Like many facets of life, post-retirement has its highs and lows. One minute you’re bursting with energy and a ‘come-what-may’ attitude to take on the world, to paint the town red. The next, you are unable to handle the day and staying in bed seemingly the safer option. Transitioning into retirement can be difficult and overwhelming with the sudden amount of free time in your hands but if you resolve to take charge of it, you will have an easier time navigating its’ waters. Here are 5 tips on how you can find your ideal retirement lifestyle:
Take life by the reigns, set significant goals.
A full life is made of significant events and experiences. One of the most anticipated benefits of retirement is the freedom from never having to work again. Set goals that encourage you to move towards doing something positive and impactful, not merely being stress free. At the age of 71, Sir Ranulph Fiennes (cousin to actor Ralph Fiennes) finished a 6 day 256-km marathon through the Moroccan desert after surviving two heart attacks and a double bypass operation. He has made polar expeditions and travelled the world by its polar axis, financed by funds he earned from lectures about his expeditions. Like Sir Ranulph, you need to picture what you want your retirement to look like and go full steam ahead.
Visualise, pursue and expand your horizons.
Continually challenging yourself would inspire you to focus on living a healthy lifestyle and not just be there for the entertainment value. Since you’ve also developed skills from pre-retirement, you can use it to nurture your new interests. Take a page of Toni Innauer’s book. A former Olympic gold medallist ski-jumper, Toni Innauer was forced to retire after a serious injury. Building on talents he had previously nurtured, he took up studying psychology and sport science. Today he is a hugely successful ski-jumping trainer and is now a respected public voice in the sport.
Be patient; accept that there is a transition period.
Prior to retirement, you spent the majority of your time dedicated to your career and now that time is solely yours. Don’t be surprised or harsh on yourself if you have no idea what exactly to do initially. Reaching the stage where your time is fully optimised will take some trial and error before you arrive at the right cocktail of leisure-yet-purposeful activities. You don’t need to rush; progress into retirement at a comfortable pace and eventually you should be able to find your place in your new role.
Do it to enjoy it. Love what you do.
The urge to splurge your time can be tempting, especially during early retirement. But don’t make the mistake of overcommitting yourself before you have a chance to become familiar with your new lifestyle. You live only once and there are no second chances, so pursue your passions and savour it.
Just because you are retired it doesn’t automatically mean you are the available babysitting service. If quality time with your grandchildren is what you want, good for you. Remember the purpose is to enjoy the experience.
Money can’t buy you love, but just about everything else.
Research states that people generally experience happiness later in life but if you want to ensure that state of mind, you should look into something that generates a reliable stream of income to replenish spent finances during retirement. A time will come where ageing is a constant companion and little things you used to do become a little more challenging. Nothing can damage happiness like a lack of funds to pay the mounting healthcare bills.
Retirement will have its ebbs and flows but how we choose to cope is up to us. With the right attitude and a little gusto; you can overcome the rough spots and steer your retirement towards the beginning of wonderful things to be.
Aged Care Group (ACG), an organisation engaged in the business of elevating and providing aged care services. Our vision is to innovate and transform the perception of ageing in Malaysia. For more information visit us at www.agedcare.com.my or contact us at 03 – 2142 1666.
First Published in Smart Investor | February 2016 | Issue 310