New and Rediscovered Passions in Later Life
A Guide to Picking a Post-Career Hobby
Aside from financial concerns, the No. 1 question that most impending and recent retirees struggle to answer is how they will fill up all their time. While spending time with family and relaxing are priorities for most folks entering the post- career chapter of their lives, these aren’t enough to fill up the bulk of your newly acquired free time. Cultivating a hobby is a great use of your time at any age, but especially during retirement. As Dick Van Dyke once said, “To me, retirement means doing what you have fun doing.” Here are three questions to help you discover a hobby that’s right for you. Do you have a dormant passion? Work has a tendency to put our other interests on the back burner. Maybe you painted for pleasure during college but put the canvas away to focus on your career. Perhaps you were once a chess fanatic, and today you find your board gathering dust from lack of use. Now is the perfect time to rediscover those once-beloved activities. What have you always wanted to do? Discovering new hobbies is just as rewarding as rekindling old ones. Have you ever heard about a pastime and thought, “I’d love to do that, if only I had the time”? Former NFL quarterback Drew Bledsoe opened a winery after retiring If you’re age 55 or older, it’s time to get serious about planning for your retirement. In fact, most industry experts recommend far longer lead times of 20 years or more! But don’t be discouraged! Even if you’re a late planner, there are steps you can take to ensure you get the most out of your retirement. Here are the three most important steps you need to take to secure your future. Get Your Finances in Order The first place to start when preparing for retirement is your own checkbook. By gauging your overall financial readiness, you can identify whether your spending and lifestyle habits are in need of a course correction. You’ll need to consider all of your finances as well as your income tax rate, the rate of return on your savings, and any benefit plans you may have from your employer. If your financial readiness falls short of the income you expect to live off of in your retirement, it’s time to make some adjustments. Cutting back on day-to-day expenses, working a second job, and increasing your contributions to salary deferral programs are all great ways of boosting your readiness ahead of retirement.
from football. While you probably don’t have the
financial resources of a professional athlete, there’s nothing stopping you from pursuing a newfound passion at the same velocity as the footballs Bledsoe threw. Is there a cause you want to support?
Volunteer work can be incredibly fulfilling, especially when you have the time and energy to devote to it. Many older adults find that giving back to the community adds meaning and purpose to their lives. The best way to figure out how to donate your time is to think about a cause dear to your heart. From there, find a reputable organization that supports said cause, and see what you can do to help. Retirement is the perfect opportunity to throw yourself head-first into something you’re passionate about. So what are you waiting for?
3 Steps to Retirement
Know Your Portfolio The stock market is a tempting gamble for those looking to jump-start their nest egg. However, investments with the highest returns also come with significant risk. The last thing anyone wants is to end up losing their principal right before retirement. That’s why most financial planners recommend investment strategies that grow more conservative as you age. If you are thinking about investing — or have been doing so for some time — it’s a good idea to check in regularly with your portfolio and ensure that you are comfortable with the amount of risk you are incurring. Settle Your Debts Debts, especially ones with high interest rates, can chew through your retirement savings. If you can’t get it all paid off before retirement, consider moving your credit card debt and other loan balances to accounts with a lower rate to ensure you are paying as little in interest as possible. These tips provide a general road map to a more stable retirement. Your own goals and financial situation may provide unique challenges and opportunities on the path to your post-work life. To understand your best options, reach out to a trusted financial advisor.
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