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16 Things You Could Do On The First Day Of Your Retirement

16 Things You Could Do On The First Day Of Your Retirement

Retirement is a beautiful time in your life. You’ve done the daily grind, you’ve lived a life, raised kids, and had some adventures. It’s time to settle down for your golden years, reflect on your choices, and have some carefree fun. If you’re having trouble figuring out what to do with your free time, here’s a short list of ideas to get you started!

1. Get a part time job

Idle hands are the devil’s playthings as the old saying goes. Sediment lifestyles are poisonous to the mind and the body and if you’re having trouble finding a reason to get off your chair and move around then maybe a part-time job can help. Something that’s low pressure where you can interact with other people, make a couple of bucks, and get out of your house for a bit. It can also contribute to your income along with your 401k and pension if you have those things and a little extra money is never a bad thing.

2. Spend some time and money on your hobbies

When you’re young, life is just so busy. We have to work, we have a social life to maintain, and sometimes we just want to take some time to ourselves. Once you’re retired, the fast living has come to an end and you have a lot more free time. Why not restore that classic car you’ve always wanted? You could write that novel you’ve always wanted to write. If you’re an aficionado of BBQ, you can get a smoker and work on that perfect rib rub. The world is your oyster and the things you enjoy have been neglected long enough.

3. Exercise more often

It’s important to exercise all of your life. However, it’s especially important once you’re older. Even though you don’t have to work anymore, you still have a myriad of diseases headed your way that are associated with being old. Heart disease is more prevalent than ever. Obesity and diabetes are pretty big deals too. Getting some exercise can extend your life, make you feel better, and help stave off the woes of growing older. Your metabolism isn’t getting any faster so you should probably do something about it so you can enjoy your golden years even more.

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4. Do that long overdo work on your house

Does your roof leak? Does your insulation need replaced? Do you not want to pay anyone to do it? Well I happen to know a certain someone with a lot of free time and not much to do. That person is you. Now that you’re retired, you can turn your house into the castle you’ve always wanted it to be. Replace the counter tops, put that full service bar in your basement, and make that sun room a beautiful place for your grand kids to play. Plant a garden, work on your lawn, and get rid of that dying tree in your yard. You don’t need that tree in your life anyway. You have time to perfect your house so why not do that?

5. Or you could always move

If your current house isn’t worth all the trouble, then why not move to the place you want to be? Some people like living in the city with stores and entertainment a mere few blocks away. Others prefer the country with huge yards, clear skies, and a quiet neighborhood. Whatever your tastes are, you should make good on them. These are your golden years and you should spend it where you want. Then once you move, head one space up on this list and you suddenly have something else to do!

6. Start a business

You’ve spent the last 20 to 40 years being a part of a business. We’re sure you’ve picked up some insider info on how it all works. You could always take that experience and start your own business. It’ll give you something to do and think about and you could even be providing jobs for other people someday. If you’re looking for some good ideas, check out number two on this list. You have hobbies and interests that could easily be turned into a business idea. Then you’ll get paid for doing something you love. That’s not a bad way to spend your later years.

7. Get back in touch with your family and friends

Being a highly motivated worker with a spouse and kids is a lot of work. You very likely have loved ones that you haven’t spent much time with over the years. Retirement is a great time to give them a call and go get some coffee to catch up. There may be people that you didn’t have time for as a worker but could be very positive parts of your life now that you don’t work anymore. You have second cousins and distant family that you may have never met. Isn’t it time to change that?

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8. Volunteer

There are very few things that give you the warm, fuzzy feeling of helping your fellow human beings. No matter where you live, we’re sure there are people nearby who need help. You can volunteer at the local soup kitchen or homeless shelter. You can volunteer to clean up parks and local landmarks. Churches and schools in your area always have something they could use a couple of extra hands on. If you’re super adventurous, you could even go help out overseas somewhere. The world still needs you. You just need to find out where it needs you!

9. Teach others your wisdom

You’ve lived quite the life. You’ve seen things and done things. You worked hard and managed to make it all the way to retirement. Chances are there is a field or area of expertise that you could easily teach. Some schools and universities are looking for teachers. You can hold seminars at your local library or even teach a class at the local learning annex. There are several generations of younger people that could use a lesson or two from someone with your experience.

10. Get smarter

If teaching isn’t your thing, why not be taught? You’ve got a lot of time which means you could go back to school and get that degree you’ve always wanted. Or if you have a degree, you could always go for the next level in that degree or even start a second degree. It’s probably been two or three decades since you’ve been in school. Things have changed since then and becoming educated is never a bad idea.

11. Babysit

Many parents in your neighborhood would love a night out — and if you still like having kids around and enjoy spending time with them, babysitting might be for you. If you need to make some extra money, this could be the perfect way to enjoy a child’s company and have a job at the same time.

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12. Travel

This is something a lot of retired people do anyway but it’s still a great idea. There are a lot of ways to travel. You can buy a motor home and go on a road trip, buy some plane tickets to an exotic place you want to go, or even go camping. You deserve a vacation and now you have the time, money, and motivation to do so. Do you know what goes well with oysters? Pina Coladas and beaches, that’s what.

13. Make sure you’re really okay

It’s about time you took a visit to your doctor and got a little more than your monthly check up. You should have your heart looked at, your body scanned, and some more in depth tests done. You’ve just worked for 20 or 30 years at a stressful job. Your diet probably hasn’t been all that great and you may have been a smoker for a while. These things take an unimaginable toll on the human body. Go see your doctor and make sure you’re going to actually enjoy your retirement. Visit your dentist and take care of those chompers. Make sure you don’t need glasses. You don’t need to call off of work and get a doctor’s note anymore so take advantage of the opportunity!

14. Give up the grudge

You’ve likely made some friends over the years and it’s equally likely that you’ve made some enemies. You may have some loved ones that you haven’t spoken to in years because of a disagreement. Now that you have some free time, isn’t it time to figure out what those disagreements are and figure out how to fix them? These have the potential to be the calmest, happiest times of your life. Why let old grudges wreck that?

15. Be more social

Just because you don’t work doesn’t mean you can’t go places and do things every day. You could join a club like a book club or fishing club, throw some dinner parties, and other social activities. Go out there and meet people. It’s the perfect time to do so. A lot of retirees can end up old and alone because their social lives were their jobs. You can easily avoid this by finding things to do with other people. If there aren’t groups in your area, start one!

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16. Relax

If there is one thing people don’t do enough of anymore, it’s relax. It’s your first day of retirement. You just finished working 20 to 30 years. You’ve raised kids. You’ve been to concerts, parties, amusement parks, and planned family vacations. You’ve had friends and family pass away which means mourning and funerals. It’s been busy and stressful. Now the kids are out of the house and you don’t work anymore. Sit down, put on a favorite movie, and just stop for a day or two. You have the rest of your life to do everything on this list but the first thing you should do is sit down, take a deep breathe, and understand that the hard part is over. You’re free. Enjoy yourself.

Featured photo credit: Stonewood Financial via stonewoodfinancial.com

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Last Updated on January 2, 2019

How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

How Personal Finance Software Helps You Get More Out of Your Money

Do you know what mental health experts point to as the biggest cause of stress in the United States today? If you said “money,” then ding, ding, we have a winner!

Three out of four adults today report feeling stressed out about money at least part of the time. People are either worried about not having enough money or whether they’re putting the money they do have to use in the best possible way.

Your money is either in charge of you or you’re in charge of it, there’s no middle ground. Using some type of personal finance software can help alleviate some of that money stress and better allow you to manage your money effectively. Without it, you may just be setting yourself up for constant financial worry. Life is already tough enough and there’s no need to make it more difficult by simply hoping your money issues will all work out in your favor. Hint: they won’t.

This guide will help you to understand how personal finance software can better assist with both accomplishing long term financial goals and managing day-to-day aspects of life.

Whether it’s tracking the savings plan for your child’s college fund or making sure you won’t be in the red with the month’s grocery budget, personal finance software keeps all this information in one convenient place.

What Exactly is Personal Finance Software?

Think of it like the dashboard in your car. You have a speedometer to tell you how fast you’re going, an odometer to tell you how far you’ve traveled, and then other gauges to tell you things like how much gas is in the tank and your engine temperature. Personal finance software is essentially the same thing for your money.

When you install this software on your computer, tablet, or smartphone, it helps to track your money — how much is going in, how much is going out, and its growth. Most personal finance software programs will display your budget, spending, investments, bills, savings accounts, and even retirement plans, levels of debt, and credit score.

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How It Leads to Financial Improvement

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but people who regularly monitor their finances end up wealthier than those who don’t. When you were a kid, keeping track of all of your money in a porcelain piggy bank was pretty easy. As we get older, though, our money becomes spread out across things like car payments, mortgages, retirement funds, taxes, and other investments and debts. All of these things make keeping track of our money a lot more complicated.

Some types of personal finance software can help make things a little less complicated, setting you up to meet financial goals and taking away some of the stress associated with money.

Even if you already have a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) some type of personal finance software can be of great benefit. Whereas CFPs focus on the big picture of your money, they don’t handle the day-to-day aspects that determine your overall financial health.

It’s also not nearly as complicated as you might think and can take out a lot of the tedium that comes with doing everything on an Excel spreadsheet or with a pad and pencil.

Types of Personal Finance Software

When it comes to personal finance software, it generally fits into two categories: tax preparation and money management.

Tax preparation software such as Turbo Tax and H&R Block’s software can help with everything from filing income taxes to IRS rules and regulations and even estate plans. Plus, there’s the benefit of filing online and getting your refund check a lot faster than if you were to mail off your forms after waiting in line at the post office.

For the purpose of this article, however, will be focusing more on the personal finance software that aids with money management.

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Money management personal finance software will help you to see the health of your cash flow, pay down debt, forecast for expenses and savings, track investments, pay bills, and do a host of other things that 30 years ago would have practically required a team of accountants.

When to Use Personal Finance Software

So far we’ve gone over what exactly personal finance software is and how it can be a benefit to your money. The next logical step in this whole equation is determining when it should be used and how is the best way to go about getting started using it.

Below are four of the most common and practical ways to use personal finance software. If all or any of these apply to you and your money, then downloading some type of personal finance software is going to be a smart move.

1. You Have Multiple Accounts

There’s a good chance that when it comes to your money, it’s in more than one place. Sure, you probably have a checking account, but you may also have a savings account, money market account, and retirement accounts such as an IRA or 401k.

If you’re like the average American, you probably have two to three credit cards as well. Fifty percent of Americans also don’t have loyalty to just one bank and spread their money across multiple banks.

Rather than spending hours typing in every detail of every account you have into a spreadsheet, many programs allow you to easily import your account information. This will help to eliminate any mistakes and give you a bird’s eye view of everything at once.

2. You Want to Automate Some or All of Your Payments

Please don’t say that you’re still writing out paper checks and dropping each bill in the mailbox. While it’s noble that you’re doing your part to keep postal workers employed, we’re 18 years into the 21st century and you can literally pay every bill online now.

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There’s no need to log into every account you have and type in your routing number either.

With personal finance software you can schedule automatic payments and transfers between all of your imported accounts. Automatic transfers will help to make sure you have the necessary funds in the right account to ensure all bills are paid on the appropriate date. Late fees are annoying and do nothing but cost you money. It’s time that you said goodbye to them once and for all.

3. You Need to Streamline Your Budget

Perhaps the best feature of personal finance software is that it allows you track everything going in and out of your virtual wallet.

Nearly every brand of personal finance software out there has easy-to-read graphs and charts that allow you track every cent you spend or earn, should you choose. You might be pretty amazed when you see just how much you spent on eating out last month or if you splurged a little more than you should have on Christmas gifts last year.

Every successful business on the planet has a budget and using personal finance software can help you trim the fat on your spending in ways that affect your everyday life.

4. You Have Specific Goals to Meet

Maybe it’s paying off debt or saving for up something like a European vacation. Whatever your financial goal is, whether it’s long-term or short-term, personal finance software programs are one of the savviest ways to go about reaching those goals.

You can do everything from set spending alerts to notify you when you’re over budget to automating what percentage of your paycheck goes to things like retirement investments. The personal finance software that you choose should show you exactly how close you are to hitting those goals at any given time.

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How to Get Started

From AceMoney to Mint and Quicken, there ’s no shortage of personal finance software apps out there. Many of these programs are free to download and will allow you to pay bills, invest, monitor your net worth and credit profile, and even get a loan with the swipe of a finger.

Other programs may only offer you limited services and will require a one-time fee or subscription to unlock all that they offer. These fees can often vary from as little as two dollars to 50 bucks a month.

It’s best to start off with the free version and then gauge whether you’re able to accomplish everything you’d like or if it’s worth exploring one of the paid options. Often times the subscription programs come with assistance from financial planning and investment experts — so that can be a real benefit.

When deciding which personal finance software program to use, it’s also important to look at how many accounts you wish to monitor. Certain programs limit the number of accounts you can add. Be sure that if you have checking, credit card, and investment accounts to monitor, that you choose a service that can monitor them all.

Finally, when looking around for the right personal finance software that meets your needs, make sure that you’re comfortable with the program’s interface. It shouldn’t be expected that you recognize every single feature instantly, but if the features don’t seem readable and manageable to you, then you’re not as likely to use it and get the full benefits.

Final Thoughts

Personal finance software can go a long way in helping you to take control of your money and meeting your financial goals. It’s important to note, however, that some focus more on budgeting and expense tracking while others prioritize investing portfolios and income taxes. Explore several different programs and read reviews to find the one that’s right for you.

In this day and age, managing one’s personal finances in a secure manner that allows the user to have a real-time visual representation of their money is easier than ever before. With the numerous applications that are out there — both free and subscription-based — there’s no reason that every person can’t take control of their money and ensure they’re making smart money moves.

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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