How to Thrive in Retirement

You’ve cashed in on your decades of service at work, bid farewell to your coworkers, and clocked out for the very last time — now what? While we often see retirement as the golden paradise on the other side of hard work, the transition into retired life isn’t always easy. As we’ve learned through our work as trusted financial planners in Charleston, SC, retirees sometimes struggle to settle in and find fulfillment in retirement — and we’d like to help.

This chapter of your life is a blank notebook, and you hold the pen. Your retirement can be whatever you make of it, but what if you’re unsure where to start? Through our work as a local financial advisor in Charleston, SC retirees have let us know which speed bumps have thrown them off from thriving in retirement. We’ve compiled our top advice for making the most of your golden years so you can finish your story on your terms.

Don’t Shy Away From Work

Remember: retirement means financial independence, not refraining from work. According to a study by Paychex, one in six retirees are considering returning to work, citing personal reasons, economic reasons, boredom, loneliness, and enjoying work as their top reasons for coming back. It may seem counterintuitive, but staying active, engaged, and driven is the key to a rewarding retirement — and if working is what keeps you in that frame of mind, then there are always ways to do so.

Returning to Work as a Retiree

Some retirees return to their old company on a part-time schedule or choose to work in their industry as a consultant. At this point in your career, your experience is a valuable asset to any company. If you’re considering this route for your post-retirement schedule, take an honest look at your skillset and determine which areas you enjoy working in the most, which skills you may need to brush up on, and what certifications, if any, would help you in your new venture. 

Alternatively, some retirees choose to work in a new industry after retirement. Some get involved in their family members’ businesses, while others take a deeper dive into a favorite sport, hobby, or side project. Monetizing a hobby can sometimes involve starting your own business — and entrepreneurship is a new challenge of its own that can keep you engaged in your golden years.

No matter what industry you choose to join in retirement, be sure to discuss it with your financial advisor. Charleston retirees turn to Morris Financial Concepts to guide them through the ins and outs of working in retirement, from tax bracket changes to social security adjustments. Reach out today or stop by our Mount Pleasant, SC location to learn more.

Staying Engaged Outside of Work

While returning to work is one way to stay engaged, it is not the only option available. Many retirees find volunteer work to be a rewarding way to add structure and community to their days. Take a look at the opportunities in your area — from animal shelters and parks to charity work and mentorship programs, there are always services that could use someone like you.

Alternatively, retirement social groups offer another way to stay involved. They tend to be flexible when it comes to your engagement level, ranging from attending a monthly gathering to hands-on involvement with the leadership board. Many also offer additional benefits, like presentations from local health leaders and financial planners. Charleston, SC retirees can check the Charleston government website’s listings for senior centers or the College of Charleston Center for Creative Retirement for ideas.

Don’t Keep Up with the Joneses

In our experience as trusted local financial advisors, retirees sometimes fall into the trap of mirroring their peers’ retirement experiences. The neighbor buys an Audi, so they get a Mercedes. A friend travels to France, so they travel to Italy. With all the time and savings that suddenly become available in retirement, some people find it overwhelming to decide what to do with it all, and it’s only natural to look to peers for ideas. 

However, your retirement is your own, and you should spend it on things that are fulfilling to you. If finally buying that dream car or seeing the world are things that you value, so be it — you will find no judgment here. But what about financing education for your loved ones? What about setting up a foundation for charitable giving? What about helping your loved ones start a business? 

Take a moment to think about what you find most valuable and fulfilling. Make a list of goals, experiences, luxuries, and priorities that are most important to you, and work out how best to bring them to fruition with your financial planners. Charleston, SC is a rich and varied community with endless opportunities, and you don’t have to stick to following the crowd.

Be Frugal with Your Attention

Without a nine to five occupying your attention, you will find that there is an infinite number of things competing to claim it. Advertisers, the news, social media…all of these thrive off of your attention, and they work hard to hold it as long as possible.

These things also thrive off of anxiety and often cultivate it to keep you tuned in for longer. In fact, studies have shown that closely monitoring media sites can cause anxiety, fatigue, and sleep loss. From what we’ve learned as a local financial advisor, Charleston, SC retiree tired of the stress – and the things causing it.

The best way out of this situation is to be intentional with your attention. You may have more free time than you’re used to, but it is still your time, and you can spend it on things that you find fulfilling. Rather than keeping the TV tuned into the news channel all day, play your favorite music as background noise instead. Use your phone strictly for communication, rather than scrolling through Facebook. Involve yourself in the things you love, so that you don’t have as much empty time for the media to lure you in. 

These are your golden years. If something in your life is painting them gray, it doesn’t need your attention. This leads us to our next point…

Hire a Personal Chief Financial Officer

As a financially independent retiree, you shouldn’t be concerned about your money anymore. Managing the details of your finances can be draining and time-consuming, and that time could be better spent enjoying your retirement to its fullest.

Tasks like rebalancing your portfolio, tax planning, and handling distributions from your accounts can all be outsourced to a trusted financial advisor. Charleston, SC retirees have entrusted the work to Morris Financial Concepts’ financial planners, Charleston’s dedicated and experienced team of financial professionals. 

With a foundation of over 30 years of experience, the team at Morris Financial Concepts is dedicated to helping you realize, prioritize, and achieve your financial goals. We want you to transition into retirement with financial ease and success, and we can help you dream and live big in your golden years. To speak with our financial planners, Charleston retirees can visit our Mount Pleasant location or reach out through our website to get started.


MFC is an independent investment adviser registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended. Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training. More information about MFC including our investment strategies, fees, and objectives can be found in our ADV Part 2, which is available upon request.