By Kyle Louvar, CFP®, AIF®
You know those commercials where you see an older couple, healthy and happy, enjoying some adventure together? Does it make you wonder, “What is their secret to success?” If so, you’re not alone. Most people work their whole lives to prepare for the pivotal transition to retirement and expect to enjoy it to the fullest. After all that hard work, the last thing you want is to worry that all your planning and preparation wasn’t enough to provide the retirement you’ve been dreaming about. Here are 6 ways you can prepare for a happier retirement—the ultimate reward for all your efforts.
1) Plan Ahead
One of the best ways to improve your happiness in retirement is to have a plan for what you want it to look like. Articulating your vision for the future is a great way to motivate yourself to make it happen and enjoy a sense of fulfillment once your plan comes to fruition. At Guided Capital Management, our services go beyond investment management, helping you plan for the full spectrum of life’s circumstances. We also cover legacy planning, risk management, tax planning, and philanthropy. These concerns can and should be incorporated into a retirement plan and thoroughly assessed by a qualified financial advisor.
2) Find Purpose
The first secret to finding happiness in retirement doesn’t just apply to retirement. Studies show individuals who live a purpose-driven life are happier and healthier, on average, than those who don’t. Not only that, but they also live longer! A purposeful life is commonly associated with fulfillment and motivation and can be found in many ways. Volunteering for a local nonprofit or your church, spending time with your grandchildren, or pursuing a newfound hobby are great ways to find purpose in your day-to-day life.
3) Practice Gratitude and Contentment
It’s no secret that money can buy comfort and less stress, but it is less likely to buy happiness. Your retirement lifestyle may not always mirror your pre-retirement lifestyle when your income level was at its peak. Heavy expectations of what your life should look like can be a huge mental drain, and often result in feelings of failure and sadness over time. Instead, focus on what you do have (and what you have control over), and live in the moment as much as possible. Also, reflect on the activities that bring you the most joy and orient your time during retirement to be surrounded by people who enjoy the same things. Savoring the meaningful people and experiences in our life reminds us that many of our real needs can be fulfilled in ways that don’t involve spending money.
4) Stay Healthy
Declining health and how to pay for the associated medical bills is the biggest concern for many retirees. About 70% of Americans cite healthcare costs as the most pressing issue when planning for retirement. Incorporating long-term care planning into your overall financial plan can help ease this concern as you enter retirement. Once in retirement, you can alleviate your chances of becoming seriously ill by prioritizing your mental and physical health. Remember that your brain is also a muscle and needs to be regularly stimulated to avoid atrophy. Previously your work helped to keep your mind regularly engaged and active, but if you don’t provide challenges (such as a new hobby, learning a new skill, playing games, or other mental activities), you may begin to see some signs of cognitive decline.
5) Phased Retirement
Another way to increase your happiness is to work part time or use a phased approach to retirement. 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. Case in point: it’s becoming increasingly popular for people to approach retirement in phases by slowly adjusting to reduced hours, part-time work, then eventually full retirement.
6) Prioritize Friendships
A Penn State study found that adults between ages 70-90 who reported more frequent and pleasant social interactions also displayed better cognitive performance on that day and the two subsequent days. Prioritize connecting with your friends, family, and loved ones throughout retirement. Knowing you have a strong support system can make a significant difference in your overall health and happiness, especially if you experience the loss of a spouse, fall on hard times, or suffer from declining health.
Get Started Today
You’ve worked your whole life for a happy and healthy retirement and deserve to enjoy it to the fullest. Whether you’re retiring in 10 or 20 years, we can help you build a solid financial plan for the future. At Guided Capital Wealth Management, we utilize our proprietary process, The Paradigm FORMula, to create a dynamic plan to help you reach your financial potential and stay on track toward reaching your goals. Schedule a FIT meeting using our online calendar or contact us at (832) 975-0711 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn if we are the right team to guide you on your financial journey.
Kyle is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and holds the Accredited Investment Fiduciary® certification. Kyle Louvar is the CEO and Wealth Management Advisor for Guided Capital Wealth Management, a fiduciary financial advisory firm offering fee-based advice, guidance, and education. After seeing the impact that the 2008 financial crisis had on families, Kyle became fully committed to helping his clients develop a financial plan that changes as their lives unfold and their needs evolve. Spending nine years working for one of the largest brokerage firms on Wall Street, Kyle holds a high value for process, expertise, objective advice, and customized solutions. His goal is to help his clients experience confidence in their financial future through a disciplined process of financial planning, investment management, and sound financial decision-making.
Kyle graduated from New Mexico State University, where he was a proud 4-year letterman in football for the Aggies and where he’s sat as an NMSU Foundation board member since 2015. When not helping his clients, Kyle enjoys spending time with his wife, Nicole, and their two daughters. You can often find him coaching his daughters’ softball teams, playing golf, cooking, and traveling. To learn more about Kyle, connect with him on LinkedIn.