About LoveBeingRetired

Dave Bernard is a California born and raised author and blogger with an extensive 30 year career in Silicon Valley. He has written more than 300 blogs for US News & World On Retirement and his personal blog Retirement – Only the Beginning. He has authored three books: "Are you just existing and calling it a life?"; "I want to retire! Essential Considerations for the Retiree to Be"; and " Navigating the Retirement Jungle". Dave was also a contributing writer for the books 65 Things to do when you Retire (“Positive Aging – Old is the New Young”) as well as 65 Things to do when you Retire – TRAVEL (“Travel to Discover your Family Heritage”). He lives in sunny California with his wife, his Boston Terrier "Frank" and a passion for the San Jose Sharks.

Immediate Steps to Make Upon Your Retirement

Written by Maggie Hammond

Retirement is a momentous milestone – one that you may scarcely believe you’ve reached when the time comes for you to hang up your work shoes for the last time. When the dust settles after the celebrations, the events, the speeches, and the dinners, you’ll have a number of steps to take right off the bat that should see you navigate the life-changing effects of retirement with ease and grace. This guide talks you through those immediate steps, showing you what you should consider when your working life has drawn to a close.

Establish a Routine

For most retired persons, not having to get up with the 7am alarm can be, well – alarming. Suddenly, your whole day might be spent in bed, or on the couch watching the news, or on the porch watching the world go by. But for nearly every retiree, that’s not exactly what you’ll have wanted to do in the years approaching old age. It’s therefore really rather important that you stick to a good routine – getting up with that alarm and filling your day with activity – in order to make the most of your free time.

Keep Healthy and Active

On retirement, you should keep active and healthy – or start doing so if that’s been something you’ve long neglected. Nowadays, retirement is not entrance into old age – there’s a sizable window of years during which you can take up all the hobbies and leisure pursuits that you weren’t quite able to do when you were in the world of work. Get out on walks, jogs, swims, and cycles, and join local sports teams for retirees so that your social circle will expand at the same time as your fitness increases.

Plan Ahead

You may be feeling a luxurious lack of responsibility as a result of your retirement, but the truth of the matter is you still have a few things to focus on as you approach old age. Perhaps principal among them is preparing for the silver years of your life – by writing a will and purchasing some single premium life insurance that’ll help your family in the event of your death. The life insurance is particularly urgent if you’ve not already got a policy. Insure against the worst but – of course – expect the best as you move into your retirement years.

Seek Newness and Adventure

As this article is keen to emphasize, retirement is merely the next and newest chapter in your life – not the final one. As such, you should straight away think of and pursue new things to fill your time. These might include:

  • Making new friends
  • Exploring new forms of music
  • Reconnecting with long-lost friends and relatives
  • Taking up a new hobby
  • Writing a book or memoir
  • Traveling to new and exciting locations
  • Trying new cuisines
  • Taking the plunge with a once-in-a-lifetime experience
  • Making improvements to your home

The list simply goes on and on – there are more things to do in your retirement that can fit into any one article.

As you’ve seen above, retirement isn’t the time to kick off your shoes and ease into your slippers for a long spell in front of the television. The sooner you create a new, fulfilling retired lifestyle, the more you’ll extract from your new, work-free routine.

Maggie Hammond  is a retired nurse and freelance writer, exploring and writing in the U.S. in retirement. An advocate for public health and nursing qualifications, she feels passionate about raising awareness of the current strain on public health organisations.

Why We Don’t Plan for Retirement

Guest Post by Rob Schultz, The Retirement Guy

I recently read an article, “10 Retirement Lessons from a Retired Retirement Pro”, by Richard Quinn that had been published in MarketWatch and HumbleDollar. The article’s opening paragraph struck a chord with me and I share it here.

“For the better part of 40 years, I spent a great deal of time helping thousands of workers prepare for retirement. We ran seminars for workers and spouses on topics like retirement income, insurance, lifestyle, relocation and more. I think it’s fair to say that, if someone took advantage of the programs offered, they would have been well prepared financially and emotionally for retirement. Sadly, relatively few workers utilized all that was available to them—this despite the support and urging of the unions that represented them. I retired in 2010, suffering in part from banging-your-head-against-the-wall syndrome.”

Since I blog and teach about retirement planning in a similar fashion to what Mr. Quinn did, I can empathize with his frustration and head-banging. I have struggled myself with the question of, why the vast majority of people do such a poor job of planning for something that could last for 20-40 years of their life?

I believe the reason is because there are no immediate consequences for not preparing for retirement. For example; if I continually violate the speed limit, chances are I will eventually get a ticket. If I drink and drive, I am going to eventually lose my license. If I don’t pay my utility bills, I am going to have my water, gas & electricity cut off. If I don’t make my car payment, I am going to have my car repossessed. You get the picture. There is a quote which I attribute to my pastor friend, Dix Winston. “You can choose your actions or you can choose your consequences, but you can’t choose both”. Most of our actions in life, have fairly quick consequences. But retirement doesn’t work like that. You can go along for 20, 30, 40 years without planning for your retirement and for the most part nothing terrible happens, until it is too late.

I am frustrated by people that identify a problem, but offer nothing in the way of a solution, so I will propose one. Financial literacy education, beginning in elementary school, is a practical way to address the problem of not only retirement planning, but also; inadequate savings, debt, poor credit, budgeting, etc..

Bob is a retired human resources guy who blogs about retirement planning on his website, http://www.retirementguy.org.

5 Non-Financial Factors for a Fulfilling Retirement

This post originally appeared on the blog of Pine Grove Financial Group, a group of Minnesota-based financial advisors who specialize in retirement planning. You can find the original post, 5 Non-Financial Factors for a Fulfilling Retirement, here.

Have you thought about all the non-financial factors that help create a fulfilling retirement? That’s right: To make the most of your retirement years, you’ll want to do way more than just save enough money.

If you’re on track to have ample savings in your retirement, congratulations, you’re in the minority. But does that alone guarantee a satisfying retirement? Far from it.

Read on to learn more about the non-financial factors that go into a successful retirement.

WHY SHOULD YOU CONSIDER RETIREMENT FROM A NON-FINANCIAL PERSPECTIVE?

Retired Silicon Valley sales executive Dave Bernard has been thinking and blogging about the non-financial aspects of retirement for nearly a decade. In addition to his own blog, he’s been a contributor to U.S. News & World Report’s “On Retirement” column and wrote the book I Want to Retire! Essential Considerations for the Retiree to Be.

Good financial planning is crucial for a successful retirement, says Bernard, but don’t stop there. The best financial plan in the world won’t help you prepare for keeping yourself engaged in retirement. “If you’re working on Thursday and by Monday you’ll be retired, that’s obviously a huge psychological shift in your life,” Bernard says. “How ready will you be for that?”

You need to play an active role in what your retirement life will look like, says Bernard. “If you assume that the next 20 or 25 years are going to be like your prior life, whether it’s physically, mentally, or socially, that’s an unrealistic way to see retirement.”

THE NUMBER ONE RETIREMENT REGRET

Beyond his own retirement research and experience, Bernard says he’s also learned a lot from the thousands of insightful comments he’s received from his readers, as well as from other retirement blogs.

If asked to point to the most common regret he’s heard from retirees, Bernard says it goes something like this: I wish I had planned more for all the time I now have on my hands.

“It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of reaching retirement,” says Bernard. “You see this freedom at the end of the road. So you work hard in your career, you save what you can, and then you retire. But if you just walk blindly into it, that can be disastrous.”

WHO AM I? SELF-IDENTITY IN A POST-RETIREMENT LIFE

“When you have a powerful position or a career that’s been defining you for years, you’re confident in who you are,” says Bernard. “You’re a doctor, a teacher, a CEO. You have an identity and an easy response when someone asks, ‘So what do you do?’ But when you don’t have that anymore, it can be unsettling.”

Bernard says a lot of people don’t really plan for what they’re going to do in retirement. And for a while they can get by. “Most retirees seem to have a to-do list of trips, home projects, or hobbies they’ve been putting off. That might take up to six months or even a year. But then beyond that, many people hit a kind of wall,” explains Bernard.

RELAX AND EXPLORE: PUSHING PAST THE RETIREMENT “WALL”

It’s this “wall” according to Bernard that can cause anxiety for some because it’s forcing them to face a new reality:

• What’s going to get me out of bed?

• What’s going to get me excited about life?

• What’s going to give me a reason for living now that I’m no longer tied to the job or profession I’ve been doing for thirty years?

Yes, those may be profound questions, but Bernard cautions people to not put too much pressure on themselves. “You’re not going to walk into retirement on day one knowing exactly what it’s about or who you’re going to be.”

Instead he recommends that people think of retirement as a time for self-discovery. “Sure, wondering Who am I? can be a little stressful. But the flip side of that is you now have a chance to redefine yourself.”

Bernard encourages people to be adaptive and try different things. “Build that person that you want to be. Take the time it takes because, remember, you now have the time. So there’s no hurry.”

BEYOND THE FINANCIAL: A RETIREMENT COACH’S PERSPECTIVE

Reid Stone knows the importance of good financial advising. In fact, he spent more than 20 years working in the financial planning industry.

Ironically, his experience led him to realize that too many people see retirement solely through a financial lens. And for Stone, that’s a problem.

Today Stone is a certified retirement coach. Through his company My Life’s Encore, he partners with financial advisory firms to help guide and educate people on the non-financial aspects of retirement. He also blogs about retirement topics and co-authored The Retirement Challenge: A Non-Financial Guide From Top Retirement Experts.

THE TOP FIVE NON-FINANCIAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR RETIREMENT

When Stone works with people planning for retirement, he begins by covering five key areas that he believes must be considered for people to have “confidence, clarity and control” during their retirement.

1. CHANGE YOUR PERCEPTION AND DEFINITION OF RETIREMENT

Stone writes that seeing retirement primarily as “something for old people” or the stage in life “when our career ends and we fade off into the sunset” is not only inaccurate; it’s downright unhelpful.

“We’re encouraged to save, save, save for retirement so when you get there, everything will be fine. But what I see happening is that people are reaching retirement and finding out something is missing,” says Stone.

Stone encourages people to adjust their retirement attitudes. “Be optimistic,” says Stone. “Focus on retirement as a new beginning because that’s what it really is. Thinking about it that way empowers you. You get to decide what retirement means to you.”

2. REALIZE YOU COULD BE RETIRED FOR A LONG TIME

The Social Security Administration estimates that about 25% of 65-year-olds today will live past 90. That’s just one small example of an undeniable fact: People are living longer today and life expectancy will continue to increase.

Be prepared to see more and more books like The 100-Year Life, which discusses the realities of living and working in a time of unprecedented longevity.

Stone points out that retirement could likely be a major portion of your life, not a brief coda to it. But Stone adds a caveat: The healthier you are going into retirement, the better the quality of that retirement will be.

“Don’t wait for retirement to start eating healthier or being more active. Start before. Changing your behavior after retirement can be more difficult than you think.”

3. RETIREMENT ITSELF IS CHANGING—AND THAT’S GOOD NEWS FOR YOU

Take notice of the way people in their 60s, 70s and beyond are living today. In many ways it looks a lot different than how prior generations spent their golden years.

More than ever before, retirees are going to the gym regularly, volunteering in their community, taking courses at the local college, and maybe even forgoing conventional retirement and deciding to work indefinitely on their own terms.

“You have so many more options today for how you spend your retirement,” says Stone. But he also says that’s exactly why it’s more important than ever to plan for what you want to do.

4. CREATE A VISION FOR YOUR RETIREMENT

Stone says that well before you’re actually retired, you need to envision what you’d like to pursue and accomplish in retirement. He also says it’s important to include your spouse in your vision and make sure you’re on the same page.

RETIREMENT SUCCESS = TIME + DIRECTION

Planning for the non-financial aspects of your retirement is really trying to solve the following equation, according to Stone: Retirement Success = Time + Direction. But where do you begin? Stone says thinking about the following areas of your life can help.

• Values & beliefs. Exploring these will help you define your priorities for retirement.

• Purpose & identity. No longer working in a long-time career means you need to prepare for a new identity. Who do you want to be?

• Work & learning. Will you want to keep working full- or part-time even after your retirement? Maybe you want to work in another field. If so, will you need training or education to make that change?

• Health & activity. What good habits can you start now to be ready for a long and active retirement?

• Family & friends. People need some level of social interaction. What will you do to adapt to a post-retirement social life?

• Leisure & travel. Give plenty of thought to how much leisure time and traveling will play a role in your retired life—and include your spouse in your planning.

• Home & location. For a variety of reasons, retirement often involves changing homes, or at least changing how we live in our homes. Prepare for this likelihood before you’re retired.

5. RECOGNIZE THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE NON-FINANCIAL AND FINANCIAL

Of course, in the real world, the financial and the non-financial factors involved in our retirement are inextricably linked. For Stone, it’s crucial that we recognize this and adjust our decisions accordingly.

“If the financial and the non-financial don’t complement each other, your retirement will be out of balance,” says Stone. “You ideally want to plan for both because a successful retirement depends on it.”

What’s the thread running through all the above insights? Planning ahead before you find yourself retired. Want a great place to start?

Learn more about Minnesota’s premier retirement planners,
the financial advisors at Pine Grove Financial Group.