6 Behaviors to Avoid When You Are Retiring

Don’t Let Family Members Take Advantage

Yes, you are retired. Yes, this means that you have limited responsibilities. Yes, your working family is still very busy. No, that does not mean you are always available to babysit, watch the dogs, let someone sleep on your couch, pick someone up at the airport or anything else.

Plenty of retirees find themselves living “on call” for whatever their working family members need. Usually, the retiree has their heart in the right place and wants to help their busy children. The working family members usually are not trying to take advantage of the retiree either. It is just easier to leave the little ones with Grandma than try and find a short-notice sitter. That said, plenty of families come to rely on retirees for childcare, pet watching or airport pick-up services simply because it is easier to turn to a family member.

When you retire, you need to decide what you are willing to do for your family members and how often. If grown children or siblings push, remind them that you are retired not working for a daycare. Do not let family simply “pop-in” or feel guilty because you are unavailable to act as someone’s chauffer. This does not mean that you should refuse any and all request for assistance. You may enjoy watching your grandchildren once or twice a week, and there is nothing wrong with agreeing to pick a sibling up at the airport when their car breaks down. Just be sure to make sure you do not let your family control your retired life.

Don’t Ignore Your Finances

You spend most of your life saving to retire. Do not go out and blow years of careful planning by being financially irresponsible. Once you retire, you are living on a fixed income which means a budget is critical. Sit down with your spouse, and create a monthly budget for your retired years. Make sure to include flexibility for any healthcare concerns that arise, and be sure to take inflation into account. Your money will likely be worth less as you age. Most importantly, stick to the plan once you have created it. The best budget in the world is useless if you do not use it.

Your retired life should be one of relaxation and enjoyment, but that does not mean you should leave the rest of the world behind. Make sure you stay involved in your community, and continue to be intelligent about your health and finances. You worked hard to reach a comfortable retirement. Do not throw away your hard work by being foolish.