Thinking Outside the Retirement Box

In the year 2018, retirement can mean whatever you want it to be. The old rules don’t really apply anymore, and that’s a good thing. Retirement isn’t even a given right now if it ever was. A significant portion of Americans says they have trouble saving enough money to retire when other expenses keep popping up. If you have a financial advisor and a solid plan to retire, then count yourself as lucky. Retirement is something that shouldn’t be taken for granted, and that may require looking at life after the 9 to 5 grind in a new way to ensure you can truly get the most out of what’s supposed to be your golden years.

The moving question

Once you turn in your notice at work, it may seem like you have to move somewhere else. You should only do that if it’s something that makes sense for your particular lifestyle. Do you still enjoy your home? Can you keep up with maintenance and repairs? If so, then feel free to stay put. However, once we reach a certain age, the home we bought twenty years ago can start to feel like more trouble than it’s worth. If that’s the case, start preparing to sell it, but first, make sure that everything is in tip-top shape. Look into hiring home inspection services to ensure that no unpleasant surprises pop upright as you’re about to sign the paperwork and turn over the house keys. Talk to your real estate agent about the proper way to stage the house to make it appealing, and ask about any other steps you and your family can take to help the house sell as quickly as possible.  

When you’re looking for a new place to live, don’t discount the benefits of 55 and over communities. Such communities can give you plenty of breathing room and independence while also providing a built-in social life. There’s evidence that socially isolated senior citizens have more health problems than people who manage to maintain friendships as they age. Take a tour of a couple of local communities. Talk to the people who already live there and ask them how they like it. When done right, such developments can provide the best of both worlds.

Travel far and wide

Retirement can be a tough adjustment, but one way to fight back is to lean into the newness of everything and go traveling. When you’re at home, you expect the safe and familiar, but when you travel, you expect to see new things and learn about different cultures. Many senior citizens like traveling to warm, sunny places like Arizona and Florida, but don’t limit yourself to the standard options. People who want to feel young at heart should take a tour of some of America’s finest college towns. You’ll find plenty of things to do in Athens, GA, from touring the beautiful University of Georgia campus to eating great Southern foods. College towns have a vibrancy that other towns find hard to replicate. Anything seems possible in your late teens and early twenties. That feeling can be tough to find as we get older and have to deal with jobs, mortgages, and other stressors. If nothing else, traveling is a great way to remind yourself that the world is still big and full of possibilities, whether you’re 25 or 65.

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