As seniors week draws to a close it a good time to remember that a great financial situation is key to a successful retirement but that's not all that requires planning. True happiness comes from lifestyle.
Retirement should never be a sudden decision or a rushed experience. The most successful retirements in terms of satisfaction and enjoyment are planned and involve goals and milestones relating to lifestyle.
According to Dr Tim Adair, Director of the National Seniors Productive Ageing Centre, planning for one's retirement lifestyle should begin well before retirement. It should include a strategy to transition out of the workplace and a dedication to filling one's retired life with meaningful and rewarding activities.
"Just as it is with finances, the earlier you begin planning your retirement lifestyle the better your lifestyle consequences will be", Adair says. And he's not voicing an uneducated opinion.
Adair's organisation undertakes research into issues affecting those over the age of 50 and acts as a link between the academic community and the public by communicating vital knowledge.
"Many people find work is a major part of their identity so sometimes it's not a good idea to suddenly retire", he says.
"There are options including moving to part-time work or taking long-service leave then returning â€" sometimes retirees tell us that all they really needed was a long break from work. Another possibility is to move into a mentoring role so your experience and knowledge continues to be utilised, appreciated and valued."
While you don't need to have specific activities diarised every day for the next three decades, you should at least develop a broad understanding of the types of undertakings that will fill your time. Golf and gardening are fine, but not enough to fill seven days each week.
"There are social and health issues to consider. Are you healthy and do you eat well? Have you thought hard enough about where you're going to live, whether living in a big, empty house or whether moving away from your community to a small holiday house down the coast is a good idea?"
Finally, Adair says, plan for learning and personal growth. This could come via travel, courses, volunteering, consultancy work or preferably a mix of everything.
"Education and travel enrich lives and keep people physically and mentally active. Research proves
physical and mental activity prevent dementia further down the track so any activity that sees people developing knowledge, meeting new people and having meaningful experiences will add to quality of life."
Call us today, so we can help you have a successful retirement - Wagga 02 6927 0500 l Cootamundra 6942 0300 l Young 6381 4200