The key to having a retirement with no regrets is to start planning for it now. That does not mean that you must settle down immediately and start putting money away for when you are of the required age or wealth. It simply means setting your expectations wisely. A recent survey asked retired individuals what they regretted most and the results were enlightening. While finances formed part of it there were many other important factors.
Travel while you can
We often put off the dream travel plans because of work commitments, family commitments, or financial issues. If you have the time and money during your life take the opportunity to go on that dream trip. There is no point in saving the money to do the same trip when you are retired as you will be older and it will likely cost more by then anyway. Take some time to enjoy life now. The modern approach often includes small mini-retirements where you leave a job and go live in a cheaper destination for a while. Try it.
Decide what to do when you retire
While planning your retirement don’t just think of the house you will sit in and the food you will need to eat. What will you do with your days? There will be many. If you have a hobby or passion that you can do into old age that is perfect. For others, they may seek to do some part-time consulting. Whatever you decide, you should plan to keep busy as so many retirees say they were shocked out how quickly the time went as they were retired and they did nothing with it.
Friends and family
Friends and family are important. Only when you leave work will you realize how small your social circle is. Make sure you have a strong circle and people to spend time with. In your time off it will be important to share it with others.
Buying that house
Be careful with long term purchases. You will be with them for a long time. Many of those who retired said they wished they did not buy that house as it chose where they lived and how much money they would have for a long time. Consider your big purchases strongly and make sure you are making the right decision.
The key piece of advice they gave is to be prepared. Of course, that means having some money set aside so that you can enjoy retirement but it also means considering who you want to spend it with and how. Choose wisely and your retirement will not be the end, just the beginning.