Planning Out Your Retirement
Retirement is an enormous transition for most people. You’ve been working long hours for years and you have a general idea of what you will do with your retirement.
For instance, you will have free time to sleep in, sit around watching television or play on your computer. All of these things were activities you couldn’t do while you were working.
People are healthy and living longer. You probably (hopefully) have a financial plan to help you through retirement. Do you also have a plan to stay engaged and productive? You should explore different retirement activities and choose the ones most appealing to you.
Take a gap year
If you don’t have a plan now, you might find the transition to retirement more difficult. Take some time now to decide what you would like to do. One suggestion: Take a gap year to try out a few activities. If you have a short-term bucket list of things you want to do, it might be a good transition activity. That list might include local trips, exploring personal interests such as a cooking class in wine country or reading your top ten books on your list.
You may look at new hobbies or new living arrangements such as downsizing or moving to another locale.
If you’ve got a problem trying to figure out what you want to do during the transition, try working parttime at your job before you completely retire.
Here is a short list of some of the activities many dabble in while retired.
“Give back” to the community that supported you in the years you worked.
Options include volunteering at elementary schools to read to the children and give the kids some one-on-one attention.
Hospitals, nonprofits and nursing homes are always looking for volunteers. If you want to stay young at heart, try mentoring at a local college. You also will have more time to volunteer through your churches and service clubs.
Become a docent
Historic buildings or museums such as the Mission Inn or Heritage House in Riverside or a park like the California Citrus State Historic Park need volunteers to provide tours and information to the public.
Becoming a docent is a very rewarding experience. In retirement, you’ll have the time to become knowledgeable and comfortable with the history of the museum or park to lead tours or answer questions.
Go back to school
You can go back to school to get a degree, learn more about a subject you find interesting, or to explore art, music, or theater. You may enjoy the mental stimulation of the learning process.
Try ballroom dancing or take Tai Chi classes. You can also join a gym to keep physical and stay healthy.
You may have dreamed of working in another career and in retirement find that you have the time to explore that dream. Start your own business or even become part of the “un-retired” and go back to work because you miss the challenge or the colleagues, or you are just having fun doing the work.
A 2017 Rand Corp. study shows that 39 percent of Americans 65 and older who are currently employed had previously retired.
You might like to travel in groups on cruises, train tours, motor home caravans or with tour guides to foreign lands. Groups like these might get together once or twice a year but after you’ve taken the trips over many years with the same people, you develop a tight social network of good friends.
Write a memoir
Write a history of your life. This will bring back memories of happy and sad times and it also leaves your family and friends with your life’s story.
You may be financially prepared for retirement but have no idea of how to transition into retirement. Before retirement, ask yourself what five things you have always wanted to do but never had the time. Can you incorporate those into your retirement goals? Setting up a specific plan with retirement activities will force you to step away from your normal routine to pursue your new goals.
Alternatively, you can hire a licensed CPA in California to help you plan for your retirement.
By MARCIA CAMPBELL | Contributing columnist with THE PRESS ENTERPRISE
PUBLISHED: December 17, 2017
Marcia L. Campbell, has worked as a CPA for 25 years specializing in seniors, trusts, estates, court accountings and probate litigation support. Reach her at Marcia@MCampbellCPA.com