The Benefits of Being Retired
We scrimp and save (ideally) every day of our working lives to lead up to a pivotal event: retirement. But once you reach retirement, your first thought might not be “Hurray!” It might be, “Now what?”
There are so many positives to retirement, many of which are financial, but many of which are not. If you’re nearing retirement or if you are just trying to set some goals, here are some benefits to retirement that warrant your consideration.
- Tax benefits – There may be new benefits or deductions you can use on your Federal income taxes. Additionally, there are some pitfalls to be aware of to avoid additional taxes and penalties. To know the ins and outs of tax benefits you could qualify for during retirement, talk to a tax pro.
- Social Security – If you’re already retired or retiring soon, you will likely qualify for Social Security benefits of some kind. During your working years, you accumulate “credits” that will eventually help determine your eligibility and benefits. Your “full retirement age” is the age when you qualify for full retirement benefits. Talk to your financial advisor about social security and what you can expect as a benefit, and how to maximize what you may receive.
- Discounts galore – Most retirees also fall into the category of senior citizens, and seniors qualify for discount rates on many goods and services. Most senior discount programs allow people to begin to take advantage at ages 55 to 65. Don’t be shy. Make sure to ask everywhere you go if they offer a program and if you’re eligible.
- Educational opportunities – Some studies show that staying mentally active helps stave off various forms of dementia. Being retired doesn’t mean you have to stop learning new things. Often senior citizens can get free tuition to local or online colleges. There may be classes in your local community that are free or cost very little. Pick up some new skills and have fun learning, as you get some social time in, too.
- Doing the work your heart desires – Being retired doesn’t mean you have to quit working entirely. If you find work rewarding or necessary, that part of your life doesn’t have to be over. Now you can feel free to work on your own terms. Maybe you’d like to try out a different field. You can get a part-time job doing what you’ve always dreamed of doing, or something local just to stay busy. You can give back to your community by volunteering. You can help your family out by babysitting grandkids. Retirement means more flexibility.
- Going where you want – Now that your kids are all grown up and you don’t have your 9 to 5 keeping you tethered to any one town, you can feel free to travel to destinations you’ve always dreamed of or relocate altogether. You can find a quaint town for retirees where the cost of living isn’t so high. Or perhaps you’ve always dreamed of living on a different coast and dipping your toes in the ocean as you sip your coffee. These are your years. Spend them where you want to.
- Less stress – Often many stressors in our lives are tied to working, whether that be dealing with a difficult supervisor, commuting in heavy traffic, maintaining high quotas or something else. Once the stress of working is eliminated, you can enjoy the mental and physical health benefits that go along with a reduced stress level. Take advantage of your newly found time freedom by making healthier choices like preparing wholesome meals, taking more time to sleep and exercising.
Retirement marks a huge change, and sometimes it’s difficult to make the transition. Knowing what you have to look forward to, though, can make all the difference in your quality of life. Take some time to think about your financial goals and how you want to live out your golden years. Talk to a trusted financial advisor so when you are ready to retire, you can make the most of the benefits that you worked so hard for.
Wood Smith Advisors, a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA), is a fee-only financial services firm that partners with its clients to simplify their financial lives. We focus on women, entrepreneurs and individuals with complex financial situations, providing objective and competent advice, education and services to help them develop and build their businesses and reach their financial goals. We can be reached by clicking here.
“Finance Made Simple” blog posts are intended for educational purposes and not for specific advice. Each person’s situation is different. Consult your financial advisor for advice relating to topics discussed.