Planning for a Meaningful and Happy Retirement

Retirement planning is about more than financial security. It's also about proactively safeguarding your health, choosing a location to retire, and considering what sort of housing will best suit you. In this article we walk you through some questions and considerations.

Key Takeaways

  • Financial planning is an essential part of your retirement plan.
  • But it’s also crucial to consider how you will proactively manage your health, where you will choose to retire and in what sort of housing.
  • We provide some suggestions and guiding questions to help you think through your particular situation.

If you're near or in retirement, congratulations! Retirement is a new life chapter—full of opportunities, places to go, things to do and fulfilling ways to spend your time. It can be an exciting period, but planning for it can be daunting.

Some approach retirement planning primarily as a financial exercise. Have you been saving enough? What are your likely income needs? How far will your pension benefit go towards covering your expenses? Will it make sense to change your pension investments or take a pension distribution? How should you allocate investments outside your pension? These and questions like them are absolutely essential. And it can be almost impossible to really consider what you want to do when you retire if you don’t have a pretty clear sense of your financial situation. If you’re interested in more resources on planning for a financially comfortable retirement, you can find material on retirement planning and investing for your retirement on our website.

But if you focus solely on creating a financial plan, you may end up neglecting some other important aspects of retirement, such as safeguarding your health and living in a suitable home. In what follows we’ll offer some strategies and questions to help guide your planning for a meaningful, happy and long retirement.

Your Health

What good is having more free time if you aren’t in good health to enjoy it? Being proactive about your health and establishing healthy habits can help you enjoy your retirement and the people you love for as long as possible. To plan for a long and fulfilling retirement you can:

  • Use your primary care doctor as a resource to help you know what to look out for as you age.
  • Develop healthy diet and exercise habits and enlist the support of your friends, family and healthcare professionals.
  • Stay active. Exercise can help maintain strength, balance and overall fitness. Find something active that you like to do whether it’s walking, dancing, working in your garden, or swimming.
  • Keep your mind engaged. Read, play games, talk with friends and more! You’ll have fun and these activities may help prevent brain diseases and dementia.
  • Remember to relax. Allow yourself a break in your busy life to reflect, relax and be mindful. Meditation isn’t just for yogis. Everyone can benefit.

Your Place

Where you retire matters for your health and happiness. You might choose to stay put, move closer to children or grandchildren, relocate to a country house or an urban apartment, or retire to a different climate or country. As you evaluate where you’ll spend your retirement, consider the following:

  • Cost-of-living, including taxes, housing costs and consumer prices.
  • Access to public services, including transportation, classes, libraries and emergency services.
  • Climate and weather conditions.
  • Health care services and access to those services.
  • Community activities ranging from arts and entertainment to sports and outdoor recreation, volunteer opportunities to civic and religious groups.

Your Home

Even after you’ve decided where you’ll retire, you may still need to consider your housing. You could buy or rent a home or an apartment, or move into a retirement community. As you weigh your choices, the following considerations can help you determine what sort of housing will best fit your situation.

  • Upkeep and expenses can vary greatly depending on the type of housing you choose. Factor in these costs and don’t forget to think about how you’d most like to spend your time.
  • Moving can involve upsizing or downsizing. Think about how much space would be best and most realistic for your retirement.
  • Location, location, location. Once you’ve identified a city or town or place in the county where you want to live, think carefully about how close to a town center you want to be and how important walkability is to you.

Finally, in retirement, especially if you choose to “age in place,” some basic safety measures can help keep your home safer. If this is something you’re concerned about, here are some of the measures you can take:

  • Declutter and clear some extra floor space for easier and safer maneuvering.
  • Make sure bathroom and kitchen surfaces are non-slip.
  • Smart devices may be able to automate your home’s heating, lighting and security.
  • Add brighter lighting.

While finances are important, planning for retirement is more than assessing your financial wellbeing and balancing your income and expenses. To create a retirement plan that works for you, you’ll likely need to take a more comprehensive approach.

Fisher Investments UK Can Help

Fisher Investment UK can help you plan for your financial future and take some of the responsibility, so you can focus on living a happy and healthy retirement. To learn more about us or about retirement planning in general, download one of our educational guides or call and speak with one of our qualified representatives today.

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