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People heading into retirement get a lot of advice about lifestyle, money management, and how to spend their new free time. If you’re tired of hearing the same old tips, here are some new ones which we know will guide you toward a happy retirement.
Don’t Become a Babysitter for Grandkids
Maybe this is one of the things you’ve been looking forward to most about your retirement—spending all the time you want with your grandchildren. However, keeping distance between you, your children, and your children’s children will lead to greater satisfaction down the road. Agreeing to babysit every day can lead to you feeling taken advantage of, or potentially lead to tension between you and your kids as you take on the role of disciplinarian and teacher in their absence. Part of the fun of having grandkids is being able to spoil them and send them home—don’t deprive yourself of either end of the equation.
Overload on Hobbies
We all think of retirement as a time to relax and enjoy doing nothing, but studies show that retirees who stay social and active are happier long-term. You might think getting out and getting coffee with friends is enough, but a study from the Urban Instituteactually revealed that retirees engaged in multiple structured activities responded with the most satisfaction in their retirement. Respondents across the board indicated that caregiving and volunteering were the two most rewarding activities—but only in tandem with other activities. In fact, engaging in only caregiving activities, like caring for a sick partner or grandkids, led to a decrease in satisfaction. And, once retirees put in more than 500 hours of work a year—a little more than ten hours a week—satisfaction dropped off.
Plan Long-Term, But Live Short-Term
Today’s life spans are longer than ever, and even those retiring at 70 can expect to live 15-20 more years on average. However, when retirees in their eighties were surveyed in 2015, they said that the first few years of retirement were their happiest. That was when they had the most energy, were in the best health, and actually spent the most money. The Employee Benefit Research Institute also recently found that more than half of retired households spent more in the years just after retirement than they did in the years just before, with more than a quarter spending 120% more—regardless of their income level.
Don’t Hold on to Some Investments
When it comes to investments like a house, multiple cars, or life insurance policies, continuing to pay for their upkeep when they might not be needed can put a drain on retirement finances. Consider selling your house and moving into a rental. Consider selling any unnecessary cars that you might have. Life insurance policies can be sold for cash settlements which relieve you of the need to pay the premium and allow you to recoup some of the investment you’ve already paid into the policy. Learn more about life settlements on our website today.