Preparing for retirement – some tips
Queensland Teachers' Journal, Vol 127 No 8, 2 November 2022, page no. 20
Most, but not all, people look forward to retirement. Even those who look forward to it, however, can find it a less than enjoyable, and some will even find it downright trying. Here are a few things that can make retirement living fulfilling and enjoyable.
Financial security – the earlier you work out your financial needs and make plans the better. Superannuation funds run pre-retirement seminars and provide individual financial planning.
Have a semi-regular program of activity – While it is great not to have get up every weekday at 6.30 am to get ready for work, there is the danger that you may find yourself getting up in the morning and wondering what there is to do, then wasting away the day surfing the internet, watching reality television or drinking coffee or wine on your back veranda, wondering what the point of it all is.
Physical activity – Maintaining a level of physical exercise is important for your health.
Intellectual engagement – Exercising your brain is as important, if not more important, as exercising your body. And this means more than just doing a daily Sudoku puzzle. Push yourself to learn new things and challenge your long-held perceptions and beliefs. Organisations such as the University of the Third Age (U3A) provide a range of courses for retirees.
Social connections – Social isolation can contribute to anxiety and depression. Make sure you stay socially connected. The Queensland Retired Teachers Association and Probus are just two examples of social clubs catering for retirees.
Variety and novelty – Make sure you include a variety of activities in your life, including new and different activities. Join a choir, study a foreign language, take up a new sport, read a challenging book, travel.
Define a purpose for your life in retirement – For many, pre-retirement life revolved around their occupation – it was how they defined themselves. For others, family provided this focus. But now in retirement you no longer have a job and your family may well have moved on. How will you define yourself in retirement, what is your life about? Many retirees find satisfaction in volunteering for charitable organisations. Others get involved with social movements, taking up issues such as climate change.