Adjusting to Retirement
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Adjusting to Retirement

While retirement is, for many of us, the ultimate goal we spend our adult lives working towards, for many people, they find once they’ve reached it, they have no idea what to do. Like a dog chasing after a car, few of us seem to have given any thought to what we’ll do once we catch it. But with some pre-planning and thinking, there are ways to smooth the transition and make the most of this next stage of life.

Some find that in the absence of daily responsibilities, the wealth of options of what to do is paralyzing. It can be helpful to write out a schedule for yourself. You don’t need to pack every single day from sunup to sundown with activities, but picking a few things each day can be a great start and give you something to look forward to. Maybe start each day with a brisk walk around the neighborhood, then a phone call with a friend or family member after lunch, volunteer work or something social like a book club or card game.

Budgeting will help as well. By assessing your income from social security, pensions or retirement, and retirement savings, you may find yourself without as much expendable cash. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun or live comfortably. Add up your fixed costs, such as bills, mortgages, and more, and then from there you can estimate how much you may have as “disposable” income.

Retirement is a great time to explore new hobbies as well. If you’ve always wanted to learn an instrument, take up birdwatching, or perfect the art of whittling, what better use of your new free time than diving into it and developing the sense of satisfaction that comes from learning?