Social security, financial stability, and good health are a big part of retirement. But there is so much more to retirement than meets the eye. Often, this next stage of life is met with a sense of foreboding or trepidation among most retirees in Australia.
With the right planning for the future, securing a happy retirement won’t be as hard as you might think. Here are twelve tips you can use to enjoy your retirement.
1. Manage your finances.
Getting your finances in order is the first step. Track your income, make investments, and spend your money on things that you can sell if need be. When you’re eligible, claim your state pension and other benefits you are entitled to.
There are also online tools and resources if you need help on financial planning, like this Money Smart budgeting guide, released by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission to help people across Australia take control of their financial life.
2. Make a bucket list.
Write down your short- and long-term goals. Doing so helps you get clear on what you want to achieve in retirement. With a bucket list, you can work out what you can afford to do and schedule time to make it happen.
3. Create social connections.
Some studies have found out that social interactions shape worker’s retirement preferences. The preferred retirement age is influenced not only by the advice of family and friends but also by the decisions of coworkers. For any retiree, work can form a huge part of life that they would feel at a loose end once they stop working.
Just because you are approaching retirement doesn’t mean you have to lose touch with many people. Create connections! You can arrange garden or dinner parties, anniversary celebrations, regular catch-ups, or join clubs and groups.
4. Build your achievements.
Learning doesn’t stop once you’ve hit retirement. Feeling accomplished is always rewarding, and you can keep on building this with further education.
Even if you’re well into your 60s, you can still take up courses that cater for your age group. You can join the University of the Third Age (U3A), which offers educational opportunities to older people across the world. If you are one of those curious bugs who want to keep learning things, then reap the great benefits that come with further education.
5. Keep yourself physically active.
Keeping yourself healthy doesn’t end when you retire. People who live to a ripe old age spend most of their time doing activities they enjoy. If you haven’t made exercise a routine before, make sure to do at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day.
One good way to keep yourself active is doing yoga at home.
6. Challenge yourself mentally.
Studies have shown that learning helps people in retirement stay independent. So, live your free time doing mental exercises. The best way to do this is to read books longer than you normally would. If you like, you may add puzzles and such to the list. You’d be surprised to know the mental health benefits. Remember that a healthy mind means a happy retirement life.
7. Never miss your annual health check.
If you’re somewhere between the ages of 40 and 74, it’s important to get yourself checked for chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, certain types of dementia, and even cancer. Many people who are advanced in years need to get their annual checkup as they are more at risk.
8. Adopt a pet.
Studies suggest that loneliness is an inevitable part of retirement. You may find yourself getting lonely soon after you retire. Why not adopt a pet, say a bird or puppy, to keep you company? RSPCA Australia‘s Adopt a Pet Program encourages Australians to care for animals. Caring for a pet can go a long way; it gives you purpose and makes your retirement so much more meaningful.
9. Explore new places.
While having money all saved up when you retire is a good thing, there is more to retirement than having financial assets. Studies found out that a higher level of leisure activity is associated with a happy retirement. With all the time you have, explore new places: museums, vineyards, another country.
10. Go on nature trips.
By spending time with nature, you get to boost your happy hormones! You may want to plan this as your next adventure. So, go ahead and enjoy nature trips as you’ve always wanted.
11. Learn new things.
If you want to learn another language or plan to upskill to generate income even in retirement, then go for it. A happy retirement means putting no restriction to doing whatever it is you really love.
12. Try volunteering.
Perhaps you’d find satisfaction in giving back to the community. GVI Australia offers many volunteer opportunities for people in retirement. Not only will you be able to lend a helping hand, but you will for sure meet interesting people.