American Equity Investment Life: 9 Ways to Plan for a Happier Retirement

Taking control of your finances, health, and well-being aren’t mutually exclusive things to check off your list, but a holistic approach to living your best, happiest life in retirement.

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Ask yourself, “When can I retire?” is often the first step in planning your future. Now go further and ask yourself what it means to have a happy retirement. Figuring out what you want out of your next phase of life can help determine timing, planning, and goals.

Tip #1: Find a goal

A new chapter without a consistent routine can feel empowering. But it can also feel overwhelming depending on your adjustment to retirement. Finding purpose and passion can help you ride the waves of retirement and chart a future where you’re in control. You may not have the same goal as when you were working, but that doesn’t mean you can’t transition to something different and just as rewarding. Plan ahead to find what might provide you with a sense of place, purpose, and meaning.1^ Marketwatch, Liz Weston: “Depression, isolation, loss of meaning: Could retirement be bad for your mental health?”, 22/02

Tip #2: Think about your health

Just as you take steps to plan for a financially secure future, planning for a healthy lifestyle also starts now. Assess your risk factors for common health problems. Getting regular checkups and making sure you’re up to date on any vaccines you might need can protect you. Simply eating healthier and staying active can also reduce your risk of heart problems, high blood pressure, and other health risks. Consider adding plenty of fruits and vegetables to your diet and don’t forget to drink plenty of water.2 ^ WebMD, Melinda Ratini, “Ways to Stay Healthy in Retirement”, 8/20

Tip #3: Plan your income

Yes, you are planning your retirement, but what are you planning? Having realistic expectations of what your spending habits might look like is key to determining what might work for you when it comes to retirement income. Finding retirement solutions with benefits like reliable lifetime income and capital protection can help supplement other retirement savings so you don’t underestimate expenses and run out.3 ^ Thinkadvisor, Jim Poolman: “The case of fixed index annuities”, 12/21

Tip #4: Stay positive

Retirement, like many stages in life, has ups and downs. Circumstances may affect your retirement plans, such as having to retire earlier or later than expected or unexpected health issues. Regardless of the circumstances, having a positive attitude and staying optimistic is important for a healthy retirement. Optimism is even linked to a longer life expectancy according to a study by the National Academy of Sciences.4 ^ Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America: “Optimism is associated with exceptional longevity in 2 epidemiological cohorts of men and women”, 2019Prioritizing your mental health and finding relationships that can help you make the most of your retirement are great helpers so you can enjoy your golden years.

Tip #5: Find your community

Volunteering or living in a retirement community can reduce the risk of depression in retirement. While you help others, volunteering also provides you with benefits for your physical and mental health.5^ Barrons, Tom Wilk: “How Volunteering in Retirement Can Help Your Community and Your Health”, 10/21There are many great resources for finding volunteer opportunities in your area, including VolunteerMatch or RSVP, a volunteer network for people over 55.

Tip #6: Keep Learning

A recent AARP study found that more than half of Americans age 45 and older continue to actively learn new things. 6 ^ AARP Research, Brittne Kakulla: “Lifelong Learning Appeals to Older Adults for Personal Growth and Cognitive Health”, 03,/22Retirement can finally give you the time you’ve always wanted to learn to play an instrument, read Shakespeare, or study interesting subjects. Whether you’re taking an online course, listening to podcasts, learning a new skill, or reading books, stimulating the mind not only keeps you busy, but can even keep you healthy. The National Institute on Aging claims that people who regularly participate in activities and hobbies are happier and healthier.7^ National Institute on Aging: “Cognitive Health and Older Adults”, 4/22

Tip #7: Keep Moving

Staying active can have a positive impact on retirement happiness. Just as your brain needs to stay active for a happier retirement, so does your body. A new study from the University of Georgia shows that exercise, or simply increasing physical activity throughout the day, can improve brain function in adults 51 and older.8 ^ University of Georgia: “Physical activity can protect your brain as you age”, 3/22Exercise can help you feel strong and fulfilled in retirement, even if you don’t hit the gym. Whether it’s a simple morning walk or a dip in the pool, finding something you enjoy can help you be happier and healthier in retirement.

Tip #8: Plan and prepare

Don’t leave important decisions to chance. Although it’s never too late to start saving for retirement; it’s never too early to start preparing. According to PWC, “A quarter of American adults have no retirement savings and only 36% believe their retirement planning is on track.9 ^ PWC: “Retirement in America: It’s time to rethink and reorganize”, 04/22By planning ahead, you are less likely to be surprised and can address your concerns head on. If you need help, finance professionals can help you figure out what’s best for you.

Tip #9: Check off your to-do list

What have you always wanted to do? It doesn’t have to cost thousands of dollars to be worthy of a to-do list. It can be as simple as learning to paint or getting a massage. Maybe your to-do list includes a road trip to see the ocean or the Statue of Liberty. Life is full of wonder and surprises, so if you don’t have a bucket list, get started!

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The content is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute advice. For more details on how this may apply to your personal situation, contact your personal financial adviser or insurance agent for details. US equity contracts are only sold through independent agents. Please contact your state insurance department to see if there is an independent insurance agent in your area designated to sell American Equity annuity contracts.
American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company® does not offer legal, investment or tax advice. Please consult a qualified professional.

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