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Preparing Physically and Emotionally for Retirement

You have most likely considered the financial aspects of retirement living. Calculating anticipated income needs and how to meet them is important and you can make plans and take steps toward financial security during retirement. However, preparing for retirement involves more than just looking at the financial side, you must be prepared in all aspects. Below are some ways you can prepare for retirement physically and emotionally.

  • Preparing Physically 

For many who have spent years sitting behind a desk for eight hours a day, a more active retirement lifestyle may be physically challenging. You may find yourself doing more relaxed activities, such as knitting, drawing or reading. Or you may dive into retirement with excitement for new-found freedom and a bucket list of things to do. Activities like home improvement or local trips that used to be confined to the weekend can now be done multiple days a week.

If you are anticipating a more active lifestyle in retirement, then taking steps beforehand, such as going for walks, doing regular exercises or improving your diet, can help you prepare physically to be more active during retirement.

  • Preparing Emotionally

Preparing emotionally is another area that is often overlooked during the pre-retirement phase. Retirement can bring major changes in relationships and in how a person perceives themselves. One relationship that often encounters some strain in the early days of retirement is with a spouse. If you and your spouse spend most of the week away from each other, then suddenly spending all day together can be a source of tension. One way to prepare for this is for you and your spouse to spend some time before retirement discussing what you anticipate retirement being like and how you envision spending your time. A frank discussion may reveal different needs and expectations for doing things together versus doing things independently and can help you start retirement with expectations that are in sync with your spouse.

Preparing for retirement can include thinking about and identifying a new purpose in life. Whether it is volunteering, trying new hobbies, spending more time with family or part-time work, finding a purpose in retirement can help you be excited about getting out of bed in the morning.

As you prepare for retirement, try to make a financial plan and don’t forget to prepare yourself in other areas. Being physically ready for a more active lifestyle and being ready for changes in relationships and identity can help you start retirement on the right foot.