Planning Your Retirement: A How-To Guide

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So you’re thinking of retiring. It’s a big step to take, and there’s a lot to consider before you do it. Going to work every day is how most people spend the majority of their lives, so retiring can feel like a big adjustment.

What are you going to do about money? How will you spend your time? Have you got any long-term plans? It’s important to figure out the answers to these questions before you take the plunge and retire, so here is a guide to help you plan ahead and retire at the right time.


It’s so important to figure out your finances before you leave work. Your income will change dramatically overnight once you retire, and it’s crucial that you make sure you can afford to retire before you make that change.

Do you have a savings pot to rely on in case of emergency? Are you planning to rely solely on your social security contributions, or do you have a 401k or another retirement plan?

Plan for the future and think about the outgoing costs you’ll have on a daily, monthly, or yearly basis.

Where Will You Live?

If you’re still paying off a mortgage or have monthly rent payments to make, figure out if you can afford to keep paying them on your retirement fund.

Consider downsizing to save money—by this point in your life, any kids you have will probably have moved out and have a place of their own, so do you really need those empty bedrooms? Think about it.

Will You Need Care?

Nobody likes to think about deteriorating health, but it’s essential that you plan ahead by considering the costs of any potential healthcare you may need as you get older.

McKnight Place in St. Louis offers assisted living, independent living, and memory care facilities. Think about the costs associated with different types of senior living and plan them into your retirement budget.

Budget Carefully

Set yourself both long-term and short-term budgets to help you stay on top of your money. Stick to your spending goals to ensure you don’t run out of cash!

Fill Up Your Days

For some people, filling their retirement days with activities is easy—they may have an active social life and plenty of hobbies or just enjoy relaxing and spending time with the family.

For others, figuring out what exactly to do every day is one of the most difficult parts of retirement. You’ve spent years counting down the days until you don’t have to work, only to find that you’re actually a little bored by all this free time. 

Keeping your mind and body busy is essential for mental and physical health as you get older. A busy social calendar can boost mental health, and an active social circle has even been suggested to fight dementia. To keep busy, you should:

  • Find new hobbies you enjoy
  • Make some travel plans
  • Visit with friends on a regular basis
  • Spend quality time with your family
  • Consider taking on a volunteer role or part-time work—this is also a great way to earn extra income!

Think about how you’ll spend your day-to-day life in retirement, and make sure you’ve got things in the calendar to keep your mind and body engaged and active.

Planning for retirement is essential to make sure you aren’t wasting your golden years. Make a plan for yourself and your loved ones, then start enjoying your freedom!

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