For most Australians, retirement planning is a financial exercise. If you have done the ‘right’ things, contributed to your superannuation and received good advice on managing your next egg, you can say you are ready to retire.
However, it is far too easy to think of retirement as a financial number and as if it were an extended holiday. This approach misses the important issues that will help you get more out of your new circumstances.
We believe there are a number of key areas that you should think about as you create your retirement life. Some of these are discussed below:
1. A Clear Vision of the Kind of Life you Want
Far too many pre-retirees make the mistake of thinking that the financial plan and the retirement plan are the same thing – that the life part will take care of itself.
This stage of your life deserves a more holistic look and plan than simply assuming that you are beginning a thirty-year long weekend. What do you want your life to look like? What changes do you anticipate along the way? How will you get the most out of each and every day?
Those are important questions as you contemplate your move into this next phase of your life.
2. A Healthy Approach to Mental & Physical Aging
Healthy aging is a major part of your retirement plans and lifestyle.
While the aging process is normal and affects us all in different ways, there are some things that we can all do to ensure that we “put time on our side” by looking after ourselves.
Most people think that being healthy physically is the key to healthy aging. In retirement, healthy mental aging is just as important (and some would say even more so). Are you doing something each and every day to nourish your need to use and expand your mind or to honour your body, and do what you can to maintain your physical health?
3. A Positive Definition of ‘Work’
Even when you leave the traditional workplace, you will still have a need to share your workplace strengths and skills. If you have a positive attitude towards the workplace, then the desire to have a retirement free from any kind of work becomes irrelevant.
Work doesn’t have to be full-time, it doesn’t have to be something you don’t like to do, and it doesn’t even have to be for pay! Many retirees use volunteering as a way to replace the things they miss most about their previous work.
4. Nurturing Family & Personal Relationships
Our close personal relationships define us, give us a purpose for living and encourage us to create life goals.
In retirement, our friendships and close relationships may offer us the validation that we may have received in the workplace. Researchers have found that people in satisfying personal relationships have fewer illnesses and higher levels of good overall health, therefore adding to your overall retirement enjoyment, and adding years on to your life!
5. An Active Social Network
As you get older, your social support network becomes increasingly important.
Successful retirees generally have robust social networks that provide them with friendship, fulfilling activities and life structure. As part of your retirement plan, think about the quality of the social network you have today and your plans to build it.
6. A Balanced Approach to Leisure
Leisure is a fundamental human need. Things change, however, when leisure becomes the central focus of our lives. Leisure, by its very nature, loses its luster when it is the norm in our life rather than the diversion.
In retirement, leisure activities often replace workplace functions to meet the basic needs that we have. Successful retirees balance their leisure over many different activities and take the opportunity to do new things and not get into a rut.
When assisting clients through the retirement transition, JBS focuses on not only the financial side, but also a number of lifestyle areas to help ensure our clients have a fulfilling retirement. You can have all the money in the world, however without fulfilment, your retirement may not reach the heights you had hoped for. We specialise in helping clients understand and plan for the retirement lifestyle transition.
– Glenn Malkiewicz –