You spent years dreaming about retirement, and now you’ve finally made it! Most people experience a period of readjustment in the months after they first retire, as they learn to live life in an entirely different way. Most of these changes are good ones, such as giving up the daily commute or no longer being a slave to your alarm clock.
But at some point during your retirement years, you might feel a bit dissatisfied. Something feels “off” or stale, and you might not even be sure what is causing the feeling. But you don’t have to stick with this lifestyle just because you chose it years ago. Take these steps to evaluate your retirement, and reinvent it if necessary.
Stop viewing retirement as a race to the finish line. For years, you focused on meeting a savings goal, so you could give up the desk and retire. It’s no wonder you feel as though you’ve crossed the finish line! Now, you can be like the runner who keeps going for the fun of it. Retirement isn’t about collapsing after a long career, but about entering a period of absolute freedom in life.
Question your goals. Are you ready to be completely honest with yourself? Ask yourself whether the goals you set years ago are still making you happy now that you’ve reached them. Perhaps you dreamed of traveling during retirement, but now you long to stay in one place. Maybe you always wanted a boat, but now that boat requires too much time-consuming maintenance. It’s okay if things didn’t work out exactly the way you pictured; you enjoy them for a time, and now you can move on to something else.
Open yourself up to new experiences. All of your working life consisted of meeting a series of goals. It might be unrealistic to expect such a driven, ambitious person to remain happy while pursuing the same experiences for years in retirement! Retirement is actually the perfect time to try new activities. Feel free to experiment; if you don’t like something, you’re completely free to move onto something else.
Don’t watch. Participate! Some of your interests might revolve around acting as a spectator. You enjoy art museums, for example, or attending Civil War reenactments. Sign up for a sculpture class instead, or grab a musket and join a regiment. Even if you participate in a limited capacity due to health issues or other limitations, you will likely enjoy yourself a thousand times more.
Do you want to reinvent your retirement? We’d love to help you analyze your goals and set new ones. Since this can necessitate a change of financial priorities, schedule an appointment with us to review your situation. We can help you rearrange your financial priorities so that they match your personal ones.
Portions of this article have been excerpted from “How to Reboot Your Retirement” by Tom Sightings for U.S. News. Tom Sightings is not affiliated with LPL Financial.
Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.