When you hit your 60s, you're going to pass some milestones on your financial plan that might make you feel a little ... well ... old.
Once you're past age 59 1/2, you can start taking withdrawals from your retirement accounts without a penalty.
At age 62, you qualify for Social Security.
At 65, you qualify for Medicare.
And as you're making your monthly budget in your 60s, you might start factoring in those senior discounts you can get at local shops and restaurants.
But from the perspective of Keen Wealth's comprehensive financial planning, these are small (but important!) details in a much bigger picture: the dynamic, challenging, and exciting ways that life changes in your 60s, particularly in these three areas.
1. Your career.
Retiring at 65 isn't as automatic as it might have been for your parents and grandparents. And, as we discuss regularly in our blogs and on our podcasts, many of today’s seniors will continue to work or volunteer in some capacity well into their 70s.
But it's also true that your relationship to your work will change in your 60s. At the very least, retirement is probably on your radar in a very real way. Many folks in their 60s prepare to transition away from their career by "downshifting" to reduced hours and passing on responsibilities to potential next-generation leaders.
No matter how much of a runway you give yourself towards the end of your main career, letting go of work can cause many folks to struggle with their sense of identity. You might wonder, "Who am I if I'm not an engineer anymore? What am I contributing to society if I'm a doctor who's not seeing patients every day?" But these questions can also lead retirees to new and fulfilling answers, such as teaching, mentorship, and consulting, working part-time at a business or charitable organization that's important to you, or even starting your own dream company.
2. Your relationships.
New retirees often tell me that one of the things they miss most about work is the camaraderie. You might think of them as your "work friends," but the reality is that those people you work with, support, rely on, and celebrate with for 40-odd hours every week are your friends, period. Those first few weekdays when you're not all gathered around the lunch table might feel a little lonely.
But these relationships don't have to end just because you're retired! In fact, if you start spending more time with old work friends outside of work, those friendships might become even more meaningful. And once those former coworkers start to retire, you'll have another person to round out your foursome or grab coffee with.
On the home front, married retirees might go through a period of adjustment with their spouses, especially if a couple isn't used to spending a lot of time together during the week. The house might also be a little quieter than you've realized if your older kids are off at college or starting their own families. But the changes to these relationships in your 60s can be some of the most fulfilling experiences of your entire life. For the first time in maybe decades, you and your spouse will have the time -- and with some planning, the means -- to do what you want, when you want, including tackling some bucket list items. You might start reconnecting with old friends you couldn't see as often when you were all working and raising your own children. And you might have some brand-new relationships to look forward to as well: grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.
3. Your leisure time.
Speaking of that bucket list, when is the last time you updated it? You and your spouse probably have some new goals or dream destinations to add, and some older items to cross off that might not appeal to you anymore.
When you have things to look forward to, you'll start to see more possibilities in those five extra days per week that you have to play with now. Your 60s could be the decade when you start giving back more of your time to your community, or when you turn your favorite sport or hobby into a real talent. Or, your 60s could be when you start taking classes that lay the groundwork for your second act in retirement.
One of the biggest mental roadblocks between folks in their 60s and enjoying their leisure time is the shift from a “saving” mindset to a “spending” mindset. Once you’ve stopped depositing a paycheck every two weeks, tapping into your nest egg can feel nerve-wracking. But when you have the support of a comprehensive financial plan and an advisor who understands your personal and financial journey, making that shift and getting more from your retirement can be much easier.
So, what are you looking forward to in your 60s? What challenges are you anticipating?
My team at Keen Wealth would love to have that conversation and use your answers as the foundation for an inspiring retirement plan.
Bill Keen is a financial advisor with nearly 30 years of industry experience. As the founder and CEO of Keen Wealth Advisors, a registered investment advisory firm, he focuses on 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 Forbes, 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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