For many of us, retirement can be scary for many reasons. Retiring can be an acknowledgment of an end to a chapter of your life. Many people love their work, and the idea that they’d stop or could be unable to continue doing what they love is painful. It can also be daunting to think about how you’ll find your regular social activity. You’re probably an empty nester, which means your kids are adults and are out of the house. In this case, your social activity outside of work came from weekend activities or after-hours plans. But what happens when you take away all that face-to-face time with your colleagues, for example? For many, working satisfies many quality-of-life needs for us, and the absence of that daily routine, purpose, and social activity can make us nervous about retirement.
The Value of Social Life in Retirement
Even if you have a spouse to retire with and keep each other company, it’s important to seek out social activities, make new connections, and seek out old ones. You won’t have a structured social setting like at work, but it can be rewarding to put in the effort to connect with new people or reconnect with old friends. Starting or revisiting hobbies, finding ways to engage with your community, and participating in local neighborhood organizations can be enriching and fun ways to stay social.
But staying social isn’t just fun; it’s good for your mental health! Cultivating friendship takes effort in retirement – it’s no secret that making and maintaining friendships is difficult as we age. But just because it’s difficult doesn’t mean it won’t be worth it. Friendships mean new memories, a sense of belonging, and a support network of people who care about you that can help you with problems, big or small.
Connect With Your Family and Kids
When it comes to a support network, nothing replaces family. Retirement is a great time to put effort into connecting with your family and spending time with them. Whether an occasional phone call, inviting them over for a special event or holiday, or planning a trip to see them and their families, connecting with family is invaluable.
Talking to your kids about their financial plans can bring peace of mind and can be a great way to make sure they are taking care of their finances. It can also be a great way to talk about your legacy and estate plan and set things off on the right foot. Coordinating your finances with your heirs can help smoothen out the estate planning process and even help save on unplanned taxes and court fees when it comes time to transfer your wealth. But that’s easier said than done. It could be smart to make sure you and your family’s retirement plans line up.
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