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Perhaps you’ve dreamed about retirement for a long time. In fact, you might have a mental picture of what it looks like. But we seldom allow ourselves the luxury of time to explore what it takes to achieve the freedom we’ve always imagined. So take a minute to focus on three topics that could help you define what you’re looking for in retirement.

5 Tips for Downsizing

The mere thought of downsizing may be enough to make you think staying put is better than any other retirement living option. But when you consider you’re just 5 steps away from being happier, healthier and more socially active, living maintenance-free in a home you’ll love, it might be time to rethink your plan.

Deciding on senior living options can be confusing, but it’s never too early to start planning ahead—even about later phases of retirement. If you’re considering alternatives to in-home care, you’ll want to learn to distinguish one type of retirement community from another. Retirement-planning author and speaker Brad Breeding can help.

At any time of the year, isolation and loneliness are big concerns if your aging parent spends much time alone. It’s especially difficult in the winter when darkness sets in earlier—whether your loved one fears driving at night or simply has safety concerns about venturing out on icy roads and sidewalks. Staying in and staying warm become a priority, and that amplifies the sense of isolation.