Enjoying retirement life means planning ahead.

Many Americans can no longer just rely on pensions or other forms of retirement plans if they want the retirement life they deserve.

You’ve worked hard and should maximize your time as a retiree. To provide for secure post-work life, here are four things to follow to live an ideal retirement life.

Save, save, save
If you feel like your savings account is slightly behind, you’re not alone. Most Americans are behind on their retirement savings.

Those closer to retirement age are typically better off than younger workers. Luckily, the younger generation has time on its side to catch up. Even if you’re just a few years away from the retirement milestone, there’s still time to significantly improve your financial outlook.

The first step is to max out your IRA and 401(k) contributions each year. These investments can grow by an average of 8 percent each year, which is a significant boost, especially if you’re increasing the amount you’re putting in.

Maximize your social security
Crunch the numbers on your social security income.

By simply logging into your account, you can view your records and earnings to project future benefits.

Make sure to see if your incoming funds align with your retirement goals and lifestyle.

If those amounts seem insufficient, keep in mind that those who earn above average wages will collect bigger checks.

More than money
Your financial health is a big factor in retirement, but so is your physical and mental health.

Living well and enjoying life after retirement can only happen if you care for your financial, and your own well-being.

Many are surprised by how lonely and boring life after work can be. Staying active physically and socially can go a long way in reversing that.

A part-time job or a new hobby can be the key to your overall retirement success.

Consider a HECM loan
A home equity conversion loan (HECM loan)* empowers you to convert your hard-earned home equity into cash.

Individuals who’ve reached retirement age must occupy their home as their primary residence to be eligible. The loan payouts are backed by the value of the home equity. Interest works a little differently and no payments must be made until the home is sold.

Terms and products for this type of loan vary, so be sure to check with us to see if this option works for you as you enter an exciting chapter of your life.

*(1) at the conclusion of a reverse mortgage, the borrower must repay the loan and may have to sell the home or repay the loan from other proceeds; (2) charges will be assessed with the loan, including an origination fee, closing costs, mortgage insurance premiums and servicing fees; (3) the loan balance grows over time and interest is charged on the outstanding balance; (4) the borrower remains responsible for property taxes, hazard insurance and home maintenance, and failure to pay these amounts may result in the loss of the home; and (5) interest on a reverse mortgage is not tax-deductible until the borrower makes partial or full re-payment. This material is not from HUD or FHA and has not been approved by HUD or any government agency.