As life expectancy continues to increase and offer more opportunities to enjoy a non-working life, it’s more important than ever to plan for a meaningful retirement. What makes a retirement meaningful depends on whom you ask, but we all have the same choices to make: where will we live, and what will we do with our time, money, and energy?

At Aderra, we understand that this is a time full of tough decisions, and the transition can be difficult. But, if you embrace the changes, retirement can be a dream come true. Here’s a quick-start guide that we’ve been using to start planning this exciting next stage of our lives.

1. A Time to Reflect

Many of us have spent decades identifying with our profession. We were doctors, lawyers, teachers, administrators, bankers, and bakers. But we are so much more than that. Who are we once we set aside our work title? Retirement is an amazing opportunity to reconnect with the truth of who we are and redefine ourselves.

This process begins with a hearty dose of reflection and introspection. Thankfully, with hundreds of books to help us out, and more online articles that you can count, the resources to support us on the path to self-discovery are innumerable.

Consider beginning your own process by doing a values assessment. You may be surprised to discover that your values have shifted now that you’ve left the workforce. You can also take the time to reflect on your working life using a visual medium, such as collage or painting, to help you find closure as you move into retirement.

2. Sharing Our Wisdom

There is perhaps no greater joy than celebrating life and finding value in all the lessons that you’ve learned over the years. It doesn’t matter if you have grandchildren or are looking to volunteer with younger people — passing on your wisdom can be deeply fulfilling for you and incredibly helpful to those who have less life experience.

Relationships with those much younger than ourselves can be very mutually beneficial. What younger people lack in age, we offer in wisdom, and what we lack in energy, they have in spades. Whether it’s in person or through other communication methods, make connecting with young ones a priority early in your retirement. You’ll notice almost immediately how these relationships keep you vibrant, while offering them a connection to living history. An additional benefit of this habit is that it will prevent you from getting stuck in patterns of isolation or loneliness and involve you in the changing social structure of the future.

3. Relationships

While we’re talking about relationships, let’s not forget those who are part of the daily fabric of our lives. Unencumbered by work, the early retirement phase can provide more opportunities to spend time with our loved ones.

We may still be lucky enough to have our parents around, and we might have been blessed with children and grandchildren. Invest your free time in these relationships to feed your soul and offer additional help to your family members. Newly free weekdays can be used to babysit or help out around your loved ones’ homes while they’re still working.

In the same vein, the transition to spending all of your time with your spouse may cause some hiccups at first, but it is a deep well of discovery and adventure if you choose to drink from it. You and your sweetheart could take up a hobby that is novel to both of you, or join a not-for-profit board together for an organization that means a lot to you as a couple. No matter what your family constellation looks like at this time of your life, give yourself permission to lavish your loved ones with attention and affection.

We’ve spent our lives preparing and planning for retirement, and now that it’s here, you should enjoy every moment of it. Contact us today to view one of our luxury apartments ideal for retired living.