5 Steps to Finding Happiness in Retirement

retired coupleRetirement is a major step in life. You switch from a life of routine to doing whatever you want, while depending only on yourself. Fortunately, the right moves can make this time liberating rather than scary. Here are five steps to finding happiness in your golden years.

1. Wait to Retire

If you work longer, then you will have more time to save and prepare for retirement. Social Security benefits also increase for each year that you wait to retire up to age 70. You can retire and receive reduced benefits starting at 62, but the higher payments will let you use your savings for things such as vacations rather than everyday essentials. Remember to apply for Social Security three months before you plan to retire.

2. Save

Start to save for your retirement as soon as possible so that interest can accumulate. Even if you just finished college, you should save as much as you can. IRAs, 401ks, and other investment accounts have some very nice tax benefits. You should also work hard to pay off debts like a mortgage or car payment before retirement. Extra bills will leave you with less money to enjoy later.

3. Downsize

Minimize your expenses whenever possible. In many cases, you don’t need to spend a lot of money to be happy. For example, you could buy a cheap used car with cash instead of worrying about car payments. Many people move into smaller houses, condos, or apartments at retirement since their children no longer live with them and they need less space.

4. Stay Busy

Make new friends, reconnect with old ones, and spend time with family. Find a hobby, go on a fun vacation, or volunteer. Many colleges offer free or discounted classes to senior citizens so that they can expand their minds. You can even get a part-time job to help keep you active, healthy, and happy.

5. Prepare or Update Legal Documents

No one wants to think about death or illness, but it’s a necessary part of life. Prepare or update important legal documents such as a will and power of attorney, and review the beneficiaries on retirement plans and insurance. This way, you can make decisions about your own funeral arrangements and make sure that family members will be cared for. Planning ahead saves relatives from the stress of making arrangements while grieving. You also get peace of mind from knowing that a person you trust will make decisions if you are incapacitated.

Contact Us

Contact the Law Office of Andrew M. Lamkin, P.C. at (516) 605-0625 for more help with finding happiness in retirement. We specialize in elder law and estate planning, including Wills and Trusts, Medicaid planning, and estate administration. Call us today or fill out our online contact form and we will get back to you within 24 hours.

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