It is a timeless read that I highly recommend. Another timeless read that I recommend for anyone nearly the second act of life is, Retirement Reinvention by Robin Ryan. PBS calls her the most knowledgeable career expert in the nation today. Given the evolving economy and the impact of COVID-19 on people's conceptions of retirement, this book provides valuable insights and strategies for navigating this transformative phase.
If you need guidance on planning for retirement or would like to speak to one of our advisors, please contact us today at https://www.andermanwealth.com/. We would love to help you aspire toward a successful second act!
Journal Of Psychology Calling in retirement: A mixed methods study.
Journal of Happiness Gradual Retirement, Sense of Control, and Retirees' Happiness