Did you just retire? If so, congratulations! This is the time to sit back, relax and enjoy your newfound free time. Travel with your friends or loved ones. Take up a new hobby. Spend more time with your family. Whatever makes you happy, now is the time to do it!

You probably spent a considerable amount of time planning for this time in your life. Hopefully, that planning included developing a budget and an income plan. You also may have worked with a financial professional to develop an investment plan.

All of those planning tools are helpful, however, they’re only effective if you implement them. In retirement, it’s easy to deviate from your plan. You might take a vacation that’s outside of your budget. Or, fearing loss in the market, you may shift to an allocation different from your retirement plan.

These early years in retirement are important because they help to lay the financial foundation for the remainder of your life. You can protect yourself and your financial stability by avoiding some common retirement mistakes. If you can avoid the following in the first few years of your retirement, you may leave yourself in a stronger financial position.

Don’t ignore your health.

You may be so focused on your financial health, that it’s easy to forget about your physical health. That could be a big mistake.

According to Fidelity, the average 65-year-old couple retiring this year can expect to spend $245,000 on out-of-pocket healthcare expenses in retirement. Those expenses include things like deductibles, co-pays, premiums and more, but they do not include long-term care costs.

One of the best ways to reduce health care costs is to focus on prevention and wellness. Try to make exercise a regular part of your daily schedule. Eat a healthy diet and get plenty of sleep. Participate in thoughtful hobbies or activities that exercise your mind.

If you can focus on health in retirement, you may be able to reduce your chance of suffering a serious injury or illness, which may help you avoid costly medical expenses that could drain your savings.

Also, you’ll get the benefit of living healthy, which may help you enjoy a more active and fulfilling retirement. Do yourself a favor and make your health a priority.

Don’t allocate your money in investments that are too conservative.

Does the idea of risk and volatility make your stomach turn? That’s an understandable sentiment, especially if you’re relying on your personal savings for income. One big downturn could put a serious dent in your savings and limit your ability to generate income.

As frightening as risk may be, you could be making a mistake if you try to avoid it completely. That’s because you’ll likely need some growth in your investments during retirement so you can fight inflation and continue to draw income.

Risk and return often go hand in hand. If you opt for savings vehicles and investment products that have little or no risk, you also may have little opportunity for return. Instead, work with your financial professional to develop a diversified allocation that limits your downside risk, but also provides potential for growth.

Don’t break your budget.

Many retirees assume their spending will go down in retirement. There are certainly some expenses that may disappear. For instance, without a regular commute, you may spend less money on fuel. You may have reduced taxes or debt payments. You could have some work-related expenses, like cell phone or dining costs, which are reduced.

However, it’s also possible other expenses will increase after you retire. You will have plenty of free time on your hands. You may be tempted to fill that time with costly vacations, shopping trips or a new expensive hobby.

There’s nothing wrong with enjoying yourself in retirement. In fact, that’s what you should do. But it’s important you have a budget so you know exactly how much money you have to spend. If you overspend in the beginning years of retirement, you could drain your savings, thus limiting your ability to generate income in your later years.

Your financial professional can help you avoid these mistakes. Schedule an appointment with your financial professional to discuss your retirement budget and your investment plan.

This information is designed to provide a general overview with regard to the subject matter covered and is not state specific. The authors, publisher and host are not providing legal, accounting or specific advice for your situation. This information has been provided by a Licensed Insurance Professional and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting insurance professional. The statements and opinions expressed are those of the author and are subject to change at any time. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, presenting insurance professional makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. This material has been prepared for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied upon for, accounting, legal, tax or investment advice.

15416 – 2016/2/29