Many Australians are choosing to retire by the age of 60, or even earlier, ready to do all the things they could only dream about during their working years. However, with improved health services and medical technology the chance of living to 90 years or beyond could be more realistic than many think. Retirement could comprise 40% or more of a person’s adult life!
If you wish to remain happy and healthy during this next phase of life, planning is critically important. Although much of the focus for retirement is on financial wellbeing, good physical and mental health is equally crucial at this time of life.
It’s imperative to stay active – so what will you do with all this spare time?
To work full time up to a particular date and then retire with no planned activities can be devastating for your physical and mental wellbeing. The thought of spending more hours on the golf course or in the garden may be appealing when spare time is limited but these previously loved activities may become a bore when you do them seven days every week!
Serious planning for what you are going to do in your retirement should start at least a year beforehand. Think about the activities you have enjoyed in the past and add some new ones.
Some ideas to consider
Depending on your personality, health and interests, some suggestions (aside from travelling) include:
- Volunteer. Don’t let your precious skills go to waste. Search the internet for volunteering programs in your state, or even overseas, and see what takes your fancy. It can be extremely rewarding and a lot of fun.
- Part-time work. This can be particularly valuable if your retirement budget is likely to be stretched. Consider work that will be enjoyable and not too demanding on time or health.
- Education. A plethora of training courses are available for retirees to learn new skills, or contribute by demonstrating your own skills as a lecturer or tutor.
- Hobbies and sport. While you may have a current hobby you’re keen to ramp up, just like investing, it’s important to diversify. Apart from obvious interests like gardening and sport, what about arts and crafts, genealogy, food and cooking, just to name a few?
- Exercise. In later years it’s important to keep up regular exercise. If you’re not keen on joining a gym, there are myriad outdoor activities you can do by yourself or as part of a team. Jump online or check out the local clubs to try something new.
With these ideas you may even find you’re busier in retirement, than when you worked full-time – but having more fun!