Everyone wants their loved ones to enjoy their retirement. After all, for the majority of their lives they have worked tirelessly toward that goal, and deserve to relax comfortably and enjoy the fruits of their labor. However, before that time comes, it’s important to sit down with your loved ones to map out a plan to ensure their retirement dreams come to fruition.

The recipe for a happy retirement includes a variety of different ingredients from money management, to hobbies and volunteering, to friendships and everything in between.

Here is a quick list of a few of the ingredients that factor in to the recipe of making a retirement sweet:

Money – Our older generation is widely viewed as a prepared lot. Throughout their careers, your loved ones have probably kept their retirement needs in the back of their minds. This means that they have likely been saving their money and getting their finances in order for when it’s time to retire. Before they’ve officially retired, talk to them about creating a plan for how their money will be spent in the years to come. As the wise Benjamin Franklin once said, “A penny saved is a penny earned,” and this notion certainly applies to retirement. In essence, help them make saving a priority, create a plan and stick to it.

Hobbies – Now that work days are a thing of the past, retirees have ample time to participate in the activities that they love. Retirement is the perfect time to live out those dreams and delve into those interests that they once had to put on the back burner. Participation in their favorite hobbies and activities will give meaning to their days and will be time well spent. They may have talents that they never realized, and the rewards for learning new skills can lead to positive feelings about themselves as they age.

Volunteer – Although retirement is a rewarding experience in and of itself, your loved ones may get more out of their newfound free time by giving back to those in need. There are numerous charitable organizations that exist for the good of others. Take time to research these organizations with them.  Find one they feel connected to, then encourage them to volunteer.

Health – A full-time job is just that: full time. A lot of the time, a person’s health and wellness takes a back seat to demanding work hours. Now that someone you care about has retired (or is preparing to), urge them to make their health and fitness a top priority. Encourage them to prepare healthy meals and exercise regularly.

And remind them that health isn’t just physical; mental health is important too. Help them prepare for the adjustment period that some retirees face when they no longer have a set day-to-day routine.

Whether they want to enroll in a gardening or sculpture class, or simply can’t wait to sit down and solve a crossword puzzle, encourage your loved ones to participate in activities that will stimulate their minds and occupy their time to help preserve their mental health and well-being.

Socialize – Making time for the people that they care about is a great way to strengthen connections. Whether it’s a lunch date or a social club, encourage retirees in your life to get out of the house and interact with others. These scheduled social meetings will give a sense of purpose and structure to their free days. Furthermore, socializing is a great way to meet new people and enjoy positive interactions.

These are just a few of the ingredients in the recipe to a happy, healthy retirement. But, there is so much more that your loved ones can add! Perhaps it’s a pinch of relaxation or a dash of creativity; whatever it may be, help them get involved in their communities, stay active both physically and mentally, but most importantly, enjoy their retirement!

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