10 Mistakes To Avoid In Retirement

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10 Mistakes To Avoid In Retirement

As an investment advisory and financial planning firm, you would think that we would only focus on sharing the biggest financial mistakes you should avoid in retirement – and boy, are there plenty of them out there! But we want to focus on the bigger picture of how amazing retirement can be for you – IF you choose the right path in how you approach these precious retirement years. You know how fast those working years flew by and these retirement years will be the same, except your body may just move a bit slower 🙂 But all kidding aside, you are in one of the greatest seasons of life! Make it the best possible and avoid these common mistakes that could rob you of the joy of retiring well!

  • Fearing your retirement years.

Imagine riding down the highway, the top down on the convertible and the wind blowing through your hair. There is just something relaxing about cruising down the road with the sun beaming down and cares of the world behind you. That’s what we like to think about the retirement years. But it could also feel the opposite for some of you – a slight identity crisis as you figure out how to adjust to not working 40-50 hours each week.

Regardless of which side of the fence you are standing on, the reality is that you have prepared for these years and it’s time to enjoy them. The fruits of your labor! There is no time to allow fear to be in any way, shape or form part of your retirement years – it just simply can’t.

  • Not using the snooze button.

Remember during your working years when that early 6am alarm would go off? There was always the temptation to hit that snooze button, roll over and enjoy another ten minutes of sleep until……..the alarm goes off again. The temptation to hit the snooze button was always there!

But in your retirement years, you need to give yourself permission to rest. Yes, you may have been used to hitting the coffee shop for a shot of caffeine, wading your way through traffic on your commute and running into the office doors to make it on time. But those days are in your past. You deserve to rest and you should! Don’t neglect the rest you need – your body will thank you for it later!

So, do you now have permission to be lazy? No, rest and laziness have very different definitions. But you do now have the freedom to set your own schedule and establish your new routine. And there is freedom in that! Setting a routine can be one of the most freeing steps you can take. Approach each day with purpose, a schedule, a list, but staying flexible and allowing yourself to find your best rhythm. And here’s a little secret – avoid the temptation to spend too much time watching TV or surfing online. There’s so many better options than checking out on the couch!

  • Yes, you will still need to eat your vegetables.

You may have thought now that you have reached the most dignified years of your life, that you can push the veggies to the side and settle for dessert instead. Well, we hate to break it to you, but that’s not such a good idea. You still have to eat your greens and yes, you have to clean your plate before you’re excused from the dinner table. 😉

Nutrition is very important during the retirement years to keep your body healthy. The old adage is true – you are what you eat! It is more important now than ever to make a game plan on eating a balanced diet. A healthy diet would consist of whole, non-processed foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, protein and dairy. Eat three balanced meals a day and don’t be afraid of vitamins or supplements to keep your body strong – under your doctor’s advertisement of course!

  • One, Two, Three – LIFT!

As much as your diet plays into staying healthy, staying active is just as important. Exercise should have already been part of your normal routine, but if it wasn’t, you’re not alone! The goal is not to run marathons, participate competitively in triathlons or train like Rocky Balboa, but simply to keep your heart healthy and your strength lasting.

There are so many great options to ensure exercise stays part of your daily routine.

  • Walking, jogging or hiking outdoors
  • Swimming in a lap pool
  • Striking a pose with yoga
  • Free weights at the gym
  • Resistance band training
  • A video workout routine on a mobile app or online
  • Or even simple at home workouts without any equipment

Regardless of what you choose as your preferred activity, the goal is to do something every single day. This will ensure you can stay active as you reach other milestones in your retirement years.

  • Challenging yourself with a new skill.

Most retirees still have the desire to be challenged after years of managing demands in the workplace. And that is a great desire! Just like exercising your physical muscles, your brain is like a muscle that needs to be used to learn new things!

Now you may be thinking…you can’t teach an old dog new tricks…but we are here to say YES YOU CAN! According to The Alzheimer’s Association, by learning new skills, you can actually reduce your risk of mental illness and dementia. Just that alone is worth the effort!

What new skills should you learn? The options are really endless. It could be painting happy clouds like our friend Bob Ross or learning a new language. The list is really endless. What have been those skills you always wished you had more time to do? Now is the time!

  • Living on your own island.

The thought of living on your own private island may sound tempting – the view, the quiet, the simplicity of life. But not only are islands expensive, over time they can become very isolating. Your retirement years are not meant to be lived in isolation. Sure, vacation to an island somewhere for two weeks or a month if you want, but you still need to have a home base to come back to where friendships are fostered.

Another great way to not get isolated in retirement is to find ways to get involved in your local community to stay socially connected. That could be volunteering at a local community center or church, joining a special interest group, exercising with a friend, having coffee every Wednesday morning with a group of friends – relationships matter. Relationships are important and will allow you to feel connected to others and avoid feeling isolated on your own island.

  • The retirement relocation package.

One common mistake that retirees make is uprooting their “home base” and moving to a completely different part of the country or even the world. Although this may sound tempting, it is not always the best idea. There can be value in living close to friends AND family. Now, we understand that everyone’s family situation might be different, but it is hard to place a price tag on seeing grandchildren in their school musical or taking them fishing for their first big catch!

If you stay close to your home base, you can still choose to travel whenever and wherever you want to that fits in your budget. Because of the flexibility you have in retirement, you can save money by traveling when no one else is. Imagine the crystal while sand beaches all to yourself – it is possible!

Is your family spread out throughout the US? No problem! Follow in the footsteps of many other retirees that load up in their RV and travel to see their family and friends! Who knows…you might just find some great stops along the way to see this beautiful country!

  • Now hiring? Not you!

Businesses are hiring all the time – and likely businesses that could use your help. As enticing as it may appear, avoid that now hiring sign and entering back into the traditional workforce. It may be challenging knowing you could step right back into that world and make a difference, but that would be going backwards in your retirement dreams.

If you are really getting that itch to do something productive in business and can’t shake the desire, one great option is to become a part-time contractor or freelancer. This allows you to work independently as your own boss, set your own schedule, work on the things you’re most experienced with and exit when you need to. The key is to make sure it fits into your new routine as you still need to enjoy this well deserved time of your life.

 

  • Allowing your nest egg to crack!

Another mistake to avoid is spending more than your retirement savings plan allowed for; sticking to your retirement game plan is important! Imagine a quarterback walking onto the field after preparing with his team all week in practice and he throws out the playbook. There is no way they would not win the game. Your retirement savings is similar – don’t navigate far from the plan you have in place or it could come back to hurt.

Debt is also something that should be avoided during the retirement years. If you carried debt into retirement, there needs to be a plan for getting rid of that debt. And avoiding taking on debt in your retirement years is equally as important. The bottom line is that every dollar you have to pay to cover debt payments, well that prevents you from fully enjoying your retirement. 

  • Not firing your financial advisor!

Just because you are retired, it does not mean that the plan is on autopilot. Just like a pilot has to make adjustments along the way as they travel through the clouds, your retirement plan will also need some adjustments along the way. Your retirement advisor should not be taking a backseat to driving your financial plan after you reach retirement years. They should be working just as hard to maximize your earnings! If they are not, it might be time to kick them to the curb and find an advisor you can trust!

At Oak Harvest Financial Group, we focus on continuing to make your retirement years successful, while also assisting with leaving your legacy for future generations.

Schedule a consultation today to see how we can help you continue to retire well!

Let Us Help You Achieve the Retirement You Deserve!

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