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Planning for What Keeps You Healthy and Happy in Retirement

Planning for retirement may start with meeting your financial goals, but it should also include planning for happiness. According to Forbes, retirement planning is more than just having enough saved, it’s also about how your spending can achieve your intended lifestyle. Retirement should be about doing what you enjoy doing so it’s important to think about what those activities will be and if they’re achievable within your individual financial situation. 

You may also want to consider how to stay active and fit in retirement. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service's Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, adults 65 and older should aim for at least two and a half hours of moderate-intensity physical activity a week. Fortunately, there are many great opportunities throughout Colorado to hike and explore nature for free. You also may want to consider taking up new activities such as golf, tennis, or joining a gym.  

Depending on your preferences and how often you intend to do new activities, you may need to plan for it in in your budget. Travel expenses may also need to be accounted for if your activities take you to different states or countries. You may also want to select activities that easily fit into your estimated retirement income to ensure you can do these activities without having to cut corners. While the cost of activities can vary widely, staying active in retirement is important to your long-term health. Whether you’re hiking, playing a musical instrument, or traveling, National Library of Medicine studies show that engaging in hobbies in later life decreases mortality risk. 

If you plan to stay active in retirement but still want or need to work, you may want to consider starting your own business or side-hustle in retirement. Taking into consideration your skills, resources and interests, there are opportunities to work, but on your own schedule. There are opportunities to start small businesses and earn income from selling online or in consignment shops to coffee shops and franchise opportunities. If income is less of a factor, but you enjoy working and earning a little extra money, there are other options. Like other activities, you will want to explore if running your own business aligns with your financial resources and long-term interests. You may also want to consider how much, if any of your nest egg, you’re willing to risk if the business is not successful. If you prefer to be professionally connected but starting a business is not in the cards, consider volunteering as a docent at a museum, helping at a nonprofit, or serving as a mentor through organizations such as S.C.O.R.E. which is a network of free small business advisors who can mentor entrepreneurs in areas such as accounting, marketing and other business functions. 

The important part is planning and thinking about what life looks like for you after retirement begins and to make sure you plan for your happiness and not just your finances.