The more articles and blogs I write about planning for retirement, the more advice I get from people who have retired or are in the planning stages. Since the concept of retirement is still a mystery for many, I thought I would pass along some advice I have received:

1. Health maintenance. There is probably nothing more important than preserving your health in retirement as long as you can. Visit your doctor(s) on a regular basis, and consider even taking their advice. Exercise, eat right; you know this drill.

2. Ask your kids. Ask them what they want from among the clutter you have accumulated over the years: reports from nursery school, high school yearbooks, souvenirs from that trip to Aruba. I quote one of my daughters: “I want nothing.” Both daughters have applauded our decision  to clean out and not put this burden on them. Our local library and area thrift shops know us well.

3. Draw a line. Stop doing things that no longer interest you, but that you continue from force of habit. Wrap up in a responsible way your involvement in organizations, clubs, etc. On the other side of the line, start doing the things you want to do: travel, learn a language, whatever interests you or might be worth a try. But here’s advice from the other side: don’t wait and say you’ll get to it eventually. Make a list and follow it. As I’ve said more than once, retirement, which might include continuing to work in some way, is a stage of life, just like education and career. It needs to be planned to be successful.