Some people might feel that retirement is a phase in life when they completely lose control. They no longer have a job with a paycheck, and there are no occasional raises and promotions. Some people might lose the social network at work and feel disconnected from the world. Their friends may be slipping away due to illness or perhaps they’re moving to their retirement mecca. All of a sudden, they are all alone and don’t know what the future holds.

“The trouble with retirement is that you never get a day off.” ~Abe Lemons

However, you should get rid of those depressive feelings! You have more control over how your retirement will develop than you think.

Here are some key areas where you can improve to have a smooth retirement. 

You should relocate

Even though the majority of retirees stay in their own homes or stay close to home to be near old friends and family, it is our suggestion that you consider relocating. The choice is up to you,  of course, and depending on your finances, family, and preferences, you may never want to do it, but look – when will you move if not now?

Retirement is the best period in life for relocation. You may relocate in search of better weather, a less expensive place or to be near friends or family. Still, don’t feel pressured to move just because we are suggesting it. If you cannot imagine yourself living at some other place, then don’t do it. It’s all up to you.

About Social Security benefits

Did you know that you can start retirement benefits as early as age 62? You can start, but you can also wait up until the age of 70 if you want to let your benefits accumulate. The calculation is simple – the longer you wait, the more money you will be receiving. But, if you don’t expect to live into your 90s, then waiting makes no sense. By waiting to claim Social Security, you will receive more money over your lifetime. On the other hand, if you need the money to cover your daily expenses, and if you have some reasons to believe that you will not reach your 90s then it is quite reasonable to start taking Social Security earlier.

What about your savings?

In the USA, you can launch your IRA at age 59 1/2 without penalty. However, you may need to pay income taxes on the distribution. On the other hand, you don’t have to start taking withdrawals until after the age of 70 1/2. Our suggestion is to start taking money out of your non-retirement savings first. This lets your IRA continues to grow until you need the money. It also allows you to continue to defer paying income tax on that money.

On the other hand, for some people with large IRA balances, it is reasonable to start withdrawals during their 60s to avoid being dragged into a higher tax bracket later during retirement. You should run the numbers about when to start taking money from your retirement savings because individual circumstances are pretty much different.

Start traveling the world

Have you already made your bucket list? It should consist of dozens of exciting adventures and exotic travel destinations. Still, it should consist of the things you can afford. On the other hand, if you are not the adventurous type and you only find the satisfaction in helping to raise your grandchildren, you don’t have to travel at all.

Maybe you could instead volunteer in your hometown, spend some time with a social group or simply play your favorite sport. Maybe you will have lower costs and less stress if you stay put. Anyhow, now it’s finally the time to lead the life you love, so it is entirely up to you if you will be seeing the world or staying at home.

 Give away some money

You should leave an inheritance to your children or at least a legacy to some charity if you don’t have children of your own. If you do have children and are considering this decision, then you should give them some money now when your children are getting started in life and could really make use of it. Be that as it may, it’s advisable to include your children in your planning process so they are aware of your desires and can plan their own futures.

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