All of us dream of a confident retirement. For some, the first thing that comes to mind when imagining retirement is simply relaxing. And while spending your days on the golf course might be fun for a while, true happiness in retirement is usually found in finding new routines, interests and opportunities that a confident retirement can provide. The opportunity to do more of what you want to do and less of what you are bound to do is the true goal of retirement planning.

Making the transition

If your career provided your primary means of satisfaction, self-worth and socializing, finding a new source for these needs can be a challenge. Here are some ways that can help ease the transition and inspire your new life:

· Take advantage of the time that retirement offers to carve out a new routine filled with satisfying activities and connections.

· Revisit old interests or take the plunge with new ones, especially activities that involve socializing.

· Regular contact with family and friends is great for staying connected and making the most of social opportunities that may come your way. Volunteering for an organization about which you feel passionate is ideal for giving back to your community or profession.

· Pondering which of your interests, hobbies and passions you plan to pursue before you reach retirement makes it easier to manage your retirement transition. Making sure your retirement transition is filled with structure, meaning and purpose can help you feel confident and sustained as you enter retirement.

In the absence of the nine to five work day, time suddenly becomes abundant. One of our clients said she had always looked forward to being able to sit and read the paper with a cup of coffee without having to think about beating the traffic to her office. Things as simple as putting time aside to do those types of things are the building blocks of building your new routine.

Alleviate Debt before retiring

In addition to a smooth transition into a retirement filled with interests and passions, other factors are at play in your search for happiness. Big debt like mortgages and loans for college you may have taken out for your children can sometimes be a source of stress as you consider your life after what financial advisors often refer to as the “accumulation phase”. The comfort that comes with having full equity in your home is one of the factors that helps contribute to a happy retirement. In addition, having funds freed up from mortgage payments to pay for other things is another source of comfort.

One factor that may increase your sense of well-being is having retirement income from more than one source. Having income spread out over many sources – proceeds from the sale of a business, income from investments, Social Security, or a regular paycheck from a part-time job, etc. Having more than one source of income – but not necessarily more income – can mean less concern about having all your eggs in one basket. Less concern=more confidence.

Find your purpose

For many people entering retirement, keeping active and having a routine can help ease the transition and make people feel content. As people are focused on career and family during their working years, it is easy to forget about the dreams you may have had when you were younger. Revisiting those dreams can be helpful in finding your personal purpose in retirement. Having enough money to find your personal purpose in retirement doesn’t correspond to a universal dollar amount. Having a financial plan that can support what you aspire to do in retirement is the true goal of retirement planning.

Take time to get away

Often, when we are speaking with clients or potential clients, the first thing that they discuss with regard to their ambitions post-career is how they would like to travel more. Frequent and meaningful vacations can be an invaluable source of renewal, exploration, and reinvention. Travel is an adventure that personally enriches and provides for many unique social opportunities, and whether you’re taking the trip of a lifetime or simply taking the time to visit friends and family more often is surely a contributing factor on the retirement happiness scale.

Have a Confidence Plan

Providing yourself with a sense of security and a clear path to follow is a great first step in maximizing your confidence through your retirement transition. This starting point enables you to make the most out of your biggest asset in retirement: your time. What you choose to do with your time – not your money – is what is paramount to a fulfilling retirement. Prudent planning with an honest and early eye on what will bring you deep satisfaction in retirement goes a long way towards attaining genuine happiness.


This information is solely for informational purposes. Andersen Wealth Management is a Registered Investment Adviser. Advisory services are only offered to clients or prospective clients where Andersen Wealth Management and its representatives are properly licensed or exempt from licensure. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns. Investing involves risk and possible loss of principal capital. No advice may be rendered by Andersen Wealth Management unless a client service agreement is in place.