Work Life Balance pt 2

Why Work/Life Balance is Important—A Guide for Women part 2

By Karen A. Miller, CFP®, CFPA 

In part one of this series, we discussed how putting yourself first and learning to say yes and no in different ways can help you achieve a better work/life balance. In this installment, we’ll talk about how finding a better balance in your life now can help you better plan for and live in retirement later.

 Focus on friendships

Having friends is important. According to a study in Personal Relationships, people who invest in close relationships have better health, happiness and well-being.* But building and maintaining friendships can take time. So, try to spend time with the friends you already have and maybe try to cultivate some new relationships. An easy way to do this may be to do activities that you would do anyway but do them with a friend. For example, you could meet for a power walk, which gets you exercise and socialization—that’s a win-win. Another idea would be to run errands together so things like picking up necessities at Target or Costco don’t seem so mundane.

 You’ll want to have people to hang out with when you’re retired. So just remember, like with any investment, the time you put in now can pay greater dividends later.

 Cultivate hobbies/find new interests

Although you may think you are too busy to develop a new hobby, the truth is that hobbies can help your physical and mental health, your social life, your creativity and more. In fact, busy, stressed people may need hobbies more than anyone else. Plus, hobbies you enjoy now may be things you look forward to in retirement.

 Finding the right one (or two) for you can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be. A good way to pick hobbies you might enjoy is to start by considering: 

  • Things you enjoy doing already, but don’t often get the chance
  • The things that you’re interested in doing or learning
  • The things you might know how to do, but would like to get better at

 There are tons of groups, articles and sites online that can help guide you to hobbies you might like and groups that may do them (Facebook, for example, has groups and lists local groups and events in your area). And you don’t have to make a long commitment either. For example, you can try a paint and sip place for one evening or take a one-day class on stained glass or pottery through the local museum or Parks & Recreation department to see if you’re really interested in art.

 Finding new hobbies now can make it easier to envision how you will spend time in retirement and can help you cultivate those all-important friendships—and make new ones too.

 It’s worth noting that while some hobbies are free or may help you make money, others can cost you significant money. Gasber Financial can help you develop a plan to invest the earnings from your hobby (cupcakes anyone?) or to pay for your hobby (car racing can get pricey).