You’ve budgeted a safe amount of money to see you through retirement and are feeling confident. Financially, you’re set, but have you taken anything else into account when it comes to retirement? If you haven’t, then you’re not alone. These days, it’s commonplace for people to just think about finances when retiring.
“When considering retirement, the first thing that crosses someone’s mind is money, money, money. We’ve all been taught the last fifty years by the retirement planning industry that retirement is all about saving and investing it well,” says Paul McKeon, from 50 Plus Books.
However, aside from money there are many other issues that you need to keep in mind when you hang up your shirt and tie and settle in for retirement. Namely, lifestyle issues like your health and relationships. “The reality is, people can have a million dollars in their retirement fund, but if their relationships are toxic or their health is cooked, they’re not going to have much fun with that million dollars,” Paul points out.
Here, Paul takes us through some of the lifestyle issues we should keep in mind when retiring.
As Paul touched on earlier, even if you have all the money in the world, it’s not going to matter if your health isn’t good. “If you’re going to enjoy the next twenty years – or the majority of that time – you need to stay healthy and if people have a good lifestyle they can stay reasonably fit and reasonably healthy into old age.” He stresses the importance of keeping fit with daily activities, like going for a walk or swim because it will improve your quality of life.
While all may be smooth swimming in your romantic life, many couples fail to consider that retiring may actually change their relationship. “For most couples, it’s the first time that they’ve ever had to live together 24/7 with no kids, no job and no outside issues to worry about,” says Paul. So couples need to consider this and discuss how they can both keep themselves occupied and keep the romance and love alive.
THE IMPORTANCE OF FINDING A PURPOSE
Yes, work may have seemed like a drag when you were there literally counting the minutes until you could leave, but, it kept you busy and kept you preoccupied. While you may not have found it a purpose in life, it did take up a big chunk of your time. Now that you’re retired, you’re going to have a lot more time in your day and a lot less to do. “If you don’t have any purpose in life, it’s really easy to get bored, and not be particularly happy. The people who are the most successful in their retirement are people who are involved with life and involved with their community, they’re doing interesting things and they’re working at enjoying their life,” advises Paul.
PRIORITISING AND MAINTAINING FRIENDSHIPS
Most of us are guilty of it; letting friendships slip away as we grow older and settling into a simple routine with our partner. But, while this may be commonplace, it’s not necessarily a good thing. “Of course, there is tendency as you age to withdraw from society because your friends may pass and you’re no longer at work so you don’t have the work network. One of the threats that older people have is that they can withdraw from society, which leads to isolation and loneliness so, it’s really important to stay involved with your social networks,” Paul says. If you don’t have a social network, it’s a good idea to go out and start working on one which you can do by volunteering or joining various clubs or organisations.
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