By Chris Heisten, CRPC®, CFP®, CSRIC®
Retirement is a major milestone in anyone’s life. You’ve put the time in, worked hard, and now get to reap the rewards of the countless hours you’ve spent serving others. And it should be an incredible time, filled with things you’ve been waiting your whole life to do. It’s an opportunity to explore new interests, cultivate meaningful relationships, and discover a sense of purpose and identity outside of work.
However, for many people, retirement can be a time of great uncertainty, as they navigate the transition from a structured work life to a more open-ended, and potentially daunting, future. Some experience severe loneliness, a loss of purpose, and even depression. But hear us loud and clear—that doesn’t have to be you! If you’re approaching retirement or already retired, here are some tips that can help guide you toward being the best version of yourself and forge a strong sense of purpose and identity in this exciting new phase of life!
One of the most commonly suggested things to do in retirement is to find purpose in your new phase of life. As you transition out of the workforce, you may find yourself feeling like you don’t have a reason to get up in the morning. Studies have shown that you can prevent this feeling by living a purpose-driven life and that individuals who feel fulfilled are happier and healthier on average than those who don’t. Not only that, but, on average, they also live longer! You can find purpose in retirement by:
- Volunteering for a local nonprofit or church
- Spending time with your grandchildren
- Pursuing a newfound hobby
- Working on home improvement or DIY projects
- Taking a class or learning a new skill
- Traveling locally or abroad
Whatever you choose to do in retirement, doing it with a sense of purpose will help you make the most out of your time as opposed to just filling it.
Declining health and how to pay for the associated medical expenses is one of the biggest concerns for many retirees. In fact, 70% of Americans cite healthcare costs as the most pressing issue on their minds when planning for retirement. Now that you’re in retirement, what better way to spend your time than prioritizing your mental and physical health?
Sure, genetics will play a role in how healthy you will be as you age, but there are also things you can do to mitigate your risk. Exercise and diet are key to maintaining health and they can also be fulfilling ways to fill your time. Try participating in group workouts like kickboxing, yoga, or Pilates, or join a gym if you prefer to exercise alone. And get outside! Taking up hiking or walking will help you stay active and see the beauty you may have been too busy to experience before. Any form of exercise is better than nothing, and it can help decrease your risk of premature death by up to 30%. Learning how to cook a new style of food can also be a fun way to pass the time while also improving your diet.
Adjusting to retirement is a huge transition! Going from working 40-plus hours a week for 30-plus years to suddenly having all the time in the world is a shock to the system, to say the least. It takes time to adjust, so don’t feel pressure to rush into retirement all at once. Instead, try working part time or using a phased approach to retirement.
It’s becoming increasingly popular for people to approach retirement in phases, slowly adjusting to reduced hours, part time work, then eventually full retirement. Studies have shown that phased retirement can actually improve vitality and health among retirees.
Prioritize Family and Friendships
Retirees who build and maintain meaningful social relationships are often happier and healthier than those who spend their time alone. Spend time connecting with your friends, family, and loved ones throughout retirement. It can help prevent loneliness and provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Knowing that you have a strong support system can make a significant difference in your overall level of happiness, and it can be a great way to fill your time, especially if you experience the loss of a spouse, fall on hard times, or suffer from declining health.
Recently, one of our clients took their whole family to Belize. They all said it was the greatest trip they ever went on. Not only was that trip possible through financial planning, but it lived out this objective of prioritizing your loved ones in retirement.
Find a Hobby
Retirement can be an exciting time for many, but some may find it hard to fill the empty hours. Exploring a hobby can bring meaning to your life, prevent feelings of uselessness, and promote overall happiness and health. A newfound hobby can bring purpose to retirement and help you stay healthy by prioritizing your mental and physical health.
Whether you choose to volunteer, take a class, learn a new skill, or work on a DIY project, having a hobby can help make the most of your golden years—while also helping to create new friendships and provide a sense of community, which is crucial in preventing loneliness and improving your overall well-being.
How We Can Help
The opportunities for making the most out of your golden years are endless and, let’s face it, maybe a little overwhelming. But you’re not alone! We’re here to help you find purpose and fulfillment in these incredible years. Our team at Heisten Financial is ready and eager to help you navigate this exciting next chapter of your life with confidence. Whether you need assistance with financial planning and budgeting in retirement, developing a retirement plan, or both, we can provide the support you need to make the most of your golden years. Partner with us to establish a customized financial strategy by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 907.222.6270. You can even schedule a complimentary assessment today!
Chris Heisten is President and Founder of Heisten Financial LLC, a fee-based boutique financial planning firm with the focus of giving clients back their time so they can spend it doing what’s most important to them. Acting as a true fiduciary for his clients, Chris aims to solve their financial pain points and move them toward financial freedom. In the financial industry since 2007, Chris partners with business owners and oil workers on their journey through life, striving to instill calmness and a sense of direction as he simplifies the complex. He loves nothing more than seeing clients experience relief when they achieve what they thought was impossible.
Chris graduated from the University of Maine, where he played hockey on a scholarship, and retired from professional hockey in 2007. In the community, he remains engaged serving as a youth hockey coach. Chris holds the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor℠, and Chartered SRI Counselor™ designations. Outside of the office, he enjoys trying new food and wine, reading, traveling, playing golf and hockey, fat tire biking, and donating to local charities. His passions include being a husband and dad, lake life with the family, watching his son and daughter play sports, and spending time with his wife. To learn more about Chris, connect with him on LinkedIn.