Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Retirement Planning Magic: Don't Make Retirement the End of Life!

In the course of a lifetime people pick up the knowledge and skills to build careers, raise their families, and accumulate material possessions. But not much of that prepares them for life in retirement. How do they handle leisure time? How do they keep their minds in tiptop shape? How do they adjust to a life without structure and purpose?

Fact is, retirement planning for the separation from work requires mental and spiritual planning more than most people realize. A long-term retirement plan to achieve your retirement goals is essential if you want a meaningful and productive retirement. The degree to which you plan beforehand how you are going to spend the bulk of your free time will determine how much fulfillment you experience in retirement.

When happy and successful retirees are asked what advice they would offer to a person just entering retirement, most will respond with a variation of: When it comes to retirement planning, spend as much — or considerably more — time thinking about how you will utilize your days and months as you do contemplating your finances.

  • Take the time to find what you really want to do with your life.
  • Establish a good work/life balance many years before you retire and zealously maintain it - refrain from working on weekends
  • Maintain optimum health while you are working.
  • Be open to learning new things at work and in your personal life.
In short, retiring happy means being engaged to the full level of your mental and physical ability. More than any time in your life, retirement is an opportunity to enjoy the moment for all its worth. By living in the moment, and appreciating it, you too can make retirement the best years of your life. All told, you should make retirement the beginning of life — not the end!
Note: The above article is adapted from the two retirement books 1001 Ways to Enjoy Your Retirement and How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free by Ernie J. Zelinski

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