Some say that people work their entire life so that they can bask in the blissful joys of retirement.  The golden years should be a time with few responsibilities and time to do the things you’ve always dreamed of.  While the act of retiring sounds appealing in theory, for first-year retirees it can be somewhat of an adjustment.

Not having a job means less income and more budgeting. It’s important to make sure that everything is in order prior to celebrating the start of your new life. Here are a few helpful tips that experts recommend for those preparing to make the big decision:

  • Have a plan in mind
  • Know what you hope to gain in retirement
  • Make a gradual transition
  • Save your money

Since retirement should be a blissful time, it’s important that one takes some steps before retiring in order to ensure that the years ahead will be happy ones.


Set Goals

Surprisingly many people spend more time planning a vacation than they do for a 25-year retirement.  Retirement is very important decision and the money you’ve saved determines how prepared you are for the future. Before announcing your retirement, it’s necessary for one to figure out how much you will need for retirement.  There are many tools that can help you figure out what you need.  Goals should include budget, savings, finances, vacation plans, emergency funds, healthcare, and any other important financial considerations.


Know What to Expect

Before starting your first year as a retired person, you should make sure that you know how much money you’ll be retiring to.  While many people know with certainty what their final average salary will be, not everyone is aware of how much money they will receive during retirement when all is said and done. Some rely on social security benefits while others have 401K or stock market assets to supplement their income. It may also be helpful to research government programs such as Medicare or P.A.C.E.


Prepare Mentally

By this point you’ve decided that you’re mentally and financial ready to retire. It’s difficult for one to truly comprehend what retirement is like until they’ve fully experienced it.  While retirement sounds appealing in theory, many new retirees have difficulty with getting out of a routine; some even feel they’ve lost their purpose or a sense of identity.

It’s important to stay focused and motivated; finding new hobbies or interests can help enhance retirement living. When you leave work life, you often lose touch with people who were once a part of your everyday life. Retired seniors need to develop new relationships, new communities. Consider volunteering, joining a club or visiting a community center.  Retirement is the perfect time to enjoy relationships and try new things you never had time for before.


Relax, Enjoy, Repeat

Regardless of why you decided to retire, it’s important to make sure that you take all the necessary steps. The first year of retirement may be the hardest to adjust but ultimately retirement is a time for relaxation and enjoyment. You’ll certainly find yourself enjoying retirement, and all the bliss and stress-free life that can come with it, as long as you have financially prepared in advance.


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About the Author: Victoria K. Stickley is a copywriter, editor, and senior content manager based in the Dallas area. Her graduate education in counseling and research has helped immensely in her writing as well as the care she provides for her grandparents. She currently provides support and resources to senior care websites as she learns and experiences senior care first-hand.