What are the Secrets to Retiring Happy, Healthy, and Free?

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[158] Retirement isn’t just about reaching the finish line of your full-time career. It’s about the incredible journey that begins afterward.

It’s a journey that goes beyond just finances, where you enjoy life!

In this episode, Jeremy Keil speaks with Kim Curtis, CEO of Wealth Legacy Institute, Inc. and the author of Retirement Secrets: Keys to Retiring Happy, Healthy & Free. Join them to uncover the secrets to a retirement of self-discovery and personal fulfillment — where you can live life to the fullest.

They discuss:

  • The importance of tying financial planning to lifestyle goals
  • How to transition from ‘saving’ to ‘living’ in retirement and find fulfillment beyond just the financial aspects
  • What happens after your last day of full-time employment
  • Simple exercises to build greater relationships and improve self-care
  • And more!

Secrets to Retiring Happy, Healthy, and Free

Sometimes, people think that retirement planning is limited to money management and earning the best rate of return. They overlook the broader aspects of retirement such as self-actualization, lifestyle planning, and the pursuit of a happy, healthy, and free life!

In this blog, we will talk about ways to align your financial plan with your lifestyle goals, transition smoothly to a new chapter after leaving full-time employment, and live your life to the fullest at every step of retirement.

Get ready to uncover the Secrets to Retiring Happy, Healthy, and Free!

How Does Financial Planning Connect With Lifestyle Planning?

Throughout our work life, we try to save ‘enough’ for retirement. But we never pause to ask, “How much is enough?”

To live a happy retirement life, it is important to look beyond your financial plan and investments. In other words, shift from a mindset of “Save! Save! Save!” and ask, “What am I saving for? What do I want my retirement to look like?”

Consider Maslow’s hierarchy of needs which arranges human needs into a pyramid with five levels.

The first level (base of the pyramid) includes necessities like food, water, and shelter. The second level is safety needs, having a sense of stability and predictability in life. Generally, in the U.S., having an annual income of $75,000 to $80,000 may be enough to fulfill the first two levels. So, you should start by building a financial plan to create that consistent income and address your basic needs.

Next, at the third level of the pyramid, we have love and belonging needs, where people crave social connections and meaningful relationships. At this stage, you should be thinking more about your lifestyle than your investments.

Once your basic needs and relationships are fulfilled, you reach level four. This is where you desire confidence, self-respect, and being valued by society.

Finally, at the top-most level, you crave self-actualization. This is the stage where you can truly achieve a happy, healthy, and free retirement. You turn toward personal growth and fulfillment, with a strong desire to live a purposeful life!

What Happens After My Last Day of Full-Time Employment?

Your last day of full-time employment marks a significant transition, but it’s only the beginning of an exciting new chapter of your life.

So, what should you expect in the weeks immediately after you retire?

Most retirees don’t want to do anything. They don’t want to have an alarm clock. They don’t want their life to be controlled by someone else anymore. They get super excited about their newfound freedom.

But this feeling of constant euphoria lasts for only about three months. Then, they start to go crazy! To avoid decay from setting in, it’s crucial to take care of your body, keep your brain active, and incorporate meaningful activities in your daily lifestyle.

What Makes a Retirement Happy, Healthy, and Free?

Happiness, health, and freedom are the cornerstones of a fulfilling retirement. But how can you achieve this triad of well-being? In her book Retirement Secrets: Keys to Retiring Happy, Healthy & Free, Kim Curtis highlights several levers you can pull. Two extremely important ones are:

  1. Self-Care:

The healthier you are during retirement, the more you can enjoy life. It becomes easier to participate in several activities, such as travel, with a healthy mind and body. Let this be your motivation to eat healthier and incorporate some form of exercise into your daily routine. Meditation, yoga, pilates…whatever you love and enjoy!

When it comes to medicine and managing pain in old age, feel free to explore alternatives to traditional medicine and opioids. For example, chiropractic care and medical marijuana. Many retirees are held back by the stigma associated with alternative treatments.

In addition to self-care, Kim also suggests practicing self-awareness. Listen to your body. Pay attention to its physical and emotional needs. Being in tune with your body will help you practice self-care with clear goals.

  1. Relationships:

Kim suggests a simple yet powerful exercise to build greater relationships in retirement. It’s called relationship circles.

Start by categorizing people in your life into four concentric circles — intimacy, friendship, participation, and exchange — based on their level of closeness and connection to you.

The innermost circle represents intimacy, where people know your deepest secrets. They are the closest to you. The second circle is the circle of friendship. These are the people you go to the movies with or invite for dinner. The third circle is the circle of participation. This includes your gym buddy or someone you go to church with (people you engage with in various activities). The outermost circle is the circle of exchange. These are your more distant or professional connections.

Once you have sorted people into the four relationship circles, you can start evaluating each circle and consider how you can expand and deepen your connections with others. Over time, some people may eventually move from the outermost circle to the innermost circle!

This can be a very profound and revealing exercise that helps you combat isolation and loneliness.

How Can I Strengthen My Bonds With My Children and Grandchildren?

Writing ‘legacy letters’ to your children and grandchildren can be an impactful way to pass on your values and experiences, share your life stories, and strengthen your bond with future generations.

Passing down your wisdom not only helps preserve your family culture and identity but also inspires the younger generations and fosters a sense of connection.

You can also write ‘pre-legacy letters’ to your future self! At times, you may have said, “That’s a problem for tomorrow.” Remember, the future you is still you!

So, if you write a letter with your future self in mind, you can envision your life after 20-30 years, picture your dream retirement, and make more informed financial decisions by empathizing with the challenges and needs of an older version of yourself.

To learn more about living a happy, healthy, and free life in retirement, check out the resources below!

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us using the contact information provided below!


Connect With Jeremy Keil:

Connect With Kim Curtis:

About Our Guest:

Kim Curtis, CFP®, ChFC®, CLU®, CAP®, AEP®, MSFS, is the CEO of Wealth Legacy Institute. She is a nationally recognized wealth management advisor and speaker. Her groundbreaking work in developing Humanigraphix, a highly personal client-centric planning model, was recognized by the Journal of Practical Estate Planning, winning the Editor’s Choice award. Planning for LIFE Experience is the cornerstone of her firm’s holistic and highly successful approach to integrated wealth management. Kim’s best-selling book, Money Secrets: Keys to Smart Investing, which pulls back the curtain on the billion-dollar financial services industry to reveal why smart people make bad investment mistakes, won four book awards. Speaking passionately about the topic of financial literacy in America, Kim Curtis has been a TV guest on media outlets around the country and profiled in several publications, including The Wall Street Journal.



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