Everyone has their own idea of what the ideal retirement looks like. For you, it may mean traveling the world or checking off items on your bucket list. For some, it may mean more time for golf, gardening or a new hobby. And for others, it may simply mean enjoying more time with family and loved ones.
Once you determine what it is that will bring you joy in retirement, it’s time to start building your retirement plan and determining how to get there. Regardless of your financial situation, experts say these basic retirement principles apply: reduce spending, plan for surprises, make conservative decisions on retirement savings and Social Security, and, if possible, continue earning income.
The new year is a great time to review where you stand and to start creating a pre-retirement checklist. Here are some steps experts say to take to ensure you can live the retirement you’ve worked to achieve.
Define Your Ultimate Retirement
The first step in preparing for retirement is to define what the ultimate retirement means to you. A good starting point: List your top five goals. For now, focus on ideas and not your budget. Be as specific as you can. The more detailed you are about what you want to have in retirement – the more tangible those ideas become. Think about where you want to be located, the type of residence you want to have and the lifestyle that you’re expecting.
Likely, you started saving for retirement more than 30 years ago. If so, you should have a good idea of how much you’ve saved up for your retirement nest egg. It’s important to know your total asset amount. How much is your monthly take-home pay? How much do you have in your retirement account or 401k plans? How much is in your bank account?
Consider any nontraditional assets you could potentially use to fund your senior living lifestyle. Nontraditional assets might include valuable antiques or a hobby or skill that could earn you extra cash in retirement.
Living well in retirement means making your health a priority. Schedule your checkups and preventive exams now. Think about scheduling everything from an annual wellness physical to a routine cleaning with your dentist. At each appointment, work with your provider on a plan to maintain or improve your health. Commit (or recommit) to eating healthy, exercising, and getting enough sleep.
Stay mentally sharp with lifelong learning, brain games and books. Be sure to stay in close contact with friends and family. Socialization will not only help you maintain your physical and mental health, but experts say it may also help fight depression and anxiety that sometimes arises once retired.
Create a Health Insurance Strategy
Americans are eligible to enroll in Medicare at age 65, but this should be only the beginning of your retirement health insurance strategy. Remember to plan for things like co-pays, additional premiums and other uncovered medical expenses that you may experience in your senior years. Most retirees pay out-of-pocket expenses from their retirement savings account, so be sure to factor those costs into your plans.
Decide How Much You Want To Work
Often, retirement doesn’t mean seniors completely stop working. Many retirees tend to stay in the workforce at least part-time, either continuing in their field of expertise or even venturing into new endeavors that are close to their hearts. Consider how much longer you want to work and how you want to spend the bulk of your time in retirement.
Network via Social Media
AARP suggests including a social media strategy in your retirement plan. Social media is fast becoming one of the most effective ways to build relationships that can help you grow your network in retirement. This strategy may involve spending time on Twitter or LinkedIn, but it’s an easy way to converse with those who share your skills and interests. Be prepared to answer such questions as “How can you use your talents and experience to contribute to an organization or cause?”
Prepare for the Unexpected
Consider how you would respond to a minor issue like an unplanned home repair. Then consider what happens if a more serious issue like a major health crisis arises. It’s especially important to discuss healthcare issues with your family. What care would you want, or what would you want to do if there was an illness in the family?
Consider costs for things like in-home care or senior living. Do you have long-term care insurance, or will you need to take a distribution from a retirement account? Making your plan now prepares you for the unexpected so you don’t get caught off guard later.
A Good Team
Be sure to have a solid team in place so you are well supported when the time arises. Your team should include an elder law or estate planning attorney, financial advisor, accountant and a primary care provider. This multidisciplinary team can help ensure all aspects of your life are addressed: financial, health and overall well-being.
Reflect on Your Lifestyle
For some, the most important consideration is around the lifestyle they want to have during their senior years. Rather than lowering your expectations for what life might look like in retirement – think of how you can elevate your current lifestyle.
At Waterstone of Westchester, residents will enjoy dynamic social, cultural, and recreational opportunities at every turn. They will delight in a gourmet culinary experience. They will take advantage of the first-class amenities designed to make life more enriching. Best of all, they will have all of this with the added benefit of at-your-service hospitality and a luxury, maintenance-free apartment home.
With these steps and ideas in mind, you’ll be well on your way to building a retirement lifestyle you’ll be grateful for – one that matches your goals for the future.
Now Accepting Reservations!
We look forward to introducing you to the definitive, distinctive lifestyle at Waterstone of Westchester and welcoming you as one of the first residents of our community. For more information or to reserve your space, please call 914.295.2177 and discover how you can help shape the future of our premier rental community for seniors 62 and over.
Live the Life You Love. Opening Early 2022.
Welcome home to Waterstone of Westchester – a community that takes the idea of home to an entirely new level. In this premier independent senior living community, you’ll thrive in curated elegance and style in a beautifully appointed apartment with designer finishes. Plus, enjoy connecting with friends and team members in our welcoming common areas.
Located right in the heart of White Plains, Waterstone of Westchester is the perfect sophisticated, urban setting for active seniors. Directly across from the flagship Bloomingdale’s, the community is just a short walk away from the finest shops and restaurants and less than a mile from I-287, making it easy to get away and enjoy everything the area has to offer.
Waterstone of Westchester offers independent living for active, independent seniors while also providing supportive care services through an innovative partnership with VNS Westchester. As a rental community, residents enjoy a maintenance-free, carefree life with no steep entrance fees. Delicious dining, a focus on wellness and engaging programs are always on the menu.
Continue living your dream life here at Waterstone of Westchester. Fill your days with favorite pastimes, delicious and healthy meals, stimulating exercises and educational programs. Enjoy spending time in your beautifully designed apartment, alone or with friends – because everything here is designed to make you feel right at home.
Welcome to Waterstone of Westchester! Join the experience of what life is like at this premier senior living community by calling 914.295.2177.