Our perspectives

Senior couple seated together looking at documents.

A mid-retirement check-in

Evaluate your retirement beyond health and wealth. 

As you move through retirement, it’s important to set time aside to reflect on how you’re doing. While most people often focus on their health and finances, it’s equally as important to think about other areas of your life as you approach the midpoint of your retirement, which could be between the ages of 70 and 80, depending on your longevity. This is the time to ask yourself some broader questions to ensure you’re making the most of the years you’ve worked so hard to enjoy.

A holistic retirement check at the halfway point can make sure you stay on track. To get a better understanding of what you should take into consideration, observe the lives of retirees around you and think about the choices they’ve made. Then, reflect on these questions.

Does my home still work for me?

According to a study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, retirees spend an average of 1.77 hours per day on housework, like cleaning and laundry. This can vary greatly depending on the size of the house, the number of rooms and the amount of outside maintenance required, like shoveling snow or mowing the lawn. If you find yourself wanting to ease up on household chores, downsizing might be a good solution. Besides less upkeep, it provides an opportunity to declutter and simplify your life, which can be quite satisfying, even liberating.

On the other hand, you may not want to reduce your square footage. If you frequently have your children or grandchildren over for extended stays, you might need a place with an additional bedroom. If hosting holidays and other gatherings brings you joy, having enough space to create cherished memories may be important to you. Everyone’s situation is different, but you should ask yourself how the space is working for you.

If you’re someone who can’t quite tackle stairs lately or requires other accommodations, then accessibility may be top of mind. A single-story home could make it easier to move around. Alternatively, a new condominium may be a good choice. Many modern condos come equipped with features that help ensure you can move about comfortably without any difficulties.

Let’s not forget about location. And we don’t mean the beach or the mountains. Do you have family members spread across the country? Moving closer to children or grandchildren who can help you with caregiving or errands as you age may be attractive. Even if you’d always dreamed of retirement in Arizona and have enjoyed it, companionship from family may top your priority list and lead you to evaluate where you have more connections.

Do I have any health concerns cropping up?

As you hit the midpoint of your retirement, it’s natural to experience some changes in your health. If you’re fit as a fiddle, then congratulations! However, it’s still important to think about the availability and proximity of your doctors, as well as any insurance changes that may be necessary. If you know you’ll need a knee replacement soon, examine your health plan and consider what this upcoming surgery might cost under different options. During Medicare’s annual open enrollment from October 15 to December 7, you can make any changes necessary to your insurance coverage.

Some Medicare Advantage Plans even give access to gym memberships and fitness classes. The SilverSneakers program, which is widely known and accepted at facilities like the YMCA, is just one of them. Joining a gym will not only give you the opportunity to commit to regular physical activity, which can prevent health problems that come with age, but it can also give you a sense of community that benefits your mental health. 

Am I spending time in a fulfilling way?

If you’ve always enjoyed your solo hobbies but are finding them a little lonely these days, consider joining a book club at the library or a walking group to help forge new connections.

The idea is to not be married to the hobbies you’ve always enjoyed. As life goes on and things change, so might your interests or needs. What once provided solace and relaxation might become stressful or feel like a chore. It may be time to add something new to the mix, to try something you’ve never done before or revive a pastime from decades ago.

How retirees spend the day

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, average daily activities include:

  • Volunteering – 2.47 hours
  • Educational classes – 2.43 hours
  • Playing games – 2.08 hours
  • Gardening and lawn care – 2.07 hours
  • Reading – 1.98 hours
  • Socializing – 1.96 hours
  • Religious services – 1.85 hours

Do I need to make any adjustments to my finances or estate planning documents?

When it comes to managing your finances, start by examining your budget and determine if your income still aligns with your spending needs. The last thing you’d want to do is miss out on experiences like travel to avoid overspending. (In the same breath, you don’t want to sacrifice financial stability.)

That’s where advisors can help make adjustments, confirm whether your current asset allocation is still appropriate, and simulate portfolio response to life changes*. Remember to lean on them for advice when your financial needs or wishes change. Express your expectations for the second half of your retirement and include those aspirations in your budget to make sure they happen.

If you’ve experienced any major life changes (such as marriages, divorces, births or deaths) in the first half of retirement, ensure that any changes in your intentions are reflected in your estate planning documents and beneficiary designations.

The longer we live in retirement, the more challenging it is to course correct if need be. One way to ensure that you’re on track for a fulfilling retirement is to conduct a mid-retirement review. With the right adjustments, you can ensure your financial, health and overall well-being goals are all being met. 

*IMPORTANT: The projections or other information generated regarding the likelihood of various investment outcomes are hypothetical in nature, do not reflect actual investment results and are not guarantees of future results. Results may vary with each use and over time. Asset allocation does not guarantee a profit nor protect against loss.

Raymond James and its advisors do not offer tax or legal advice. You should discuss any tax or legal matters with the appropriate professional.

Sources: usatoday.com; nerdwallet.com; moneytalksnews.com; money.com; investopedia.com