Retirement Requires More Than a Financial Plan

Stephanie Chong

Most employers do a good job of helping to financially plan for retirement by offering options to save for retirement throughout our career. While financial planning is essential to one’s ability to leave the workforce, it is equally important to plan for how we live during retirement. Earlier this week, NNV partnered with the Chevy Chase Community Association (CCCA) and Iona Senior Services, to discuss Developing a Non-Financial Plan for Successful Retirement. Here are some takeaways from the program:

  • Invest in Social Relationships – Social connections with others are critical to our health and wellbeing. Relationships with the people closest to you are important, but so are connections with the people you regularly interact with like your favorite grocery store clerk. Take the time to nurture your relationships before you retire. You might find those relationships to be essential to your wellbeing during retirement.
  • Contribute to Your Physical 401K – Physical exercise is good for our bodies and our minds. Find an exercise routine that you enjoy and stick with it. Our bodies change as we age, which means our exercise routine may also need to change. This is a great opportunity to find a new activity and maybe even take exercise classes that offer the chance to stay fit and meet new people, too!
  • Discover Activities that Foster a Sense of Purpose – Oftentimes our work becomes our identity. It feels good to excel at something and have the respect of colleagues. The loss of this workplace culture can make the transition to retirement difficult for some. This is an opportunity to explore things that you hadn’t had time to do while working. Take a class, volunteer, join your local Village, meet up with neighbors at Around Town DC events, or find others who enjoy a shared interest through area Meet Ups. Retirement offers a great opportunity to find meaningful activities outside of the workplace. Be patient. It may take a few attempts to figure out what is right for you.
  • Plan for Long-Term Care – Life can change quickly. The death of a spouse or partner, an illness or injury can be life changing. Plan for the care you would want in the future. Look into home care options, senior living, housing outside of the area, etc. before you need to make a change. Once you come up with a general plan of what you’d like, share it with your support system so they can  keep your best interests in mind.

The key takeaway with planning for retirement is that it’s never too early and never too late to make a plan or make adjustments to your plan. Click here to watch the full program on Developing a Non-Financial Plan for Successful Retirement. Click here to learn about Iona Senior Services’ Aging Solo Curriculum.

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