Special to the Financial Independence Hub
There are a lot of life situations that can lead someone to retire much earlier than they had initially anticipated. It could be illness, injury, the need to move quickly, an emergency family circumstance, or even a company closing its doors. Why you’re being forced to retire isn’t nearly as important as the silver lining you need to find in your situation, and what steps you’ll take to get there.
1.) Get a great Savings plan
Your normal savings account may not be enough to carry you through. It might help to change your current savings account to one that gives you a better interest rate, particularly if you’re going to consolidate your retirement accounts. It might also help to supplement your savings with some investments that will grow with time.
2.) Work out your new Budget
People in retirement often live on fixed incomes, especially if their spouse is also retired. You need to be sure your money can go as far as you need it to, and that might mean breaking apart your old budget and determining where and how you can best reduce costs while maintaining your quality of life. There are some easy-to-use smartphone apps that might help you do that.
3.) Downsize your Home
The expenses of maintaining a household are high. If you’re retired, you probably don’t need all the extra space anyway. Finding a roommate can help, and so can selling your previous home to purchase a smaller home that’s easier to maintain. Often times, utility bills will significantly go down on a smaller property. You’re also gaining some extra cash and a little more financial longevity.
4.) Find affordable alternatives
Monthly costs, like health insurance and cellular phone bills, can often add up to a lot of money. You might want to consider shopping around for a better deal. Look at all the services you regularly use, and see if you can find alternatives that are designed to be budget friendly, or even better, designed specifically with retirees in mind.
5.) Consider income supplementation
Some people who have retired come to miss work. The sense of routine and accomplishment is important for self esteem and feeling like you have a place in the world. If you can find a work from home arrangement, or even start your own small enterprise out of your living room, you might want to give that a shot. You’ll be keeping your hands busy and seeing a little bit of extra cash roll in.
6.) Decide how you want to make connections
Social relationships are often undervalued. The workplace provides a sense of social community, whether or not you realize it. You talk to people every day, and a smiling face (even if its from someone you don’t consider to be a friend), is necessary to help you feel good. Find a hobby or a group you can attend that will keep you socially healthy and active.
7.) Make a list of your personal goals
You might have retired, but you still have dreams. If you don’t find anything worth working toward or achieving, you might wind up feeling a little depressed. Even if your goal is to read one new book a week, or to start that vegetable garden you’ve always dreamed of, make a list of the goals you want to meet. It will keep you inspired and invigorated.
Retirement is a new phase of life, and it has the potential to be one of the best phases of life if you’re spending it in a way that makes you happy. Everyone is different, and the most important thing you can do is think about your personal needs when developing your retirement strategy.
Michelle Arios works as an Assistant Manager at BizDb.co.nz, a professional business directory. Deeply interested in finances, Michelle often shares her stories with all those interested in becoming financially independent. Visit her at @MichelleArios.