Smiling Couple of ColorThanks to an entire Internet worth of articles and advice, we generally know what to do in the years leading up to retirement. But what about immediately afterwards?

Here’s five things we’ve learned that you must do upon leaving the workforce for good — and one you should wait on. It turns out that celebration, preparation and even hesitation go a long way.

Look before you leap is definitely the mantra. Retirement can be a wonderful period of life — a time of tremendous fulfillment and enjoyment, and planning will make your ability to enjoy it so much greater.

  1. Treat Yourself

First things first. On the way out the door of your office, buy an expensive bottle of wine. You’ve retired! Congratulations! Take a moment to savor the feat, reminisce and look forward to the future you’ve been working towards for years.

And the next day? Take a special vacation trip or visit someone. This will make the transition from work to retirement go smoother. The break with the routine is not so abrupt.

Another advantage to the trip: It gives you the breathing space before you return to the work of deciding how you want to spend your time for the next twenty or thirty years. If you’ve always dreamed of spending a week exploring Iceland, there’s no better time.

  1. Review Your Income Streams

Now that the party’s over, it’s time to get down to business. Ideally, you should have an income strategy before leaving the workforce, including a blueprint for withdrawing Social Security. Once you actually retire, however, you must double-check where your finances stand, and confirm that all plans are up to date.

Make sure you have your cash flow in order. Know how much income you will have and where it will come from (a pension, Social Security, retirement accounts or perhaps a part-time job).

While you’re reviewing, be aware of the potential volatility within your portfolio, the tax implications of all your different revenue streams — and disregard CNBC and Fox Business channels.

During the initial phase of retirement, it’s best to ignore the 24/7 news cycle. News outlets are vying for attention and as a result, their headlines are designed to appeal to an investor’s emotion rather than logic. Hold the course on the financial plan you have set for yourself in retirement.

  1. Start Tracking Your New Daily Expenses

Now that you’re not working, your daily expenditures will change, possibly drastically. It can sometimes take a year or two to adjust to retirement and really know what you will spend on average, and you need to know what your retirement income can support, even in bad market years.

So, from Day 1, prepare a reasonable outline of your monthly expenses now that you are living on your post-retirement income and retirement savings. A rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t pull more than four percent from your retirement savings each year.

While a pen and paper always works for this, financial software can significantly ease the burden of bookkeeping.  You may want to use Quicken and automate your expense tracking so that you know where your dollars are going and can find ways to save money if needed down the road.

  1. Revise Your Estate Plan

As we age, illness and incapacitation become more serious concerns. With that in mind, update your estate plan. Chances are you haven’t looked at your will in years, perhaps decades. Your adult children likely wouldn’t appreciate having a guardian anymore.

Your will (living and otherwise), insurance beneficiaries, medical directive and power of attorney should be reviewed and then reassessed every three or four years after that. That is, unless something significant happens — such as if you move to a different state or there’s a change to any kind of marital status in your family. In that case, start drawing up new documents immediately.

One special note: Checking your estate plan review is vital for retirees who want to spend significant time abroad. Accidents happen overseas and it’s much more difficult to coordinate critical documents and directives from a distance.

  1. Fill Your Calendar With Meaningful Activities

Why did you retire? Now is the time to discover the real reason. Find your passion. Sometimes, too many individuals retire ‘from’ something and not ‘to’ something. While it takes everyone time to get used to retirement, you have to find a reason to get up in the morning, whether it is volunteering, gardening, finding a part-time gig, etc.

Whether your passion lies in genealogy or card games, make sure it involves the following key elements:

  • Connecting with others: Get involved in meaningful activities that will keep you connected to friends, family, and the community. You’ll feel valued, and stave off the loneliness [and related health issues] that can accompany retirement.
  • Making concrete plans:  Many are surprised that their goal of golfing in retirement still leaves significant empty space on the calendar. It’s encouraged for people to consider an exercise where they [fill in] a blank weekly calendar, hour by hour. Seeing that schedule gives you a realistic view of your commitments, provides specific events to look forward to, and prevents aimlessness.

Don’t Make Big Decisions

Retirement is a big change and new retirees should expect to spend some time adjusting. While downsizing and making other lifestyle changes can be a fun and sometimes a necessary part of retirement — to lower the cost of living — this is something that can be put off for a year or more to ease the adjustment period. Instead of buying a new place or paying off the old one in one fell swoop, it’s suggested taking time to consider your new needs: Do you still need to live in a spacious home? Should you downsize to help with your retirement expenses, move to be closer to the grandchildren, relocate to a sunny locale or a less-expensive state?

Another big decision to put off?  Making large cash donations to your children and grandchildren. [Postpone] contributing to a grandchild’s 529 plan or other form of gifting to your grandchildren. Make sure you have your personal finances under control first.