The 7 Best Kept Secrets That You Need To Know About Living A Happy Retirement
Too many people are facing a difficult retirement these days. Inflation and other factors quickly lower the value of the money
that you may have saved up, and if you ever try to enter the job market again to supplement your income, you may be in for a rude awakening that labor is becoming increasingly automated, and all but the most specialized occupations are becoming obsolete or outsourced.
Yes, we live in amazing times when the world is rapidly expanding and the economy is more global than it has ever been. However, this is a double-edged sword. We also live in a time of uncertainty, and this can potentially affect your retirement.
Thankfully, you don’t have to let outside circumstances—even the economy—ruin your fun. If you take a smart approach to retirement that takes a dynamic and rapidly-changing future into account, you can live a full, happy life even in your golden years.
Here are some tips that you should know:
1) Figure out what you want first.
When you ask someone about what they plan to do after retirement, they rarely have anything but vague answers. The younger they are, the more vague the answers, but usually, even people who are just a few years away don’t have much of a clue about what they want.
Unfortunately, many times we overlook any sort of higher purpose or burning desire that we have in life and make ourselves busy with work—but once that “work” is over, what do we do? The answer is different for each person.
Maybe you want to start a non-profit, or maybe you want to travel the world. Maybe you have much less ambitious goals, and you’d rather spend your time RVing and playing golf. Just make sure that you have at least some idea of what you want, or else you may find yourself financially unprepared for your lifestyle once the time comes.
Which brings us to the next point:
You can’t just “wing it” when it comes to retirement. It’s too complicated and there are too many factors involved. Once you’ve figured out your goals, then sit down and make a plan that will carry you through the decades, so that you will be where you need to be once you reach retirement age.
3) Don’t do it alone.
Chances are, there are significant others in your life that will be at least somewhat influencing your decisions. Get their input. Maybe they themselves don’t know where they’ll be twenty or thirty years from now, but at least you can go over a few of the major aspects, like where your spouse would like to live or if your children plan on going to college.
4) Have a passive income source.
Having a bunch of money saved up is great and everything, but if your money is not working for you, then you have a problem. Any finite amount will eventually run out, and sooner than you might think. Instead of just sitting in a savings account or under your mattress, your dollar bills should be falling in love and making little babies in the form of dimes and nickels, at least.
You can do this by investing in real estate and index funds and whatnot, but sometimes you may find that you just don’t have the cash to throw at these kinds of investments. Another smart approach is to start your own business before retirement (or even after) with little to no money, which can generate cash even in your absence.
For example, an Internet business like a website that sells digital products or relies on ad revenue can be a great money-maker, and it’s passive once it’s set up. Even if it just makes a few hundred dollars a month, this can easily compound if you funnel the money into other investments. The idea is to have a seed that you can grow, and every bit helps, especially if you don’t have to do much to maintain the business.
5) Have a few eggs in a few different baskets.
As mentioned, try not to have your eggs all in one basket, of course. Invest in a few different ways. Have a 401K, have some money in stocks, have an investment property, have a website that generates cash every month. Use your imagination.
Needless to say, the sooner you start saving for retirement, the better. No one wants to worry about whether they will be able to pay their bills when they’re 70 years old. Do your future self a favor and save your money while you’re young. This might mean that you may have to forgo some luxuries at first like a fancy house or an expensive car, but these things are far from necessities. You can still live just fine in a modest apartment and you can still pick up chicks if you have a nice bicycle.
If you plan on starting an online business (which you should), then this is also an important point. Good businesses take time to build, and you’ll be tempted to compromise on your values if you’re scrambling last minute to throw some cash together to cover your bills. This is not how or why you should start a business, anyway. Start a business because you feel a passion for something and you want to serve people the best way you can. This is what will inspire you to stick to it, even when things are rough.
7) Don’t be idle once you’re retired.
Retirement means that you don’t have to work, however, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t work. Idle hands do the devil’s work and all that, but an idle mind is even worse! Doing nothing and vegetating on the couch when you’re a senior citizen is associated with early onset of dementia.
You don’t want to waste away physically and spiritually, so make sure that you find a creative outlet that allows you to do productive work. This can mean making and selling arts and crafts at your local fair, starting an Internet business as mentioned above, or even getting a part-time job waving at people at the front of your favorite grocery store. It doesn’t matter, as long as whatever it is, makes you feel fulfilled and gives you a reason to get up in the morning.
Retirement is closer than you think, even if you’re young, so make sure to plan ahead and make it a happy one for yourself and your family!