Retirement is an incredibly exciting time in your life. You can say goodbye to the world of work and hello to suiting yourself. That means getting up when you choose to, taking holidays when you choose to and getting to do all of those things you put off because you were just too busy.

But retirement can also be a little bit of a shock to the system. It’s a huge change in your life and one that it’s always a good idea to prepare for. Here’s how:

Think About Your Finances

Retirement is sure to have a big effect on your finances. Without a regular income, you’ll have to rely on your pension and your savings. Consider your outgoings in advance and work out if you need to make any cutbacks in order to maintain your standard of living. Using free tools like Personal Capital to track your finances can help you determine how much you need for retirement.

You may also choose to supplement your pension and savings with an additional income. You could take on an undemanding part time job. Depending on your skills, you could do freelance work from home. Market research companies often pay participants significant sums for taking part in their surveys and focus groups. Websites like eBay and Etsy allow you to sell second hand or crafted items on the internet. And you could even make your money go that bit further by trading on the stock market using no fee stock market tools like Robinhood and M1Finance.

Think About All that Free Time

Before you retire, you’re probably dreaming of long lie ins and having complete control over your own time. But many people find all that free time a little daunting. Once you’ve got a big holiday out of the way and have spent a few weeks puttering around the house, it may be that you need a little more activity in your life.

To avoid negative and unhappy feelings following your retirement, think about the interests you’d like to pursue when you finish work. You could volunteer to help people within your local community, learn a musical instrument or really dedicate yourself to writing that novel you’ve always had in mind. You may even want to learn a new skill or start a blog.

 

Think About your Social Circle

Depending on the job you currently do, you may get a lot of your daily social contact at work. This means you might really miss the interactions you had with colleagues and customers when you retire. Feeling that your social circle has shrunk considerably can make you feel cut off and lonely.

Think about old friends you’d like to reconnect with or just see more of when you retire and start making an extra effort now. Also look into social groups you could join locally. Maybe you could attend a book club or a language course or just a community cake and coffee morning. Meetup is a great site for finding like-minded people and groups to socialise with.

Get to Grips with Technology

Today’s technology can feel daunting to those who haven’t been used to using it. But becoming familiar with the online world before you retire makes it much easier to maintain connections. You can keep in touch with friends through social media, you can find ways to make a little extra money, and you can find out about social events that allow you to meet people in the “old-fashioned” face to face way.

Many libraries run classes to help older people find their feet online. Alternatively, recruit the services of a younger friend family member who will be able to show you the ropes.

For some people, retirement isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. They can feel lonely, worried about money and lacking in purpose. But, with the right preparation for retirement, there’s no reason that this new stage in your life shouldn’t be as happy and fulfilled as the last.

 

Alana Downer works at Datastical.com and she is an experienced blogger whose main interest lie in finances and new technologies. She might often be found online, sharing her insights into technology trends which shape the way both businesses and individuals function.