10,000 people turn 65 every day, according to a study by Deutsche Bank in late 2018. Some people have their retirement carefully planned out and know exactly where and how they plan to live out their golden years. I’m currently in the planning stages myself - just a few years to go until I hang up my writing tools. So, I know firsthand that the checklist to get to retirements seems to get longer every day.
Here are a few things my friends have shared with me when they retired and it’s helping me stay organized has these years fly by quickly.
- Take some time now to start going through clutter. You know what I’m talking about. The clutter that accumulates in your closets, your basements, plastic bins, etc. If you wait until you move into a smaller home, it will seem overwhelming. I sort mine into four piles: Toss (no use left in the item); Donate (someone could use the item); Sell (items with some value that could add extra revenue to your retirement account); or Keep (items to precious to part with - but keep it to a minimum). I spend two hours each week going through old boxes and bins, a little at a time.
- When going through your home, don’t assume your children will want your home furnishings, jewelry or collections. Ask them if there’s anything they might need, but most millenials prefer a more minimal, personal lifestyle, so don’t be offended when they say no. Then, revisit item 1 with a fresh perspective.
- Narrow down your wish list for retirement locations based on your expected income and desired quality of life. Some of my friends who recently retired moved from three and four-bedroom homes to two-bedroom condos, with plans to do a bit more traveling. So they sold most of their home furnishings, except for the items that would be useful down the road. When keeping a home furnishing, ask yourself two questions: Do I love it? Will it still be stylish and practical where I plan to move? For instance, one friend purchased a TV Lift Cabinet a few years ago. She loves it because she doesn’t like a large television becoming a focal point in her living room. Most of the time, the television is hidden inside the beautiful cabinet (which also provides a ton of storage). Those are all things that won’t change no matter where she spends her retirement, so that’s a keeper.
- Talk with your financial advisor about your plans to ensure you’re prepared for all possible scenarios. There’s still time to make some adjustments and it’s better to know where you stand, then get caught off guard down the road.
- Enjoy this time of your life. It’s a little scary, but it’s also an opportunity to trace the journey you took to get you where you are today. Be sure to take time to enjoy family and friends whenever you have the opportunity to do so.
So - start making your own retirement checklist. If you’re a savvy senior, you too could be ready to hit the road when that day arrives.