As the clock ticks down on another year and we look toward new starts and new beginnings for 2019, figured taking a little time to think about New Year’s Financial Resolutions would be worthwhile. 27% of Americans planned to make financial resolutions in 2018[i], if a fourth of the population thinks they should reassess their finances in the new year, then it’s probably a good thing to go over. Unlike a lot of yearly resolutions, we’d like to help you stick to and meet this one.
The holiday season is a lot of things. It’s a lot of good: family, togetherness, tradition, but it also can be hard. It’s a stressful time and the heavy commercialism, unrealistic expectations, and overall business of the season can take its toll on even the heartiest of us. Past the life stress, there is the changing seasons, lack of sunlight and toll that seasonal depression takes on some. We also tend to overindulge, more drinking, more eating, more parties. One study showed 63% of people reporting they experienced what is called ‘The Holiday Blues'.
Marathon runners do not train and plan for the sole experience of standing on the finish line. The process, the training and the overall journey from beginning to end are all part of it. Knowing that hard work and effort paid off and a goal was accomplished, that is a remarkable feeling. Treating your retirement goals like a marathon, you work hard, you keep going and when you reach the finish line, all that time and labor pays off—you have the money you need to live the life you want. That’s a wonderful feeling.
Let’s do an exercise.
Close your eyes and try to picture your own funeral. Who is there? Who gets up to speak? Are you proud of your achievements and the life you led?
The time you’ve been working, planning, and saving for has finally arrived! You’re retired. You can travel, you can spend time with your spouse, you can attack that bucket list. After a short time though, you may find the excitement of this new chapter ebb and the reality of how much actual time you have in a day. If like a lot of us, you’d spent most of your adult life working and/or chasing kids, the lack of a schedule may prove a little more challenging than expected.
This is why it's so important to stay active in your retirement. Active, in this case, is not just exercise, though that is definitely a major factor, but also active socially and in your community. Social connections, friendships and having reasons to get out the door, outside, and into the world keep us healthy and happier into retirement.
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