Planning for retirement can be challenging, but it’s also an opportunity to build a retirement plan that can ensure you’re comfortable, secure, and able to have fun. While the planning process starts with your financial goals and how much money you’ve saved, it also includes planning for your happiness and health. Retirement isn’t just about having enough saved; it’s also about thinking how your spending can yield the lifestyle you want.
Retirement should be the time of your life to do exactly what you want to do. So it’s important to be proactive about choosing activities you like that suit your financial situation rather than letting others dictate what your days will look like. Regardless of how much money is in your nest egg, there are plenty of fulfilling activities you can plan to do as you map out your retirement.
Pursue Healthy Habits
While retirement provides, for many, the long-awaited opportunity to rest and have some peace, it is also important to stay active for the benefit of your short- and long-term health. Spending time participating in a physical activity you enjoy can make a big difference in the quality of your retirement. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, adults 65 and older should aim for at least two and a half hours of moderate-intensity physical activity a week, or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity to get extensive health benefits.
The good news is pursuing healthy activities can be free. For example, if you love the outdoors, then find no-cost ways, such as walking in the park, to build that into your schedule.
Invest In A New Hobby
Retirement is the perfect time to learn how to play a new instrument, start taking care of your garden, or take art lessons. For many people, retirement means leaving the workforce, but it doesn’t have to mean you stop investing your time in projects you are interested in. Or, it could be time to discover a new passion. Studies have found that engaging in hobbies later in life is linked to decreased mortality risk.
And while the cost of starting new hobbies varies wildly, depending on which activity you choose, you can tailor your pursuits to how much money you’ll have available to spend on them. For example, if you have $300 set aside, you could use it to create a flower garden at home or purchase art supplies.
Start A New Business
Guidant Financial’s 2020 Small Business Trends For Baby Boomers survey of more than 3,100 small-business and franchise owners uncovered some surprising insights. It turns out Boomers make up 41% of small-business owners or franchise owners. Spending time developing a new business or project may feel odd or out of reach post-retirement, but it can be a good use for all of your experience and wisdom.
If you’re considering starting a business in retirement, you’ll want to evaluate business startup costs with a business plan draft as part of your overall retirement planning. By estimating potential expenses, you can get an idea of how much money you’ll need to save.
Go Back To School
School isn’t just for kids and young adults. There are several common reasons people 50 and older go back to studying, such as searching for a second-chapter career, staying competitive in the workforce, and meeting a long-held goal. Taking a course or going back to university is a great option for those wanting to stay mentally active.
When considering the potential costs, note that many universities offer specialized payment plans for older adult students, as well as discounts depending on how extensive the course offering is. With online courses more prevalent than ever, learning more about one of your favorite subjects can be affordable. Annual memberships to popular online learning platforms can cost less than $400.
Find A New Home In An Active Community
If you’ve built a comfortable nest egg, how about flying the coop? While some people shy away from the possibility of retirement communities due to the trite idea of being at an “old people’s home,” many active retirement communities are actually luxurious options for retirees Some communities offer upscale architecture, resort amenities, and impressive landscapes. There are luxury retirement communities throughout the country for every taste, from traditional Florida condos to villas nestled at the foot of mountains in the Southwest. Active retirement communities often include state-of-the-art fitness centers and golf courses.
Retiring in style can certainly be more expensive than staying at home. With luxe retreats varying in price, you’ll want to evaluate the costs carefully prior to making the move.
Retirement doesn’t mean that your life has to hit a pause. Not only does staying active in retirement ensure you enjoy it to the fullest, but it can also lead to the discovery of exciting new hobbies and activities. There are plenty of options for staying active in retirement, regardless of how much money you have socked away. But planning for your retirement isn’t solely focused on your ideal financial situation — it’s equally important to think about the lifestyle you want to live.
Disclaimer: This blog was originally written and published by Andres Garcia-Amaya for the Forbes Financial Council under the title How To: Stay Active in Retirement Regardless of Your Nest Egg’s Size.