Failing to plan for the enormous changes that retirement brings leads many Americans to find themselves emotionally lost at sea when retirement finally arrives. In "The Biggest Oversight in Most Americans' Retirement Planning," Kiplinger's takes a look at what happens to people when they have failed to do any planning for this next exciting phase of life.
Many folks head into retirement with a sense of excitement and a bit of anxiety—but they haven't given much thought to their actual goals: they haven't spent sufficient time thinking about how best to use their unique skills and abilities in their future. Many folks do very little "avocational" planning when preparing for retirement and plan to just "take it as it comes." But those who put some time and effort into planning prior to the day they stop working will have more meaningful and interesting lives. You can devote your time of service to others, newfound creativity, or even start a new business.
If an individual uses good time management and active planning, retirement—and the freedom that comes with it—can be the best part of your life. But for too many people, retirement is a big disappointment. Loneliness, depression, and alcoholism are common afflictions of retirees.
But that's not you. You have a plan!
You're getting your finances ready for retirement. At the same time, you are going to set some worthwhile goals. Take time each week to determine where you excel, to define your interests, and to consider what types of things you'd like to learn and what experiences will give you the most satisfaction. Then, look for ways to employ those skills and goals. Retirement isn't the end of anything. Quite the contrary, when you plan and prepare, it's really the beginning of new pursuits.
The last thing you want to do is waste these precious days on cat videos or bad television shows! Start planning for your retirement in the same way you would any other phase of your life. What do you love? What makes you feel happy and fulfilled? What are you doing now in your spare time that you want to do more of? If you don't know, start on a journey of self-discovery. Ask people who know you well what they think you might enjoy. Above all, start planning now so that your retirement is fun, fulfilling and enriched with meaning.
Reference: Kiplinger's (October 2015) "The Biggest Oversight in Most Americans' Retirement Planning"