7 Keys to a successful transition to retirement

Retirement v2
6th July 2018

1. Have a positive attitude towards your future
If you have the ability to ‘roll with the punches’, you will be able to dictate how you approach most areas of your life. There are changes that you can expect in retirement which are both positive and challenging and for many, the retirement years will see various ongoing transitions too. Seeing yourself change is a challenge, however, forgetting your age and focussing on your ability, passions and drive to continue to achieve things in life, whatever your age, can keep you strong and loving life.

2. Have a clear vision of this next phase of your life
The foundation of a successful transition is to have a clear idea of the destination that you have – that is the difference between a ‘wish’ and a ‘goal’. Also, you want to be clear about the values that will guide your life in the future because that understanding will let you devote more time to the things in life that are important to you.

3. Understand and practice healthy aging principles
Your life enjoyment of your new life will be influenced by how you feel. In fact, the life transitions that you will go through will likely be driven by changes in your health. Healthy aging is both mental and physical – keeping your mind and your body as fit as you can will go a long way towards creating the quality of life you want.

4. Consider the work opportunities that fit your life
Your work is the thing that you do to contribute your experience, skills, time and knowledge to society in some way. It is also a way to create positive stress in your life. Even when you leave the traditional workplace, you may still have a need to share your strengths and transfer your skills to others. Work doesn’t have to be full-time or paid for, and it doesn’t have to be something that you don’t like to do. Remember the saying “if you love what you do, you never have work again!”. Many retirees use their skills for the greater good, by volunteering with organisations and causes they have a passion for, and now have more time for too.

5. Develop and strengthen your family and social support network
In your retirement, you will depend on your family and friends to nurture and support you through all of your life stages. Not only are your personal and family relationships important to your happiness, but the depth of your social network will also play a key role. Remember that many of your fulfilling activities will likely come from your involvement with family and friends.

6. Take a balanced approach to leisure
The enjoyment that you get out of life will in most part come from how you spend your time. Leisure can be many different things to you. As you think about your retirement, you want to ensure that you are taking advantage of all of the things that you could do to truly live a fulfilling life. There is a big difference between ‘time filling’ and ‘fulfilling’ activities. Every day doesn’t have to be filled with meaningful pursuits. Successful retirees keep themselves more engaged and involved in activities they find stimulating.

7. Maintaining financial comfort
Some people feel that a happy retirement is guaranteed by financial security. There is no price however, on a successful retirement. Financial comfort refers to being able to manage your life in a satisfying and fulfilling way, using the financial resources that you have. If financial discomfort contributes to retirement stress, then your financial plan becomes a negative rather than a positive experience. The keys to achieving financial comfort are to have a clear understanding of the financial resources that you have and the demands on your money that will come from the life you lead, now and in the future. One option to consider your own situation, would be to think about what you have for the ‘essentials’ in life, which pay for your basic needs and fixed costs, what you have for your ‘lifestyle’ choices – the fun things in life you would like to do in retirement, and finally, any ‘nest egg’, which is for emergencies in challenging times and any legacy you may wish to ultimately leave.

Source: Barry LaValley, Retirement Lifestyle Center / Charlene Overell, G3 Financial Freedom

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