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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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Joseph Hindy

A writer, editor, and YouTuber who likes to share about technology and lifestyle tips.

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Published on May 7, 2019

How to Invest for Retirement (The Smart and Stress-Free Way)

How to Invest for Retirement (The Smart and Stress-Free Way)

When it comes to stocks, I bet you feel like you have no idea what you’re doing.

Everyone who’s not a financial expert has been there. I’ve been there. But, time is passing and you need to be crystal clear with how you’re investing for your retirement.

Otherwise, it’s back to work until you can afford not to. So, how can you invest for retirement when you’re not a financial expert?

You take the time to learn the fundamentals well. If you do, you can grow your wealth and retire happy. The best part is that you don’t need to be a financial expert to make smart investment decisions.

Here’s how to invest for retirement the smart and stress-free way:

1. Know Clearly Why You Invest

Odds are you already know why should invest for retirement.

But, maybe you know the wrong reasons. It’s time you get clear on why you’d like to retire. Here are some questions to help you get started:

  • Will you spend more time with your family?
  • What does retirement mean to you?
  • Are you looking to launch that business you’ve been holding off for years?

Everyone wants to retire but not for the same reasons. Once you’re clear for why retirement is important for you, you’ll focus on making it happen.

Investing in the stock market allows you to take advantage of compound interest.[1] All this means is that your money earns money on top of its interest. A reason why investment in the stock market is one of the best ways to plan for retirement.

2. Figure out When to Invest

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”– Chinese Proverb

It’s true if you’d had started investing when you were 10 years old, you’d have a lot more money than you do today.

The reality is that most people don’t start investing until it’s too late. So, if you’re currently waiting for the perfect time to start an investment, it would be today. Open your calendar and block out 2 to 3 hours to choose how you’ll invest for retirement.

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A quick way to get a snapshot of where you stand is to use Personal Capital. Input all your personal information and spend some time setting your retirement goals. Once completed, you’ll know where you stand with your retirement.

Having a savings account for retirement isn’t planning for retirement. Why? Your money loses value when you factor in US inflation.[2]

3. Evaluate Your Risk Tolerance to Create the Perfect Portfolio

Investing your money well depends on your emotions.

Why?

Because when the market drops most people panic and withdraw their money. On average, the US stock market yields an annual 6% to 7% ROI (return on your investment.) But, this won’t happen if you’re worried about short-term loses.

Before you invest your next dollar, know your risk tolerance.[3] Your risk tolerance determines the number of risky and safe investments you’d have.

Regardless of your investing style, you need to view investing for retirement as a long term game. Know that some years you’ll lose money but recoup this in the long-term.

Avoid watching market-related new. Also, create a double authentication to log in your investment account. This way you’re less likely to withdraw your money.

4. Open a Reliable Retirement Account

Depending on your circumstance, you may need to open a new brokerage account. This is the account is where you’ll invest your money.

If you’re currently working for a company, odds are that they offer a 410K investing account. If so, here’s where you’ll invest most of your money. The only problem with this is that you’re limited to the stock options that are available.

You do have the option to open a separate IRA (individual retirement account.) Here are some of the best brokers:

  1. Vanguard
  2. TD Ameritrade
  3. Charles Schwab

5. Challenge Yourself to Invest Consistently

Committing to invest for retirement is hard, but continuing to do so is harder.

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Once you’ve started investment for your retirement, you run at risk from stopping. Often you’ll want to contribute less, so you’d have more money in your pocket.

That’s why it’s important that you create a budget that allows you to invest each month. If you’re working for a company, you can set a percentage for the amount you’d like to contribute each month. Most people by default contribute 1% but aim to contribute 10% to 15%.

Be the judge for how much you can afford to contribute after covering important expenses. To stay motivated, use Personal Capital to view your net worth.

A benefit to contributing money to your retirement account is not taxed. For example, if you earn $100 and invest 10%, you’d contribute $10, then get taxed on the remaining $90. As of 2019, the most you’re able to contribute towards your 401K is 19K but this can change.

6. Consider Where to Invest Your Money

The most common way to invest your money is in stocks, but it’s not the only way. Here are other ways to invest:

Robo Advisors

Robo-advisors[4] are fancy algorithms that’ll choose the best investments for you. Sites like Wealthfront make it easy for first-time investors to invest their money. You’d input information about yourself and set your risk tolerance.

Then, set your monthly contribution amount and your robo-advisor would do the rest. Robo-advisors charge a fee to manage your money, but less than regular advisors.

Bonds

Think of bonds as “IOUs” to whomever you buy them from.

Essentially, you’re lending money and charging interest. Like stocks, not all bonds are equal. Some will be riskier than others depending on their rating.

Here are the different types of bond categories:[5]

  1. Treasury bonds
  2. Government bonds
  3. Corporate bonds
  4. Foreign bonds
  5. Mortgage-backed bonds
  6. Municipal bonds

Mutual Funds

Picture a group of people dumping all their money in a jar that’s managed by a professional. This is how mutual funds work. The fund manager manages the money looking to earn capital gains (interest.)

One of the best types of mutual funds is index funds. Since these funds don’t try to beat the market and instead follow it, they need less research. Because of this they often charge the lowest fees and yield the best long-term results.

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Real Estate

Yes, buying a home is an investment when done correctly.

Imagine buying a home and using it as a rental property. After repairing it, you receive a monthly surplus check of $100 to $200.

This may not sound like a lot, but repeat this process enough times and you’d earn a large amount of passive income. That’s why real estate is one of the best investments to not only retire but become wealthy.

But, it requires a lot of money to start and you should expect losing money along the way as you learn the process.

Savings Accounts

Your money can still grow in a savings account. Nowadays most online banks offer a 2% annual return. Although the average inflation is higher your money will be available when you need it.

7. Master Disincline to Dodge Short Success

Investing for retirement is a long-term strategy. That’s why you need to master delayed gratification. All this means is delaying short-term pleasure for something bigger in the future. Research shows that those who have delayed gratification are more successful.[6]

So how can you master delayed gratification?

By building your discipline.

Think back to what retirement means to you. A clear purpose will help you avoid withdrawing your money during a market downturn. It’ll help you contribute more towards retirement when you’d want to waste it instead.

Your journey towards retirement will be long, so reward yourself along the way. Choose a reward that’s relevant and meaningful, so that you reinforce positive behavior. For example, after contributing more towards retirement, treat yourself to dinner.

8. Aggressively Invest on This One Investment

I’ve mentioned several types of investments but haven’t covered the most important one.

It sounds cliche but here’s why you’re your best investment towards retirement. The more you know, the more money you’ll be able to make. The more good habits you adopt, the more secure your retirement will be.

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More importantly, investing in yourself is an investment that no one can take away. There’s no market downturn nor tragic circumstance that’ll wipe your knowledge and experience.

But, how can you invest yourself?

Reading books, blogs, and anything that’ll help you learn new topics daily. Listen to podcasts and audiobooks on your commute to/from work.

Save money to buy courses and hire coaches. I used to believe hiring coaches was a waste of money when I could learn the subject alone.

But, coaches see your blind spots and hold you accountable. Hiring the right coach will help you achieve your goals faster than you would’ve alone.

Retire Happy with Excess Money

The key to a secure financial future doesn’t only belong to financial experts.

It’s possible for you and I. What if you were able to retire earlier than most people and weren’t a financial planner? What if you were able to focus on what you enjoy doing the most while your money was working hard for you?

I know this sounds impossible now, but the truth is you’re capable of taking charge of your retirement. I’m not a financial expert but I’ve learned how to invest my money by reading books and learning from others.

Investing your money is scary. So start small and invest a small amount of your money with a robo-advisor. Feel your money drop and rise for a month or two. Then, invest more and keep this up until you’re aggressively saving for retirement.

One day, you’ll wake up with a net worth you’re proud of – confident about your retirement. You now know a few strategies you can use to invest in your retirement. Will you take action to retire happy?

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Featured photo credit: Matthew Bennett via unsplash.com

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