Covid-19 has recalibrated retirement planning for older workers. Age, health, and workplace conditions have pushed many older adults to put their well-being ahead of other considerations and retire early. The pandemic has also added to the normal stress that comes with leaving the workforce. Social distancing and other public health recommendations are making it harder for retirees to stay active and create new schedules that will make retirement fulfilling.
How will you navigate this unique time?
Here are three ways you can transition into retirement safely during Covid-19 while still connecting with people, enriching yourself, and having fun.
1. Be together separately.
Even after a year and the development of a vaccine, we’re still learning new things about COVID-19. Some consensus has emerged on how to interact safely with people you’re not living with:
- Stay outside
- Maintain a minimum six-foot distance
- Wear a face mask
- Wash your hands often
While meeting in certain environments is not possible now, you can plan a backyard get-together. For an extra layer of safety, have everyone bring their own food, drinks, and chairs.
Outdoor sports are another option, especially activities like bike rides and hikes where everyone keeps moving and can maintain their distance. Games like golf, softball, and tennis can be played safely if everyone brings their own gear.
The pandemic is affecting communities across the country in very different ways. Wherever you live, exposure to Covid-19 is a high risk for older adults, especially if you have any preexisting medical conditions.
2. Make new online connections.
The new tech skills you learned while coping with lockdown open a world of virtual options in retirement. You have probably mastered video chat by now! Many of the same apps you’ve been using also allow you to watch movies and play games with friends and family.
If you picked up a new interest from all the free quarantine classes online, you could pursue that subject with more formal online learning. Dedicated online education platforms are plentiful. Your local university or community college might have new online programs and offer discounted enrollment to older adults.
The pandemic forced organizations of all shapes and sizes to restructure and move at least some of their operations online. If you’re comfortable with your computer, you might actually have more part-time job or volunteer opportunities available to you right now. As more people do more business online, you might spot an ideal niche to plant your own flag and start your own dream company, all from the comfort of home.
3.Review your retirement plan.
Your retirement plan should be adjusted as your needs and goals evolve. Early retirement is a significant change. It’s important to take a look at what changes might be needed.
- Do you need to change your retirement budget and projected annual withdrawal rate?
- Do you need to change your health coverage?
- Do you need to change (or maybe even create) your estate planning documents?
- Do you need to change your retirement date?
In short, thinking about all your options and making a decision about your next steps is the best thing you can do. The work you’ve put into following your plan and growing your nest egg means that you’re prepared to face the latest hurdle. Working with a professional to chart the best path forward is essential to a good start to the next chapter of your life.