Happy Retirees

How do you plan a perfect retirement? We asked an expert to identify the most important ingredients in the creation of retirement bliss.

The very act of stopping paid work can introduce a sudden lack of routine, a shortage of networking and socialising opportunities and the purpose that a retiree may have enjoyed in the workplace. So how do you get around these challenges and ensure your retirement is a joyful and productive period?

Those that get the most out of retirement, says Dr Ruth Williams, a Research Fellow at the National Seniors Productive Ageing Centre, tend to be the ones that plan in advance. And the years leading up to your retirement are the very best time to put these plans in place.

Concentrate on the following specific aspects of lifestyle, and it is very likely that your retirement will be even more fulfilling than any period that has come before. Here are a few lifestyle approaches she recommends.

Fitness and health

“Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is extremely important. A lot of people who work full‑time probably don’t have a great deal of time to do physical exercise, but in your retirement you need to make a plan for physical health. Some people join clubs, like tennis or golf, so they can socialise as they maintain their physical fitness. It’s also important to maintain your cognitive health, such as doing things like crosswords and Sudoku puzzles.”

Socialise by volunteering

“Socialising in retirement is very important. Many choose to volunteer, and that could be through formal volunteering. For example, a lot of organisations are now looking for experienced people to sit on Boards. There is also informal volunteering, like grandparents taking on caring roles for their grandchildren.”

Volunteering also gives people a sense of meaning, community and purpose. That is extremely good for mental health.”

Make a transition

 “A lot of people don’t retire immediately anymore, they go into a semi-retirement. Even if they do fully retire a lot of people still make themselves available for consultancy work where they can still contribute knowledge on specific projects. There is an opportunity for skill-sharing and mentoring enabled by keeping a foot in the door of your organisation.”

Indulge in hobbies

“This is the time when a lot of people are looking forward to finally pursuing whatever it may be that they love. It could be travel or home renovations. Having time to pursue personal interests is a big drawcard for people in retirement. A lot of these activities are often through community houses and local municipal sectors, so there is a lot of opportunity for people to engage in an interest and develop local social connections as well.”

Be a lifelong learner

 “An attitude of lifelong learning is something that I am quite passionate about. Learning should not end at retirement, and there is an opportunity to mix this in with personal interests. It could be to do with knowledge or to do with learning new skills. This not only maintains cognitive health but contributes to your social networks.”

Source: Count Financial

Disclaimer: This article has been prepared by Count Financial Limited ABN 19 001 974 625, AFSL 227232, (Count) a wholly-owned, non-guaranteed subsidiary of Commonwealth Bank of Australia ABN 48 123 123 124.

Information in this article is based on current regulatory requirements and laws, which may be subject to change. While care has been taken in the preparation of this document, no liability is accepted by Count, its related entities, agents and employees for any loss arising from reliance on this document.

This document contains general advice. It does not take account of your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider talking to a financial adviser before making a financial decision.

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