Take a fresh look at your lifestyle.

What is So Good About Retirement?

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Many individuals struggle to make the transition from the structure of a full-time job to retirement. A retirement plan can help alleviate some of the anxiety associated with this change by providing a clear picture of financial needs.

Retirement planning isn’t just about money, however. There are also many things that money cannot buy, such as a sense of purpose and self-esteem.

1. You’ll have more time to do the things you love.

If you’re used to a full schedule, the transition to retirement can be challenging. Adjust your attitude and build your resilience to cope with a new way of life.

It’s not uncommon to feel anxious about the sudden free time on your hands, and you may struggle to fill it with meaningful activities. However, finding an identity outside of work and a purposeful lifestyle that fills your emotional needs is essential.

For example, volunteering offers a sense of meaning and belonging, according to an Age Wave/Merrill Lynch study. It’s also a great way to meet people with similar interests and explore new hobbies. Or, you could pursue a low-stress part-time job like stocking shelves at a local grocery store or being a barista at a coffee shop.

2. You’ll have more money.

Most retirees aren’t in the enviable position of walking off into retirement with a tidy nest egg. Instead, they’re often part of the sandwich generation, supporting children and parents.

Fortunately, there are several ways to earn money during retirement, even if you’re not quite at your target retirement age. For instance, temping is a flexible way to make extra income on your terms and keep the brain active. It can also allow you to work with a new crowd and try your hand at different types of jobs.

And if you want to give back, consider a career in volunteering. A recent study by Age Wave/Merrill Lynch found that volunteers have a higher sense of happiness in retirement than those who don’t.

3. You’ll have more freedom.

The freedom to spend time on hobbies, relax and pursue new interests is a common expectation of retirement. But the reality can be a bit different.

It is essential to have enough money to meet your needs in retirement, but money isn’t the only factor in life satisfaction. A recent EBRI study found that individuals who consider the retirement decision for less than a year are likelier to make that choice impulsively (Kirby and Herrnstein 2010).

Individuals may not realize how much their current work satisfies them, which can lead to retirement unhappiness. Whether volunteering, taking on a second career, or simply finding meaning in their activities, those who are happy in retirement typically find a way to make their work part of their lives.

4. You’ll have more friends.

Retirement is a time to make new friends and revitalize existing ones. It’s an excellent opportunity to enjoy the benefits of socializing, which are crucial to your health.

A recent study found that those with a solid social support network are healthier than those who are isolated and lonely. Socializing can help stave off depression and other mental health issues, such as high blood pressure, sleep disorders, and Alzheimer’s.

A retirement community is one of the best places to meet people and make friends in retirement. Choosing a community with many activities and events you can attend will give you plenty of opportunities to connect with others. Whether you’re interested in art or music, a book club, or another hobby, there’s sure to be an activity that appeals to you.

5. You’ll have more time to travel.

Almost half of retirees and pre-retirees report that traveling is vital to their retirement plans. But it’s not just about money: Traveling is good for you physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Freed from the tyranny of school calendars and work schedules, retirees can fly during off-peak times to save on airfare. They can also stay longer in places like Airbnb, which are less expensive than hotels and offer kitchens so that you can cook at home and save on eating out.

Plus, you can take your time soaking up jaw-dropping sunsets or gobbling down mouthwatering gelato. And you’ll be able to do it all with the people you love most. Just remember to budget for these costs and avoid overspending. Creating an annual travel budget will give you the wiggle room to make your dreams a reality.