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Top Step 4 – Consider How You Will Spend Your Time During Retirement

Ensuring vitality in retirement.

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Consider How You Will Spend Your Time During Retirement is the fourth article in the Top Steps Before You Retire series. Many people give little thought to how they will spend their time in retirement. After all, the biggest use of their time - working - will be no more. While many retirees report a near honeymoon- like period for the first six to nine months of retirement, many report an eventual urge to become more productive in retirement than they had anticipated.

Determine What You Want Out of Retirement

What do you want from your retirement? Short of an around-the-world trip for $1,000, there are no wrong answers to that question. After all, it's your retirement. But think about your personality. If you're the type of person who loves alone time, perhaps good books, newspapers, and TV will bring you long-term happiness. But extroverts - with the same financial resources - might be miserable to spend consecutive days alone. As such, they may be more likely to enjoy (and possibly need) other activities in their lives.

Retirement Activity: Part-Time Work

While those who have achieved true financial independence have no need to work, others may find that a few hours here and there does increase their financial security. Even those not needing the might find their happiness and life satisfaction increases simply by being around others, particularly if the job implies significantly less stress and responsibilities than those caused by their career during their prime working years.

Retirement Activity: Volunteer

Doing good by helping others can not only fill the day, but more importantly create the meaning that people of all ages crave. Whether by becoming more active in an organization you lightly participated in during your working years or by seeking out new associations to donate your time to, you can take advantage of the skills and talents honed throughout your career for the benefit of others.

Retirement Activity: Exercise

Exerting yourself physically and mentally helps keep you healthy during your working years. The same is true during retirement. If you weren't a gym nut during your 40s, you certainly don't have to start going to the gym everyday in your sixties (though you find that you'd like to, now with greater free time). Still, make sure to keep the body flexible and strong. Similarly, engaging in intellectual conversations and solving puzzles helps keep your mind fresh.

What your true passions are is irrelevant in retirement. More importantly, take the time to enjoy them. The next Step Before You Retire is to Evaluate Your Estate Documents.

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