If you are retired or planning to
retire soon, you may still have some work to do.
For example, it’s smart to have a readily
accessible emergency savings fund that can pay for three to six months’ worth
of living expenses, if necessary. You should also consider what insurance
policies you may need to help pay for big-ticket items that may otherwise deplete
your savings and retirement portfolio. These may include damage to your home, an
unexpected medical expense or long-term care. Please give us a call if you’d
like to learn what options are available.
Retirement planning isn’t just
about saving enough money — it’s about staying out of debt so your cost of
living doesn’t increase because you’re paying high bills. There’s a recent
trend of older Americans retiring with a more substantial amount of debt. Some
of the causes include larger home mortgages, medical debt and overspending on credit
cards — exacerbated by late-payment penalties and higher interest rates.1
However, there’s more to
retirement than being financially prepared. You need to be mentally and
emotionally prepared as well. One challenge is to learn how to relax. In the
Netherlands, they have a word to describe a growing trend among the Northern
European population: niksen. It means doing nothing; being completely
idle — staring out a window or listening to music — with no particular
purpose. It is the opposite of mindfulness, as your mind can wander wherever it
wants. The practice has been shown to promote creativity, problem solving and a
sense of happiness.2 That’s a good place to start in learning how to
chill in retirement.
It helps, too, if you have goals,
of perhaps an expansive “bucket list,” to keep you occupied and have something
specific you want to accomplish each day.
If you do have specific goals for
retirement, it can be difficult to stay focused on them. If you’re used to
working a 40-hour week, you might have looked forward to having more free time
to get things done. However, many retirees can’t figure out where the time
goes. They get so bogged down in day-to-day chores they forget about working
toward long-term goals. Researchers say one of the biggest detriments to
getting things done is a lack of focus.3 We check our emails but
then get drawn into social media posts and news stories. We turn on the
television, and suddenly half the day is gone. The way to promote focus is to
limit, block and tune out other distractions. It can help to assign a particular
time of day when you focus solely on your chosen task and let everything else
fall outside those designated hours.
In her book, “How to Be an
Epicurean: The Ancient Art of Living Well,” author Catherine Wilson explains
that the Greek philosopher Epicurus believed that the greatest source of
pleasure in life was close human relationships.4 Therefore, if you
don’t have a material goal in mind, focus on establishing and maintaining key
personal relationships in your life as a fulfilling way to spend your time in
If you find yourself preoccupied
with the idea of your own mortality, some researchers suggest getting a dog. A
recent study encompassing 4 million people worldwide discovered a correlation between
dog ownership and mortality. Specifically, dogs provided their owners with 24%
higher protection against all types of causes of death. For example, people who
had already experienced a heart attack or stroke were 31% less likely to die
from cardiovascular disease if they had a dog.5
Content prepared by Kara Stefan
Lusardi, Olivia S. Mitchell and Noemi Oggero. Global Financial Literacy
Excellence Center. June 8, 2019. “Debt Close to Retirement and Its Implications
for Retirement Well-being.” Page 3. https://gflec.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Lusardi_Mitchell_Oggero-Working-Paper-6-8-19.pdf?x70028. Accessed Oct. 9, 2019.
Gottfried. Time. July 12, 2019. “Niksen Is the Dutch Lifestyle Concept of Doing
Nothing – And You’re About to See It Everywhere.” https://time.com/5622094/what-is-niksen/. Accessed Oct. 9, 2019.
Eyal. CNBC. Oct. 9, 2019. “Stanford psychology expert: This is the No. 1 work
skill of the future – but most fail to realize it.” https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/09/stanford-psychology-expert-most-important-work-skill-of-the-future.html?sf110405650=1. Accessed Oct. 9, 2019.
Wilson. Thrive Global. Sept. 25, 2019. “Meaningful Friends Are Essential for
Your Well-being – This Is Why.” https://thriveglobal.com/stories/meaningful-friends-essential-for-well-being/. Accessed Oct. 9, 2019.
LaMotte. CNN. Oct. 8, 2019. “Owning a dog tied to lowering your risk of dying
early by 24%, says science.” https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/08/health/dogs-help-us-live-longer-wellness/index.html. Accessed Oct. 9, 2019.
We are an independent firm helping individuals create retirement
strategies using a variety of insurance products to custom suit their needs and
objectives. This material is intended to provide general information to help
you understand basic retirement income strategies and should not be construed
as financial advice.
The information contained in this material is believed to be reliable,
but accuracy and completeness cannot be guaranteed; it is not intended to be
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