Retirement Takes Practice; Begin Today

Are you saving for retirement? That's great -- and important -- but saving money is just one aspect of preparing for retirement. It takes practice now to enjoy retirement later.

  1. Begin exploring your retirement dreams now
  2. Give retirement activities a "test drive"
  3. Take care of your health
  4. Don't just live for tomorrow. Enjoy today.
  5. Improve your life by 1 percent each week

Begin to explore the avenues that give you pleasure, to bring the essence of retirement into your current life. Integrate a "retirement attitude" into your everyday life, and you'll gain a completely new viewpoint about your life, and your future retirement.

Enliven your daily life by trying out lots of different activities. What do you want to do when you retire? Travel, learn to play the piano, read novels, spend time with family? Don't put it off.

  • If you don't have time to travel, take a few hours to explore a part of your locale that you have just driven by before. You'll bring some relaxing feelings to your daily life.
  • If you want to learn to play the piano, make a date to take one lesson. Then, if you like it, take another lesson and begin to build your skills now, rather than waiting until retirement.
  • If reading is your passion, spend an extra 15 minutes whenever you can to read a book. It will give you a little respite from your daily life.

Get off the couch

How active a retirement do you want? Many people envision a fit, active retirement, yet they sit at their desks all day and in front of the television at night. For an active retirement, get active now. Spend just 20 minutes several times a week doing an activity you enjoy now to energize your life and boost your future health.

Don't sacrifice all pleasure today to save for tomorrow. Figure out how much you'll need at retirement, set enough aside each payday to reach that goal, and spend the rest without guilt. It's important that you have money to enjoy today. If you started saving late, don't try to make up the difference by over-tightening your belt. You can retire a few years later or work part time in the early years of retirement to make up for it.

Learn to enjoy your life on a daily basis so you'll be in practice when you retire. Take time to live your life thoroughly today, care for your body, and begin retirement projects on a small scale.

Go for "1 percent"

Improving your life just one percent a week can add up. Do one small activity that will improve your life, such as calling a friend, reading the first chapter of a book, or spending five minutes writing in a journal.

Find a small "1 percent" activity that will give you pleasure, and do it. It doesn't have to be big; just a 1 percent improvement is a change in the right direction. Don't save all your pleasure -- or all your money -- for your future. Enjoy your journey to retirement every step of the way.

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