Retirement Planning: Sound preparations helped...
In the few years before retirement, I made many adjustments both financially and emotionally to prepare for this new stage in my life. These are some of the major changes.
Financially, I gradually started cutting back on spending and devoted special attention to reducing monthly fixed expenses.
I switched my monthly telephone plan to the cheapest service available in my area, canceled my cable TV service, and canceled many magazine subscriptions. I reduced the number of times I went out to eat in restaurants, and made substitutions like going to the library instead of shopping at bookstores.
I gave away many possessions that I no longer needed to relatives and sold some more on eBay and other venues.
This enabled me to free up a lot of room in my 3 bedroom house which will allow me to consider taking in one or more roommates if I wish to do so.
I also met with a financial counselor to create a long term plan for managing my investments and expenses, and I continue to schedule regular meetings for updating my strategy in accordance with the current economic situation.
I am happy to say that I was psychologically ready to greet retirement and have found great inner contentment at this stage of my life.
Long before retirement, I was engaged in formal Buddhist studies and I am very grateful to have more time to devote to my practice. I also researched cultural activities that I would explore further when I had time and now paint every day.
Devoting more time to playing with my grandchildren just came naturally.
One of the most fun and meaningful changes in my daily life has come from adopting an older dog who looks like a mostly Labrador mixed breed. He provides excellent company and helps me stay active on a daily basis while I have the satisfaction of improving his life too. Retirement has changed my life for the better and making sound preparations helped.