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5 tips for a smooth retirement

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Retirement is a big transition and many employees have a difficult time with the change. Most of us take comfort in the routine day-to-day structure that a job provides. After being in the workforce for 30+ years, it can be very jarring to suddenly have no schedule at all. The finance factor is also a big change for most employees. Some people are lucky enough to receive a full pension, but they are in the minority. Most of us will see a big decrease in income after retirement. Here are some tips to help smooth out the retirement transition and keep you sane.

Make sure you have enough income to cover expenses

This is a huge question for employees who are retiring. Sit down and calculate how much income you would have after retirement. Add up pensions, social security benefit, and retirement saving withdrawal. Then make sure the sum can cover your monthly expenses. You might need to consult a financial advisor to determine if your withdrawal rate is sustainable. If you withdraw too much, you might run out of retirement savings too soon.

Freelancing can help

Retiring doesn’t mean that you have to stop working completely. If your finances barely cover your expenses, then freelancing can make a huge difference. When you first retire, you are still energetic, with a lot of knowledge. You can freelance part time and put off the withdrawal from your retirement fund. The longer you can put off withdrawal the better off you’ll be later on. Many people still want to work and contribute to the economy even after they retire. Freelancing is one way to use your experience and stay active.

Bigger slush fund

Most retirees won’t have a big monthly income and they will need a bigger slush fund to cover emergencies. Things like home repairs and car troubles are common and we still need to pay for them somehow. When you have a regular paycheck, it’s not as difficult to cover emergencies. However, when you are withdrawing from your retirement fund for living expenses, these high price emergencies will put a big dent in your retirement portfolio. A saving account will always come in handy and it is better to have extra cash on hand than to sell stocks at the wrong time.

Stay active

It’s important to stay active after retirement. When you are working full time, there are never enough hours in the day. It will be very different after retirement. Many people have 8-10 hours extra per day and they don’t know what to do with them. It’s best to stay active and avoid watching TV all day. Spend your time volunteering at a local charity, join a local organization, exercise, work in the garden and on the house, pursue a hobby, and just keep active.

Stay healthy

It’s inevitable that health will decline with age, but there are many things that you can do to stay healthy. Since you will have more time, you can exercise more and revamp your diet. Most of us are too busy to cook much when we’re working full time. In retirement, it’s much easier to plan a healthy meal and maintain a healthy weight. A healthy retirement is essential to a good retirement.

While retirement may be difficult, it is inevitable.  With adequate preparation and by following these five tips, your retirement transition will be smoother.

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  • Dominique Brown November 6, 2012, 6:00 am

    Great tips! Although my wife and I have a few more years before we plan to retire, as early as now, we are already setting up our retirement fund. I also plan to freelance part time after I retire to be able to have enough money to take care of our daily expenses.

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