Retirement anymore seems just around the corner for us. Yikes! And because of certain life-style choices we’ve made, we’re starting to think they will be interesting years, to say the least. Not that we’ll be alone. It’s fairly common for folks to find themselves in reduced circumstances during retirement years.
And not only with reduced income. Old age and retirement, which eventually arrive despite any efforts to avoid them, often bring many reductions. Reduced income, decreased energy and stamina, vanishing physical strength, and sometimes, declining health. So in light of all that, how can we best prepare?
Preparing for retirement
In our twenties and thirties most of us seldom think about retirement. Youth often believes itself to be invincible, thinking old age will never get the best of them! And then 50 comes with its aches and pains. Perhaps high blood pressure or other age-induced ailments. And all of a sudden you realize, “I’m getting old!”
Well, since there is no avoiding it (short of death, that is), what can we do about it? These thoughts run through my mind lately. Which by the way, runs slower than before too. Good thing too or I’d never manage to catch up to it! 😉
Still in our early 60s, I certainly don’t think hubby and I are ready to be put out to pasture yet! But we do wonder where our youth and vigor went, and how we’ll manage financially. Perhaps you do too, so here are three simple preparations most of us can make, regardless of current income.
3 simple ways to prepare for retirement:
1. Cut expenses now
Learn to live on less income by cutting expenses now. Many people focus on financial savings, IRAs, or investments. But since that takes money to start with, those have never been a viable option for us. So we’re learning to live frugally and debt-free now in order to put a bit aside and make retirement income stretch further. We also try to eat out less now – so that when income shrinks, we’ll already have broken that habit!
2. Downsize and declutter now
Simplify while you still have the energy, stamina, and strength to clear it all out! Because a smaller home with less stuff is much easier in so many ways! Less cleaning, dusting, and maintenance. Lower taxes, insurance, and energy costs.
Plus as we age it’s harder to keep up with everything. So aim for few things that are easy to clean, and easy-to-move furniture. Many of us already have a hard time keeping up with everything, and it only gets harder with aging!
3. Safeguard your health
Protecting our health is better than trying to reclaim it. So start protecting your health before you lose it. Get proper rest, physical activity, and eat healthily. Give the Mediterranean diet a try! These can make us feel better and keep excess weight off. Plus from everything I’ve read, living well in younger years means you’re more likely to be healthier even in old age!
Obviously we can’t prepare for everything. But I’m firmly convinced that these simple steps can help us deal with coming old-age reductions. And hopefully enable us to live our older years with greater joy, peace, and energy!
So don’t wait till the last minute. Start thinking and planning now, no matter how young you are. Aging is a certainty, and failing to plan for it is like leaving your umbrella at home, even when rain is certain. And then wondering why you got soaked! So prepare now, while you can!
What preparations are you making (or have you made) for retirement years? I’d love to hear your suggestions!