Happiness in Retirement? You Bet and Here’s How
You've looked forward to retiring for years. It's going to be so much fun, right? Today, we'll discuss how finding happiness in retirement is a direct result of how you prepare for it.
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By the time people reach their early to mid-60s, they can expect to live another 20 - 30 years. What will you do to make sure those retirement years are filled with the right mix of family, fun, meaning, vitality and happiness?
You've no doubt heard stories of people who retire and suddenly find themselves less happy than their pre-retirement days. It doesn't have to be that way. With some basic planning and introspection, your retirement years can be filled with happiness, meaning, and fulfillment.
Today, Bill shares some insight and stories about how to live "happily ever after" in those years we call retirement.
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Five Quotes From Bill in This Episode
- Prior to retirement, it is important to get clarity on what you'll do with your time and how you'll take care of your health. This is something that I coach people to do several years before they actually retire. Number one, how will you spend your time? For many people, this means spending more time with a spouse if you're married, with children, or with grandchildren. Often, I see clients pursue hobbies or acquire new ones. Number two is health. Many folks spend more time exercising and improving their health. Have a plan for both of these areas.
- Make a conscious decision to stay in touch with the people most important to you. As people retire, one of the exercises we go through is we ask, "Who are the people that are most important to you?" We then encourage our clients to make a list of the people that are most important to them then make a conscious decision to stay in touch with them, to see them, to talk to them, to visit with them. That has nothing to do with financial matters, but it leads to happiness and can help make your retirement more meaningful.
- Stay involved! It's just amazing to see some of the things that people are doing with the second half of their lives. I have a client who retired from a major engineering firm. He's been retired now for 15 years but he still acts as a consultant to the firm. This gentleman also is an active writer. He writes essays and gets published no less than once a month in the major paper here in our city. He is contributing to society probably as much or more than he's ever been. I believe there's no limitation to what someone can do.
- If you've planned properly, don't feel guilt about spending money in retirement. Most of the people we work with have a solid nest egg because they've lived within their means, they've saved, and they've done things to put themselves in this position to be able to retire. So by nature they're folks that might not want to spend on certain things, but I always say, "Once you have your plan in place, enjoy it. Enjoy it with peace of mind." Of course we make sure the plan is updated regularly so they don't overspend.
- Your retirement mindset has a big impact on how much you enjoy retirement. I always ask people, "How are you looking at retirement?" Because retirement to us is the beginning, not the end. If you look up the definition of retirement in the various dictionaries, you'll see it talking about the end. But the reality is, you've got wisdom from the journey. You've got resources. You have history. You have experience. You've got things to share and differences to make going forward, and truly the best years of our existence can lie ahead post retirement.
On why being "nimble" is one key to a happy retirement...
We have to be nimble and adjust to things that happen. The people that I see that are positive and constructive and have confidence in what they're doing; who know that they've planned well, they don't worry about the plan between planning sessions. Instead, they go out and enjoy their lives. They live their "why." These are the people I see who are really truly thriving and finding happiness in their retired years.
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Bill Keen is a CHARTERED RETIREMENT PLANNING COUNSELOR℠ and independent financial advisor with more than 25 years of industry experience. As the founder and CEO of Keen Wealth Advisors, a registered investment advisory firm, he specializes in providing personalized retirement planning designed to help people thrive before and during their retirement years. With a passion for educating others, Bill regularly blogs about retirement planning, hosts the podcast Keen on Retirement, and has contributed to U.S. News and World Report, Reuters, Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch, Yahoo Finance, and other publications. Based in Overland Park, Kansas, Bill and his team work with clients throughout the greater Kansas City area and across the nation. To learn more, connect with him on LinkedIn or visit www.keenwealthadvisors.com.
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