For many older adults, the pandemic has made retirement a reality sooner than expected. To be more precise new research found that more than 3 million Americans retired early because of the COVID-19 crisis.
Some retirees may be struggling with the transition without adequate time to prepare. Here are five ways to make that transition just a little easier:
- Plan financially. If you don’t already have a retirement plan, that should be the first step. Seek out a financial advisor who can build a plan and budget for your retirement. They will take into account your expenses and any passive income – such as a real estate investment. Having this planned out can eliminate stress down the line.
- Sustaining your social life. Social connections are one of the most important factors for your emotional and even physical health. And, when people retire – especially if its suddenly –really miss the social interactions when they stop working. A lack of needed social interaction could cause loneliness, depression and other mental health issues so sustaining friendships is key to living a happy retirement. In a virtual world, staying connected is possible so connect virtually with friends and family regularly. And making new friends should also be a priority if your existing social circle is small. Join in-person or online clubs focused on your areas of interests and step out of your comfort zone.
- Keeping routines. One shock new retirees have after they stop working is the disruption to their routine. It’s not wise to carry on without a routine because it could create poor habits of inactivity which could lead to health and mental health issues. Another reason to keep up routines is to create purpose in your life with activities such as volunteering, watching your grandchildren, scrapbooking, hosting a book club or working part time. Whatever you choose, it should make you feel a sense of purpose and give you meaning which keeps us healthy in a variety of ways.
- Keep active. Retirement can give people a much-needed breather if they’ve worked all day, every day for decades. However, you don’t want that break to last too long. Exercise as you age is extremely important to keep your bones healthy and strong, not to mention keeping you from the high-risk category for many diseases, like diabetes. Low impact exercise is perfectly fine if done consistently. Take leisurely walks with friends, find hikes in beautiful local areas, go exploring with your furry friend and take advantage of the millions of YouTube videos you can watch for every type of exercise you choose like yoga and Tai-Chai.
- Revisit or create your bucket list. If retirement came on suddenly, dust off your bucket list or take time to create one. Think about what you’ve always wanted to do but couldn’t because you were working and taking care of a family. Maybe life simply got in the way of a new career path you’ve always wanted to pursue or a road trip you dreamed of taking. Whatever it may be, take the plunge because there is no time better than the present.
Retirement – whether its planned or sudden – can cause a lot of emotion. Take the time to breath, take a break and start a new chapter with proper planning. Now is the time to live your best life!
Visit Inter Valley’s blog at https://blogs.ivhp.com/blog-2/ for tips on health, lifestyle, Medicare Advantage and living a life full of vitality.
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