For some, the idea of retirement might be a concept that you just can’t quite wrap your head around. Whether you are nearing the end of your days as a full-time employee, or have been retired for several months now, you may be struggling to come to grips with your new or soon-to-be new lifestyle. It’s understandable, for years now you have been doing the same things day-in and day-out. Perhaps you haven’t always worked the same job at the same company, but odds are you established yourself as an individual inside a specific career path, and now you must embrace the change.

There are various ways to approach retirement, but regardless of the method you choose, the most important thing to remember when nearing the start is to keep yourself busy, and keep an eye on your funds.

I think it’s most fitting to use the phrase, “the world is your oyster” when discussing retirement because it not only alleviates some of the stress centered around the topic, but also paints a clear picture for what possibilities await. Maybe you have always been interested in community service work, or have been thinking about taking art classes for years now but haven’t quite gotten around to it. Retirement acts as a catalyst in your life and encourages you to pursue all those things that you have wanted to do for a long time, but didn’t have the time to do so.

So, where do you begin? Before reaching the first stages of retirement, make a list of all the things you have an interest in doing during that time and prioritize them from most, to least important. The best part, anything goes! If hiring someone to redecorate the interior of your house is your number one priority, then so be it, remember that there are no limitations as this is your life and you want the time to be well spent.

Now, let’s transition to the finance aspect of retirement. More likely than not, you probably had a company retirement plan set up during the early stages of your career to help you save money for retirement so that you wouldn’t have to worry so much about the lack of a constant salary. However, even with this, it’s important to remind yourself of just how imperative maintenance of your finances is during a time in which you no longer have the security blanket of that consistent wage.

In order to keep stress levels about your finances manageable and overall funds in a good place, consider meeting with a trusted advisor to discuss your company retirement plan with prior to the initial stages of your retirement to ensure that you have a clear understanding of where your money lies, and the freedoms you can take with it. Additionally, you’ll want to think about making a list like the one mentioned above, but regarding any trips, vacations, or other expenses you are interested in for your new lifestyle. This will give your financial advisor the ability to instruct you properly and effectively moving forward, ensuring that you know your limitations and there are no surprises.

Retirement doesn’t have to be scary, in fact, it can be an incredible experience in which you take full advantage of the post-work lifestyle you have been waiting for. Still, you’ll want to keep in mind that you are undergoing a change, and remember to be mindful of how that change will influence your personal life, as well as your personal funds. For now, go forth with confidence, and embrace the experience of discovering what comes next for you!

If you’re interested in learning more about steps to take when entering retirement, check out our 6 helpful retirement tips to help get your foot in the door.