The Top Retirement Resolutions for Health, Wealth and Happiness in 2018

It is that time of year.  Time to set goals and set a resolution for 2018.  Here are some retirement resolution ideas that address wealth, health and happiness. Choose one or something from each category.
Retirement Resolution

Top Financial Retirement Resolutions? Find Wealth!

It may come as no surprise, but saving more and saving more for retirement are — by far — the most popular retirement resolutions.

Principal Financial Group published results from a survey this year.  More than a 1000 adults were asked, “Which of the following, if any, do you intend to make as a New Year’s resolution in 2018?”  Respondents could choose any of the following options: “Save more each month, Pay off credit card debt, Reduce spending each month, Save more for retirement, Build an emergency fund, Give more to charity, Pay off student loan debt, Work with a financial planner/advisor, Purchase life insurance, Save for children’s college education, Other, None of these, and I don’t intend to make a resolution.

A full 67% said that saving more and saving more for retirement were their New Year’s resolutions.

If saving more is among your goals for 2018, here are a few tips to help you find success:

Want to know the best way to save more?  Be sure to create and regularly update a comprehensive retirement plan.

Creating a concrete retirement plan is a fantastic way to really visualize what you’ll need for the future — which is proven to help you make better saving decisions right now.

Forbes Magazine, Can I Retire Yet and many others have named the NewRetirement retirement planning calculator as among the very best resources for creating a personalized plan.  This tool is extremely detailed and personalized. It gives you options for running different scenarios and keeping the plan up to date as things change.

Top Health Resolutions

Staying healthy is also a popular retirement resolution.  In fact, a new poll from Marist finds that the overall top resolutions for adults in the United States are tied between the goal of “being a better person” and losing weight.  And, Google reports that search terms related to getting and being healthy skyrocket in January.

Here are a few ideas for improving your health in 2018:

Best Exercise for Aging Muscles: The New York Times reported this year on a study that compared different types of exercise and how each impacted aging muscles.  They found that any kind of exercise — weight training, running or biking and interval training — all improved health.  However, interval training seems to have the most positive results on aging muscles.  With interval training among the older study participants, “almost 400 genes were working differently now, compared with 33 for the weight lifters and only 19 for the moderate exercisers.”

How to Eat: It seems like dietary guidelines are changing all the time.  So, maybe stick to what has been discovered in “The Blue Zones.”  Dan Buettner studied cultures from around the world that enjoy particularly long lives.  He has analyzed what they eat, their culture and habits.

Kick the Vices:  Did you know that Medicare covers programs to help you quit smoking, drinking and improve other aspects of your life?  Make 2018 your healthiest year ever.

Top Happiness Resolutions

Cartoonist Tom Wilson is quoted as saying: “A smile is happiness you find right under your nose.”  However, if happiness were that simple, then there probably would not be hundreds of articles and books on the subject.

No matter, happiness is certainly a worthwhile pursuit and retirement resolution as happiness is actually a predictor of health and longevity.

Happiness Resolution – Challenge Negative Thoughts: It can be interesting for you to start acknowledging negative thoughts that may be running through your head.  Experts suggest that you can challenge these thoughts.  Think about what a friend would say to you about the thought.  Examine the evidence for negativity and come up with a counter argument.

Be Grateful: Happiness seems to come from being happy about what you have.  And, it turns out that retirement is a great time to feel thankful.

Prioritize: Knowing what is important to you and focusing on that is a great way to feel happy and avoid FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).

Figure out what you like to do and create a retirement resolution around that pursuit.  Here are a few ideas:

How to Make and Achieve Resolutions

It is easy to come up with ideas for what you would like to achieve in the next year.  It is something else entirely to actually succeed.  Here are 3 tips for achieving your retirement resolutions in 2018.

Set a resolution that is concrete, detailed and achievable:  The first step is figuring out a resolution that is achievable and that has enough detail around it so that it can be measured and you can feel accountable.

So, instead of saying, my goal for 2018 is to lose weight, it would be better to say: my goal for 2018 is to exercise 5 times a week and eliminate sugar from my diet.  You can measure and succeed at the latter.  The former is more of a hope than a resolution.

Break Up a Big Goal into a Series of Smaller Goals:  Many people set big admirable resolutions, but don’t actually get started on them until almost the whole year goes by.

To counteract this tendency, you might break up your goals into smaller chunks.  For example, if your goal is to save more money this year than you did last year, you could figure out how much you want to save each day, week or month and start tracking things right away.

Tell Your Friends About Your Goals:  Sometimes there is nothing better than a little bit of peer pressure.  If you tell your friends about your resolutions, then you can rely on them to hold you accountable and maybe even cheer you on a bit.

No matter what you choose as a retirement resolution for 2018, we are wishing you all the very best for this year and beyond!

Ready to update your retirement plan with goals for 2018 and beyond?




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