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Five Things to Do Before You Retire

Five Things to Do Before You Retire

By Susan Williams

Ahhh – retirement.

It is the time in your life when you say goodbye to the daily grind of your 9 to 5 and say hello to what you want to do on your own timeline.

If you are actively counting down the days until you can retire, here are a five things that you may want to consider doing before taking the retirement leap.

Check Up On Your Health

One of the first things that can stop you from living the retirement of your dreams is being in poor health.

Unfortunately baby boomers are not necessarily in the best of health.

An article published in the Times stated that baby boomers are actually a less healthy generation then their parents were.

They reported that baby boomers “…have higher rates of hypertension, diabetes, obesity and high cholesterol than members of the previous generation.”.

It’s also not that surprising that the CDC reported that the percentage of individuals who are in fair to poor health increases as people age. Of people aged 45 to 54 – 13.5% were found to be in fair to poor health. Whereas people aged 65+ this number increased to 21.8%.

So, if you’re behind on getting your annual physical and blood work done or just haven’t been taking good care of your health now is the time to step this up. You will want to start your retirement in the best physical health you can be.

Take Your Retirement Spending For a Test Drive

You’ve crunched the numbers and everything looks good on paper. But have you actually tried living on your retirement budget?

One of the last things you want to do is discover after you begin your retirement that you can’t afford the lifestyle that you were expecting.

So for a few months before you retire take your retirement spending for a test drive. This way you will know exactly what it feels like to live on the budget you had planned.

Build Your Social Network

How many friends do you have outside work?

If you answered very few it’s probably a good idea to start building your social network now before you step away from the social interactions of your work environment.

Loneliness is a serious issue for aging and not having a strong network of friends to connect and spend time with can not only cause boredom and loneliness but also can have some significant health risks. You can read more about this in the following post.

Decide How You Will Fill Your Days

Once you get past the initial honeymoon stage of your retirement freedom, you will need something worthwhile to fill your days.

Study after study has found that having a lack of purpose in your life can be quite detrimental to your overall health and well being.

For example, there was one study that was conducted at the Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center designed to better understand, treat and hopefully prevent the memory, mobility and strength problems that often come with aging.

What they discovered about having a purpose in life was quite interesting;

“…the researchers found people who had a greater purpose in life had a substantially reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, as well as a reduced risk of the precursor to Alzheimer’s, mild cognitive impairment.”

So whether it’s a hobby, volunteering, part time work or something else all together – you need to have some activity that helps fill your retirement days with something you enjoy and feel is worthwhile.

Talk to Your Partner

Would you believe that two thirds of non-retired baby boomers have not discussed what their hopes are when they retire with their significant others?

If you haven’t had a chat with your partner about what you plan on doing in retirement it’s probably a good idea to do this to make sure that you are both on the same page.

Retirement is a dream that many people work towards. You just want to make sure that when the dream meets reality it’s actually what you hoped for.

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Susan Williams is the Founder of Booming Encore. Being a Boomer herself, Susan loves to discover and share ways to live life to the fullest. She shares her experiences, observations and opinions on living life after 50 and tries to embrace Booming Encore's philosophy of making sure every day matters.
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