By now, you’ve probably either read one of Marie Kondo’s books or watched her show “Tidying Up” on Netflix. Kondo’s philosophy is that a cluttered household also clutters your mind. This principle of ridding of items that no longer serve you in order to maximize happiness should also be applied to your personal retirement plan.For instance, when is the last time you took inventory of your current lifestyle? What are you doing to push yourself closer to a happy, joyful retirement? Which of your habits need to be tossed to the curb?
Let’s metaphorically dump all components of your current lifestyle on the floor, and pick the items and habits you want to carry with you through retirement — and assess which should be left behind.
Tidy Up: Your Time Allocation
Though retirement may be a period of your life where you have a wide-open schedule, you should still consider time as one of your most valuable resources. As such, time should be carefully considered throughout the creation of your personal retirement plan.
It’s easy to fall into routines that take away from the parts of life that bring us joy. So, take time to assess. What do you LOVE doing?
By defining your retirement values, or what’s important for you to focus on during retirement, you can pinpoint routines or obligations that take away from your happiness. For example, can you take away time-suckers like browsing the internet or watching TV and reallocate that time toward more rewarding aspects of life like learning to play a new instrument?
Take it a step farther and analyze how you can get there. What do you like about your existing time management structure:
- Do you like having a daily schedule?
- Do you like working towards goals each day, week or month?
- Do you like winging it?
Hold yourself accountable for reallocating your time toward what brings you joy. Set a schedule or regimen within your personal retirement plan that helps you accomplish your goal. And, continuously remind yourself to shed the boring, unfulfilling routines.
Tidy Up: Your Spending Habits
During retirement, you may not need to take extreme measures toward budgeting, but there are still a handful of tricks you can apply to help tidy up your current spending patterns.
- How many subscription-based services do you currently pay for?
- How many do you actually use?
If these numbers are different from one another, it’s time to toss out unused monthly subscriptions that you’ve potentially forgotten about, or just don’t care to use. You can easily do this with the help of services like Truebill.
Consider other spending patterns you might need to break:
- Do you order out for dinner even though you can cook the meal better?
- Are you a member at a yoga studio or gym that you never attend?
Find these pockets of frivolous spending, and reallocate towards something that you’ll be glad you took advantage of.
Ditch expenses that are unnecessary clutter and start investing in hobbies that bring you joy. If you liked this tip, check out our article on 20 money savings tips that are useful before or during retirement!
Tidy Up: Your Current Environment
Here’s a mind-bender for you: Do you like where you live?
Why you live in your current home or city may be an accumulation of reasons that no longer serve you during retirement:
- Do you live in a location that made sense during your working years because of commute or accessibility?
- Are your kids out of school and no longer need the stability of a permanent family home?
- Are you located in your city to care for your parents, who may not need your assistance any longer?
These questions may be difficult to answer, but the results can open up the doors to more joyful options. Let’s do a quick exercise and finish the following statement:
Retirement will allow me to...
- Move to a new city
- Move abroad
- Become a snowbird
- Sell my home and buy an RV
- Downsize my home
For example, many retirees consider moving to the greater Denver area as it is a tax-friendly state for seniors, has exceptional recreational activities all year round and has a best-in-class health care system. Talk to a financial advisor in Denver, about how retiring in the mile high city would fit into your personal retirement plan.
Don’t be afraid to “toss” your existing living arrangements and find something that matches your retirement values more directly when creating your personal retirement plan.
Tidy Up: Your Financial Accounts
Though the idea of sorting through financial accounts may not be thrilling, the simplicity of an organized financial plan is sure to bring you peace of mind, which equates to joy.
Throughout the decades of your working experience (and possibly mismatched financial advice along the way), you may have accounts and financial documentation scattered every which way.
Seek help from a fiduciary financial advisor to help you tidy up your retirement investment plan:
- Consolidate 401(k)s so your money can grow together, toss the extra accounts
- Revisit old investments to see what’s growing, and toss what's costing you
- Check in on new interest rates to determine which savings accounts are best used as a primary account, toss the rest
By finding new ways to make your money work for you, rather than against you, you can enjoy a stress-free retirement, full of joy.
Just like a cluttered household will burden you, a cluttered personal retirement plan and a cluttered lifestyle will eat away at your happiness. Prepare for retirement through organization and planning so you can deeply enjoy your years away from the office.
Need help decluttering? For more tricks about what to keep and what to toss, and how to make your retirement plan work read our Money Secrets ebook or contact one of our fee-only, fiduciary wealth advisors today!