How to achieve happy and successful retirement

What to do to achieve happy and successful retirement

How to achieve happy and successful retirement

Last week I wrote about: When is Age Pension going to be raised to age 70 and I created a poll for you to participate and say what you believe the Age Pension age should be in Australia.

Here is the outcome of this poll with the vast majority saying that we should have kept the age of 65 as our Age Pension age.

This discussion came based on the fact that our Australian Age Pension age was increased to age of 67 on 1st July 2023. Therefore, anyone born after 1st January 1957 must reach the age of 67 to become eligible for Age Pension.

Thank you all who participated in the poll.

And today, let’s change the subject and talk about something happy and uplifting such as: How to be happy in retirement?

If you google this term, you will get lots of pages with tremendous amount of advice, but if you read several different articles the main points are very similar, and usually in this order:

1. Be financially ready and well prepared for your retirement – most articles state this as number 1, meaning most likely one of the most important tasks for you.
And the best time to start your financial preparation is before you retire, however if you had no time to do that, there is no better time like the present.

And this is what About Retirement is all about – to provide you with information, ideas and financial solutions to improve your retirement financially.

If however you want to go a step further and actually would like to discuss your options and your preparation, organise a meeting for us to review your current financial set up and what can be improved and how.

2. Make the change to retirement slowly  for a lot of people the change from full-time employment to no work and full-time retirement could be too much of the shock to the system.
It often equals with the feeling of the loss of identity, loss of purpose or loss of having any impact or meaning in life.
A slow change might be a very good solution for many, either easing from full-time to part-time work or alternatively taking a long service leave to find out if you are really ready to retire, to find new interests, hobbies, activities or social connections.

The next few points are quite obvious:

3. Look after your health – including your annual medical checks.

4. Eat well and regularly.

5. Stay physically active.

6. Exercise your mind – challenge yourself mentally, learn to play a new instrument, study a new language, do the regular puzzles, get new qualifications.

From what I can observe though, sadly those obvious tasks are often the ones that don’t get done on regular basis, although they are essential ingredients of happy, healthy and long-lasting retirement.

7. Develop a routine – this is exactly what can help you with previous steps that should be non-negotiable.
Introducing a routine into your life, automatically introduces a structure of your days, which in turn can also give you a sense of accomplishment.
It can also improve your finances, as all your future major financial expenditure has been pre-planned with full understanding of cost and affordability.

8. Stay socially involved – join a club that shares your interests, it could be a walking club for example. Many of you know that I love hiking and I will often disappear into the mountains on my own, but I am also a member of a walking club.
and I can see firsthand what participation in such a club means for the members. I know lots of ladies well over the age of 80, who are still actively walking on a weekly basis with other members.
And what I found is that they not only stay physically but also mentally healthy, often with an incredible sense of humour, almost cheeky, funny, mentally and emotionally young and very interesting people.
So believe me, I will stick with my walking club for many years, if for no other reason to egoistically stay young as long as I possibly can.

I am sure you will find many other tips if you just try to google this topic. And even reading such articles is a step forward to a positive change into retirement.

But as much as I would like to keep this video on a happy note, unfortunately our “retirement preparedness is at “10-year low” says Investment Trends research.
This surprised me a little, as every day I speak with many people who are either just before the big change, or just stepped into this retirement and now are desperately trying to find the best way to financially be ready for this big lifestyle change.

The research found that almost half of retirees are reluctant to use superannuation savings as pension products, worrying that they will run out of money in their lifetime.
Only 37% of retirees feel prepared for retirement, while the rest 63% are unprepared. This is a 10-year low.

What is even more worrying is the fact that 45% of pre and post retirees say that they believe current pension products do not meet their retirement needs, which indicates lack of confidence in using existing products and existing retirement systems.

But it is already proven that retirees who received proper, personal and fit for purpose advice, feel so much more comfortable with their planning, they feel in control, informed and supported.

And that in turn provides a great deal of security and peace of mind. Isn’t that what we all want going into retirement?

by:  Katherine Isbrandt CFP®
Money Strategist & Retirement Planner
Principal of About Retirement

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