Spirit of Women magazine is a national publication presented to women by hospitals and their physicians. The magazine provides up-to-date, evidence-based healthcare information and promotes our hospitals as leaders in women's health excellence.
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8 $ $ $ SHUTTERSTOCK THE 3 STAGES OF RETIREMENT As you adjust to your new lifestyle, you can begin to plan ahead for the different financial situations you're likely to encounter throughout your retirement. Meredith sees the post- work phase of life broken into three consecutive segments, each with its own separate financial needs: Go-go: You may actually spend more money than you did when you were working full time. There's an urge to travel and do all those things you were waiting to do. It can be a fun, exciting time as long as you have the funds and the energy. Slow-go: You still may be traveling, trying new hobbies and otherwise enjoying new experiences. But the pace is likely to slow down, and you'll move into a mindset of trying not to acquire any more "stuff." No-go: You may be sidelined by an illness or that of a spouse, and as you travel, shop and adventure less than you used to, your non-medical spending will slow down too. The most important thing in any retirement financial situation, Meredith says, is to look forward. "You want to think about what you are going to retire to, not just what you are retiring from," she says. • W ith gold watch in hand and a nest egg ready to hatch, it's finally time to kick back and stop planning for retirement, right? Not so fast. Although you'll want to give yourself a brief respite to settle in, your days of riding herd over your retirement finances are far from over, say the experts. SIT BACK AND … Start the process by not making any big decisions about finances or lifestyle for the first six months after you retire, recommends Larry Martin, an investment advisor representative for Mader & Shannon Wealth Management Services in Kansas City, Mo. See if you like not having a daily commitment. Do you have enough social interaction? Are your expenses what you expected? How's your health? "Get those 'honey do's' knocked off your list in the first six months," Martin adds. TO WORK OR NOT TO WORK After you have some real data from the retirement front line, you can decide whether or not you need to make adjustments in your finances, either on your own or with the help of a financial advisor. For some retirees, those adjustments will include going back to work in some capacity. Betty Meredith, Michigan-based director of education and research for the International Foundation for Retirement Education, advises trying to work at least 10 hours a week if you're in good health, either in a paid position or as a volunteer for a favorite cause (if money isn't an issue). That kind of routine can help you meet new people, keep your skills sharp or do work that you didn't have time for during your full-time career. Paid positions, of course, allow some income to trickle in for you too. By Margaret Littman Home SWEET home For some retirees, a reverse mortgage may be a good option for freeing up more cash after age 62. This kind of home loan lets you convert a portion of the equity in your house into ready cash. You don't have to repay the loan until the point that you no longer use the house as your primary residence, so it's popular among those with ample equity who want to stay in their own homes. Start your retirement off Financial Fitness ON THE RIGHT FINANCIAL FOOTING