What comes to mind when you think about preparing for retirement? For most of us, we think of the financial aspects of it. But it’s also important to prepare for the emotional and psychological changes that happen in retirement.
Retirement isn’t just about having enough money in the bank to quit work. Yes, you need a stream of income you can’t outlive, but it’s also about more than that. Retirement is a time to take adventures, find yourself, and begin a new chapter in life (a chapter that could last 20-30 years).
So, let’s look at 3 things women need in retirement to be happy.
1. A Structured Schedule
Most of your life you’ve stuck to some type of schedule. You planned your days out in grade school, in college, and then throughout your working years. Retirement is arguably the only time in your life when you have no structure at all. The calendar is completely blank, and you’re free to plan out your days how you wish.
This newfound freedom is fun at first, but a lack of structure can lead to restlessness. The days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months, and before you know it, you don’t know where the time has gone.
To help with this aimlessness, keep some type of schedule when you retire. You don’t have to plan out every second of every day, but implement some routines to keep yourself from getting bored.
Want to stay healthy in retirement? Sign up for workout classes a few times a week. Want to keep in touch with friends? Schedule a weekly lunch date. Want to pick up a new hobby? Dedicate a specific block of time to it. Create a schedule you can look forward to.
2. A Sense Of Purpose
For most of us, we find our purpose in our careers. Our work is ingrained in our identity and it’s hard to find new passions once we retire. So, what will your purpose be in retirement? How will you stay engaged and content?
According to a recent retirement survey, 76% of retirees who engage in 10 or more activities are very satisfied in retirement, compared to only 52% for those engaged in 1-4 activities. (1) Some activities that give retirees a new sense of purpose include:
- Spending time with family
- Socializing with friends on a regular basis
- Gardening and improving the home
- Joining a club or organization
And don’t think it’s too late to find your life’s passion. A recent study found that people with a sense of purpose have a 15 percent lower risk of death compared to those who are aimless. (2) The study also found that it doesn’t matter when you find your direction. Even if you’re in your 70s, it still leads to a longer life.
3. A Strong Community
Last but not least, surround yourself with people you love. Studies show that 62% of women miss their daily interactions with colleagues after they retire. (3) If you stop and think about it, this makes sense. Women spend the better part of their lives connecting and building relationships in the workplace. Once retired, it can be difficult to replace this type of connection.
The good news is, engaging in the activities listed in #2 (spending time with family, volunteering, joining a club, and so on) is a great way to stay connected and add meaning to your life.
Let Us Help You
At Setchfield Asset Management, we want to help you live a worry-free retirement. We believe this starts with taking steps today to make sure you’re financially, emotionally, and psychologically prepared. If you need assistance securing your financial future and planning for a happy retirement, schedule an introductory meeting to see if we are the right fit by emailing me at email@example.com or calling (303) 627-1099.
Steve Setchfield is Chief Investment Strategist at Setchfield Asset Management, an independent financial advisory firm. With almost 30 years of experience, Steve serves his clients by keeping them out of financial trouble in volatile markets, using a low-key, rules-based approach to investing and helping them with every aspect of their financial lives. Steve studied finance at the Metropolitan State University of Denver and spent several years working at Shearson Lehman Brothers and Kemper Securities before founding his own independent firm so he could offer objective, personalized advice and strategies. Steve is a Colorado native and enjoys skiing and other outdoor activities. He spends his free time volunteering for Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Colorado and coaching wrestling in the Cherry Creek school system. In 2003, Steve was a living kidney donor for his uncle who suffered from polycystic kidney disease. To learn more about Steve, connect with him on LinkedIn.