Retirees Share Lessons Learned

Plan to save more, live longer, structure your days, and be prepared for the worst as well as the best. That's the advice of retirees sharing the lessons they've learned from retirement.

Create a Network

Mary had to adjust to the loss of workplace relationships after she retired as a New York journalist to move to Florida.

"A lot of my friends were tied to work," Mary says. She created a social network by visiting a friendly coffee shop and joining a spiritual group. Mary's retirement goals include learning how to make her money last into her 90s, since her mother lived to age 94. Now age 72, Mary works part-time as a freelance journalist to supplement her savings. "Become very self-reliant," Mary says. "You have to look out for yourself and understand your money."

Adjust Your Expectations

Phil never expected to live to be almost 80 when severe diabetes forced him to retire at age 64 from farming in southern Wisconsin in 1992.

Phil and his wife Donna have gradually adjusted their lifestyle to their health needs by moving first to a house in a nearby town, then to a duplex, and finally to an apartment complex for seniors. Phil tells others to save more than they expect to need. "On a fixed income, money disappears in a hurry," Phil says. "Plan to live longer than you expected."

Plan Ahead

Jan planned extensively before her retirement from full-time work in 2001.

That helped Jan and her husband buy a house in an Arizona retirement community where they found opportunities to work and play. "Before you buy, go visit the facility and really picture yourself living there," Jan advises. "Figure out what it will be like, day to day." But Jan's optimistic plan failed to anticipate the impact of an economic downturn on her investments. While the couple is financially stable, Jan suggests including the "worst-case scenario" in any plan. She also recommends a plan that extends from the active early years to the later sedentary stage. "You've got to have goals," Jan says.

As you plan for your senior years, HUECU can help set goals and determine how much of a cushion you need. Stop by any of our branch locations today and speak with a helpful representative. You can also email us or call us at (617) 495-4460 for more information.

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