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Are you retirement ready? Six tips for retirement wellbeing

October 09, 2023 | 8 min read 

Summary: Retirement is one of the most significant milestones in our lives, representing the culmination of years of hard work and dedication to a career. To ensure you're as prepared as you can be for a fulfilling retirement, consider these six tips for retirement wellbeing.


 

Key takeaways

  • The key steps in planning early for retirement, such as maximising super, exploring alternative revenue streams, and budgeting.
  • Why and how to prioritise health and wellness.
  • Why having a daily schedule shouldn’t stop once you retire. 

Retirement is one of the most significant milestones in our lives, representing the culmination of years of hard work and dedication to a career. It's a time when we can finally kick back, relax, and enjoy the fruits of our labour.

But for many Australians, the prospect of retirement can be both exciting and daunting. Questions about financial security, health, and how to make the most of this new chapter in life, often loom large.

To ensure you're as prepared as you can be for a fulfilling retirement, consider these six tips for retirement wellbeing.

 

1 - Plan financially, and plan early

Financial security is one of the fundamentals of a happy retirement. To ensure you have the means to enjoy your post-working years, it's wise to plan your finances well in advance.

Start by setting clear retirement goals, including estimating your future expenses and calculating how much you'll need to cover them.

Here are some key steps to consider:

  • Create a budget - Start by evaluating your current financial situation and create a detailed budget. Track your income, expenses, and debts to get a clear picture of your financial health. This will help you identify areas where you can save and allocate more funds toward retirement savings.
  • Build an emergency fund - Before you retire, it's important to have an emergency fund in place. This safety net will protect you from unexpected expenses, such as medical bills or home repairs, that could otherwise deplete your retirement savings.
  • Maximise your super - Super is a critical component of retirement planning. Contribute as much as possible to your super fund throughout your working years, mindful of the contribution caps.
  • Explore additional income streams - Investigate opportunities for additional income streams, such as rental properties, dividends from investments, or part-time work. These can help supplement your retirement income and reduce the risk of outliving your savings.

 

2 - Prioritise health and wellness

Your health is your most valuable asset in retirement, so taking steps to maintain and improve it should be a top priority. Here are some ways to ensure your retirement years are as healthy as possible:

  • Stay active - Regular physical activity is essential for maintaining both physical and mental health. Finding activities you enjoy, whether it's walking, swimming, yoga, or dancing, and incorporating them into your daily routine, will make this a lot easier and more fun.
  • Eat a balanced diet - A well-balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can help you stay healthy and energised. Examples of those include the blue zone and Mediterranean diets. Consult a nutritionist if you need guidance on creating a healthy meal plan.
  • Schedule regular health checkups - Don't neglect regular health checkups and screenings. Catching health issues early can prevent them from becoming more serious and costly to treat. It could also save your life.
  • Foster social connections - Maintaining social connections is vital for mental and emotional wellbeing. Join clubs, volunteer, and stay in touch with friends and family to ensure you have a strong support network.

 

3 - Consider where and how you'll live

Housing is a significant consideration in retirement planning. Whether you choose to stay in your current home, downsize, swap city for country, move interstate or overseas, or explore retirement communities, your living situation can impact your overall wellbeing.

We tend to crave peace and tranquillity as we age. Not having to go into work may mean that you no longer need to live in or near a city and can move to a more rural location if you prefer to be closer to nature. Here are a few ideas to consider around your future living arrangements:

  • Evaluate your current living situation - Consider whether your home will be suitable for you as you get older. If it requires modifications for accessibility, plan and budget for those changes in advance.
  • Explore downsizing - Downsizing to a smaller, more manageable home can reduce maintenance costs and free up funds for other retirement expenses. It can also simplify your life, making it easier to focus on enjoying your retirement instead of spending countless hours doing jobs around the home.
  • Research retirement communities - Retirement communities offer a range of housing options and amenities tailored to retirees' needs and preferences. Explore different communities to find one that suits your lifestyle and budget.
  • The world is your oyster – Many retirees prefer to live in a different country once they retire, either to save money, access better healthcare, or simply experience a new culture or way of life. If this is something that interests you, there are a wealth of online resources that that help you research your potential new home country and assist with obtaining the necessary visas. 

 

4 - Engage in meaningful activities

Retirement isn't just about resting and relaxing; it's also an opportunity to pursue hobbies, interests, and passions that you may not have had much time for during your working years.

Engaging in the following meaningful activities can bring joy and purpose to your retirement:

  • Create a ‘bucket list’ - Compile a list of activities and experiences you've always wanted to try, or places you'd like to visit. This can inspire you to stay active and adventurous in retirement.
  • Volunteer - Giving back to your community through volunteer work can be incredibly rewarding. Find a cause or organisation that is close to your heart.
  • Learn new skills - Consider enrolling in courses or workshops that interest you. Lifelong learning not only keeps your mind sharp but also opens doors to new experiences and friendships.

 

5 - Develop a retirement lifestyle

Your retirement lifestyle will be unique to you, but it's important to create a schedule that works and continues to give you fulfilment. Here are a few considerations:

  • Set a routine - Having a daily routine can help you maintain a sense of purpose and structure in retirement. This could include regular exercise, hobbies, and social activities.
  • Budget for travel and leisure activities - Budgeting for activities and experiences helps ensure you can enjoy them without subjecting yourself to financial stress.
  • Stay connected - Retirement can sometimes lead to feelings of isolation. Make an effort to stay connected with friends and family, whether through regular visits, phone calls, or video chats.

 

6 - Seek professional guidance

Navigating retirement can be complex but you don't have to do it alone. Seeking professional guidance can provide you with valuable insights and peace of mind. Consider consulting with:

  • Financial advisers - A financial adviser can help you create a comprehensive retirement plan, manage your investments, and guide you on a path to financial security.
  • Retirement specialists - There are professionals who specialise in retirement planning and can help you make informed decisions about when to retire, how to manage your assets, and how to access government benefits, such as the age pension, travel concessions, and more.

 

In Summary

Retirement is a significant life transition that requires careful planning and consideration. By taking these six tips for retirement wellbeing into account, you can set yourself up for a fulfilling and prosperous retirement.

Remember that the key to a successful retirement is not just financial security but also physical and emotional wellbeing.

Start planning today to ensure you're retirement ready when the time comes.


 

* Based on KPMG Super Insights 2023 Report as at May 2023 KPMG Super Insights 2023 Report

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  • This article has been prepared by NULIS Nominees (Australia) Limited ABN 80 008 515 633 AFSL 236465 (NULIS) as trustee of the MLC Super Fund ABN 70 732 426 024. NULIS is part of the Insignia Financial group of companies comprising Insignia Financial Ltd ABN 49 100 103 722 and its related bodies corporate (‘Insignia Financial Group’). The information in this article is current as at November 2023 and may be subject to change. This information may constitute general advice. The information in this article is general in nature and does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions based on this information. It is recommended that you consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and Target Market Determination (TMD) before you make any decisions about your superannuation. You can obtain the latest copy of the PDS (or other disclosure documents) and TMD by calling us on 132 652 or by searching for the applicable product at mlc.com.au. You should not rely on this article to determine your personal tax obligations. Please consult a registered tax agent for this purpose. Opinions constitute our judgement at the time of issue. The case study examples (if any) provided in this article have been included for illustrative purposes only and should not be relied upon for decision making. Subject to terms implied by law and which cannot be excluded, neither NULIS nor any member of the Insignia Financial Group accept responsibility for any loss or liability incurred by you in respect of any error, omission or misrepresentation in the information in this communication.