Have you thought about a financial plan for retirement? That’s a good reflex to have, though retirement goes way beyond the financial aspect! Many factors must be considered to live a happy and fulfilled retirement. What is the recipe for success?
Come up with a retirement plan
Retirees too often find themselves unprepared after quitting their jobs, not knowing what to make of their new life. Come up with a plan and try to imagine what your day to day may look like. Make a list of activities you have always wanted to try and of short- and long-term projects you wish to accomplish. Do you have a partner? Do this exercise together and discuss your respective visions of life as a retired couple to avoid disappointments or bad surprises.
Obviously, do not neglect the financial aspect of your preparation. A financial advisor can help you prepare for this transition. Armed with professional advice tailored to your unique situation, you will be ready to conquer this new chapter of your life in good conscience.
But how do you anticipate your future as a retiree? How do you enter this phase of life with peace of mind?
The unavoidable answer is both simple and complex: you need to give a new meaning to your life.
Give your life a new meaning
A lot of people define themselves through their work, which is natural considering the number of hours dedicated to it in their lifetime. This chapter of your life being closed prompts an important question: “Who am I outside of my job?”
This question may seem overwhelming, which is totally normal. However, by putting some thought into it, you will find what gets you going, what makes you vibrate and what you really want to explore.
To live a happy retirement, it is crucial to find what makes you who you are outside of your job position. Nevertheless, thinking about what made you happy at work might give you hints on where to head from here. What do you miss about your job? Is it the human interactions, the challenges, and the new acquaintances, or is it the business trips? Try to implement those things into your activities as a retiree to find happiness and fulfillment.
What new retirees find most unsettling is the abrupt loss of bearings: from the time-regulated routine and the family activities with the children, to the relationships with colleagues and the confidence-boosting professional achievements.
We all need to feel recognized, to feel useful to society. This is the desired outcome in retirement: redefining your social identity through other means than your full-time job.
Cultivate your social life
An active social life is essential for all, but especially for seniors. Exchange with other retirees. Use this time to expand your circle of friends and ask questions about how they occupy their time. Living in a retirement complex means you have the advantage of being around a ton of people who experience the same reality as yours.
Moreover, life in a residence gives you access to numerous recreational activities. Signing up for workshops or sport sessions not only allows you to use your creativity and feed your inquisitive nature, but also to form new bonds, which is essential for both physical and mental health.
Use retirement as a reason to get socially involved by volunteering! You will find great gratification from it. The possibilities are diverse:
- Facilitating francization workshops for newcomers
- Helping children with their homework
- Organizing fundraisers to support a cause you care about
- hats and scarves for the homeless
- Acting as a mentor for young people in your professional field
- And more
Feel free to visit the Je bénévole website. You will certainly find an activity for you nearby!
If you conclude that work is essential to your personal balance, why not try it part-time? In the labour shortage context, retirees are more than welcome to work. This will boost your self-esteem and give you a sense of belonging. Who knows, this part-time job might finance a future project!
Use retirement to make your dreams come true
There is no need to forcefully schedule a million activities every day. Instead, you should pick and choose those that are in line with your values and that will make you feel useful and accomplished. This is your opportunity to make the dreams and projects you have been constantly putting off come to fruition.
Have you always wanted to travel or further your education? This might just be the ideal timing!
Surround yourself with positivity
The mindset with which you approach retirement has a major impact on your satisfaction level throughout this new period of your life. Welcome this change with open arms and make a list of the advantages that come with it. Whenever you feel sad or bored, read through this list to remind yourself of the positive aspects of your new life.
Improve your well-being
Entering retirement means revisiting your relationship with time. You go from excitement and turmoil to a calm rhythm, more tailored to your true needs.
Not having to wake up at the crack of dawn, bring extra work home, or eat lunch in twenty minutes on the corner of your desk is a relief.
You can finally sleep the number of hours your body truly needs. Respecting your biological clock not only has a positive influence on the quality of your sleep, but also on your mood and appetite.
Remain curious and improve your memory
Do not neglect intellectual activities! Contrary to popular belief, seniors have the same cognitive ability to learn than young people.
With this in mind, go for it! Sign up for University of the Third Age, get involved in a book club, or learn a new language!
To peacefully enter retirement and to feel fulfilled, come up with a retirement plan and set up short- and long-term projects. By rapidly redefining your purpose in life, you redirect your mind towards how you might want to contribute to society. With this first step done, you can start living your dreams!
Have you started planning for retirement? Feel free to share your thoughts with us!
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