There are 23 retirement habits of wealthy retirees. These 23 habits are going to fall into four categories of wealth – financial, relationship, health, and spiritual. All four of these are important to living out that ideal retirement.
The first category we’re going to cover is the financial. We’ll focus on the money side and some of the retirement habits that we see wealthy financial people do in retirement. Number one: hold cash because having cash in your portfolio fits into that conservative bucket. If you’re not familiar, there’s a three bucket strategy – one bucket being the conservative bucket, which helps ensure you have enough to weather downturns if needed. It gives you options and flexibility when the markets aren’t cooperating. What’s the right amount to have in cash for you? The answer is, it really depends on your income and investment plan and how they’re working together. You don’t want too much in cash getting eaten away by inflation every year.
Your Time Is Valuable
Onto the second habit that financially wealthy retirees do – they buy back their time. When you’re anywhere from your fifties to your eighties, you realize that time does not equal money, and really, time is a lot more valuable than money. Your money can actually make money while sitting there in your investments, but you can’t make more time.
The happy retirees that we see spend money on things that they don’t want to do anymore so that they can enjoy their time doing the things that they actually do want to do. They might hire that mowing service even if they’ve mowed their own lawn for the last 30 years, or they might partner with a wealth management firm to make sure they’re doing everything they should be and aren’t missing anything.
Diversifying Your Portfolio
The next habit is not buying what they can’t afford. The next habit is to avoid financing and bad debt. They may have debt on real estate or other assets that pay them a positive cash flow, but they’re less likely to go into debt on liabilities (cars, boats – things like that). The next thing is they diversify. This one’s a no-brainer – as long as you’re diversifying among the different asset classes that we need in order to handle the four economic seasons. There’s four economic seasons: higher than expected inflation, deflation, higher than expected economic return, or lower than expected economics. Making sure you have asset classes in each one of those.
You might hear some billionaires and investors recommend that they got rich by not diversifying and really focusing all eggs in one basket or a few baskets, but we’re not billionaire investors. Our goal is to live off our assets in a comfortable way and be prepared for the various economic seasons. The last habit that we see in this category of financial wealth is generosity. Not every financially wealthy person gives, but the ones who do are happier, more content, and more grateful for what they have.
Moving onto the next category – relationship wealth. This is one of the most important areas to a fulfilled life, and it’s really just sharing life with friends and family.We’re made to be in relationships. So onto the first habit that wealthier retirees do: they don’t hold grudges.
Life’s too short to hold grudges as we get older. If reconciliation isn’t possible, they move on; they don’t dwell, they don’t harbor negative feelings. The next habit is that they listen more than they speak. They ask questions in relationships because they’re curious about the other person.
The next habit is to really make an effort in relationships. Remind yourself that if there are relationships that you want to grow, you need to make the effort. You need to reach out and try to do things to help that relationship grow.
The next category is health. A few of these habits are reading, journaling and writing, learning, curiosity, and then just challenging yourself. Sometimes we think of retirement as this stress-free zone with no more work, but challenging yourself and your mental faculties is really important to maintaining brain health. There are two parts to health, there’s brain health and then there’s body health.
This next habit is crucial, and that is being thankful for what you have. No matter how small, this can really improve your mental wellbeing. Even in difficult times, you’re likely to have some things to be thankful for. Whether it’s being thankful you can hear or see, or that you can move your body. We tend to take these things for granted every day.
The next habit is to play; to have fun and enjoy life. This will look different for everyone. Maybe for you it could just be having fun with friends, doing something relational like biking, hiking, tennis, or swimming. Or maybe it’s board games like chess, or card games. Do something that you enjoy. If you can’t come up with anything, think back to what you were doing when you were a teenager or in your twenties. What were the hobbies that you had back then?
Another habit to think about is taking long walks. There are many, many benefits to regularly going on walks. Another habit of healthy, wealthy people is that they lift heavy things. They incorporate some form of strength training to prevent osteoporosis and frailty. It’s never too late or too soon to start doing this. As you get into your sixties and seventies or on, just make sure you do these things safely and under the guidance of your doctor.
The last category of wealthy people is spiritual or faith wealth. It’s a crucial part to so many people’s lives. The first habit here is really just a reminder that you are part of something bigger than just yourself, and you can make an impact, no matter how small it may seem.
This aligns with that habit of generosity. You don’t have to have faith to be generous. However, some of the most generous retirees I know have a strong relationship with a higher power, and seem to be some of the happiest people I know.
This next habit to think about is a practice of hope. It’s easy to get discouraged or to feel anxious about what might happen and lose sight of the positive things happening around you. Another habit is reading your holy text, whatever it might be. I didn’t realize really until my mid-thirties how practical and applicable the Bible is to my everyday life. The last habit is prayer, which really aids in that discovery process along with all the aforementioned benefits.
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Disclosures: Securities offered through LaSalle St. Securities LLC (LSS), member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through LaSalle St. Investment Advisors LLC (LSIA), a Registered Investment Advisor. Streamline Financial Services is not affiliated with LSS or LSIA. LSS is affiliated with LSIA.