What they wish they did and how you can do it
I came across an article by Consumer Reports that revealed some interesting statistics. I’d like to share with you the collected data that resulted after interviewing some 25,000 retirees and asking them this one question:
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What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned in retirement?
Retirement is where we are all headed. The following advice comes from people who are there now, giving us very good indicators of what we need to address in order to insure the most favorable conditions for success. Of these top 5 tips, you might find a few surprises. It’s not just about the money.
Start saving earlier.
40% of all retirees wished that they had started saving earlier instead of waiting. Well, this may be no surprise, but it is still a good reminder. You can address this issue now by paying yourself first. Break down your income and start tucking away an amount you can afford to save, even if it’s a small amount. The important thing here is to get into the habit of saving first and living off the rest. Do this even if the amount you are saving seems small. Most people wait until they can save more before they begin saving at all, and as a result they end up waiting too long with $0 to show for it.
30% of those surveyed said they didn’t save enough to replace their income. They participated in 401k’s or 403b’s, and then just hoped that whatever accumulated there would be enough. Instead of hoping, get clear about where you stand and where you want to go. Sit down with a trusted financial advisor, talk to your spouse, and come up with a workable plan.
Take care of your primary asset.
I find it interesting how many times I hear this from my own clients: “I wish I had taken better care of my health.” The consequences are two-fold. Not only do they end up spending a lot of money on prescriptions for ailments that could have been prevented, but their ability to enjoy all the trips and wonderful things they had planned is severely compromised. Don’t let that happen to you! It simply isn’t worth ruining your health for a retirement that you can’t enjoy. Eat well, get enough rest, and exercise regularly. This investment will pay off in more ways than one.
Invest in relationships outside the work place.
Develop and participate in hobbies today.
It’s always good to hear someone tell you, “Do what you love to do!” We hear that a lot as children, not so much as adults. I hear it from my clients, especially from those who have lost a loved one. No one knows how much time we have left. Enjoy the time you do have. Every day, once a week, twice a month, even if it’s only 30 minutes, do what you enjoy doing. Whether its cooking, gardening, or sneaking off to your basement sewing room, make time for yourself. No one else is going to give you the time. Give it to yourself.
By doing these 5 things, not only will you be happier in retirement, you’ll be happier in your life, as well.
Start saving, make a plan, take care of your physical health, and invest in relationships outside the work place. And don’t forget to relax and have some fun along the way!
Heard any good advice from retirees who have been there? I’d love to hear it!
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