You may want to take your vision of retirement out for a test drive before quitting work. Consider spending a two-week vacation doing what you hope to do in retirement, such as playing golf, traveling, volunteering or looking after the grandkids. If you’re planning to move to another area, rent a home there for a few weeks, if possible. You may discover that the reality meets or exceeds expectations. If not, you can alter plans before you commit.
Also consider how you’ll replace the social interactions you get from work. People with strong social connections tend to be happier, healthier and live longer. You can invest in existing relationships before and after retirement by spending more time with family and friends. Set designated days and times to regularly connect, either in person or by phone or video call.But aging also means you’ll be losing connections as people die or move away. Volunteering, joining community organizations or just getting to know your neighbors better can help you build relationships with new people, O’Neill says. The companionship of a dog, cat or other pet also can contribute to well-being. Liz Weston