How to be happy in retirement

 In Blogs

Generally, people may view retirement as the pinnacle of a hardworking life. It’s the time for freedom and the opportunity to do any number of things put on hold during the working years. In reality, a happy retirement consists of two things: financial security and a purpose. And the trick is to get these in order before you near that last working day.

Happiness should always be in the plan. And if you keep yourself focused regarding money and endeavour, your retirement should look exceedingly attractive by the time you step out of the formal working world. Planning your happiness in retirement should be as methodical as planning your career.

Steps to a happy retirement

  • Preparing your finances: retirement isn’t just getting your pension paid monthly, and then sitting on the front porch, it really should involve a lot more than that. Retirement monies can consist of many things, but certainly not your company pension alone. A second personal pension should also be included, followed by endowment policies, savings and investment accounts.
  • Get rid of debt: this aspect can ruin your retirement. Don’t carry heavy baggage into a future where your income may be less. Also consider medical expenses. Medical aids don’t cover much in the way of teeth or eyes, so dealing with debt concisely before retirement due date is crucial.
  • Pay off your property: ensure by retirement you have security of tenure. And the earlier you establish this the better your finances will be as you near retirement. The spectrum of pensions, policies, savings and investments should always include at least one property.
  • Avoid the spending spree: some people, when faced with their large pension intact and juicy, are sorely tempted to go on wild spending sprees. But money has a nasty habit of disappearing all too quickly. Spend your savings wisely and with intelligent intention…otherwise you might end up with nothing at all.
  • Work out what you will need to live on: this can start with basics, and build to include more enjoyable things such as travel or starting a small business, or devoting yourself to a beloved hobby. In addition, always investigate everything you can claim as a benefit as a senior citizen.
  • Cutting back on working hours in the last years: this is a good idea as you near retirement. Learning to slow down can be good for you. It also gives you time to rethink your future, ponder ideas, learn new skills, and make useful network connections. Use your free time to continue to challenge yourself mentally, whether it’s learning a musical instrument or a language, or obtaining a qualification.
  • Learn to calm down! Meditation strengthens the hippocampus, the area of the brain that is important for memory, and slows the decline of brain areas responsible for sustaining attention. A mere 10 to 20 minutes of mindfulness a day is said to be beneficial. Don’t just rest…rest with purpose.
  • Take more mini breaks: even just day trips to places you’ve never been. Prepare your mind for a change of thought processes, and prepare your body by developing a healthy regime. This includes that early morning exercise, eating well, and making sure you get a good night’s sleep. Approaching retirement in a healthy condition is a really good start. After decades of hard work, you deserve to have some “me time”. Arrange a weekend getaway or go to a spa and pamper yourself.
  • Get a new pet: why don’t you think about housing a rescue cat or dog in need of a new home? Research has shown that animals have a positive effect on our health and wellbeing. People with pets are generally happier, and less lonely. Their health is often better as well.
  • Write down what you would like to achieve in retirement: keep notes. Would you like to visit places you’ve never been, start a business, study new disciplines, work with an NGO or charity whose cause is close to your heart? Writing down your aims may help you focus on what you really want to achieve – like a ‘to do’ list. Work out what you can afford to do and schedule time to make it happen, so you experience a sense of accomplishment, as you would have done at work.
  • Maintain and extend your contact circle: be ready to join new groups and find people who share your interests. Make new friends, but never leave old friends behind. Make regular catch-up times with everyone you know. Stay in contact with old colleagues, keep up to date with developments in your industry. Stay a participant, don’t become a watcher from the side.

Retirement is no longer the time to fade away and do nothing. On the contrary, it’s the time for new beginnings; time to shift your mind from your working years to focus on exploratory challenges that will take your life forward, give you special achievements to strive for – new endeavours, fresh avenues of work or contribution. Keep healthy, keep focused, make each day count, and keep happy. If you have more than adequately assured your finances, and understand their management, you will be more than ready for your retirement!

Empfin Solutions – the team that keeps your team happy

We’re an Old Mutual franchise with our primary focus on the three main areas of concern in everybody’s financial planning:

  • Your Company Benefits – advising on, and servicing umbrella pension and provident funds.
  • Your Personal Financial Planning and Provision – Estate planning, Wealth Creation and Retirement Planning.
  • Your Assets – motor and household insurance.

Always striving to be a trusted partner in facilitating financial solutions for organisations and individuals, our dedicated team of fully accredited, experienced professionals have a passion for satisfying customer needs and providing a truly client-centric service.


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