Tracy L. Sherwood, CFP®
tracy.sherwood@ogorek.com

Resolve to save more, pay down your debt, improve your diet, and exercise more all made this list of Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions. What is a New Year’s resolution anyways? A promise or vow to yourself to live a better life. When you get down to it, isn’t that what retirement represents for most of us. An opportunity to make the best use of our time, and begin living life on our terms. Promising yourself to live a better life.

These top ten resolutions are indeed good steps in preparing for a lengthy retirement for baby boomers. However, there are some lesser-known steps that deserve a place on the list of a boomers resolutions, ones that can be just as important as you prepare for retirement:

Make a plan for what to do with your free time before you retire – To avoid boredom in retirement, start planning seriously for what all that newfound time will mean for you. Consider devoting more time to a hobby, joining a social club, or taking on volunteer work. Consider mapping out a standard week in retirement – write out your seven days morning and night, adding activities you enjoy and people you like being with.

Enhance your social connections – According to a few studies, being socially isolated carries about the same health risk as smoking and twice the risk of being obese. Most people lose their social network soon after they retire, so you’ll want to make a conscious effort to develop individual relationships and group activities that give you meaning and purpose.

Explore how you’ll get by on a fixed income – If you are approaching retirement and concerned about how you will be able to cover your expenses, try living on less income now and consider it practice for your retirement. Think about what is enough to meet your basic living needs and then identify those things that truly make you happy and what that will cost. Keep in mind, you don’t need to live the same life you’ve been living…you can design the best possible rest-of-life.

As you prepare for retirement, vow to spend this year reflecting on what’s really important to you. What will you do with your time, who do you want to spend time with, and what do you need to be happy?

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