Most people look forward to or even can’t wait for retirement. After years of hard work, how nice would it be to make time for yourself and no longer feel the pressure of daily stress and workplace politics! However, for some people retirement is a cause for concern. What are you supposed to do now? myLIFE explains how to make the most of your well-deserved retirement.
You’re nearly there. You can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, the moment for which you’ve been working and saving all these years. You’ll be retiring soon! But now what? If you have made suitable plans, the road ahead will be long and smooth. If you haven’t, and this new stage of your life worries you, then here are some things to consider to put your mind at rest. While myLIFE has often tackled different aspects of retirement, this time we’ll focus more specifically on how to make the most of it.
A well-planned retirement
One of the first questions is how can your maintain your quality of life after retirement ? While it’s possible to make a few adjustments when you retire to cut out unnecessary expenses, you really need to be asking yourself the question before then to avoid losing too much purchasing power when the time comes. Actual pensions are often not as much as expected, and having additional sources of income can be very useful for an enjoyable life. As well as saving for retirement, why not also invest in property or a supplementary pension plan ?
Retirement can mean grieving for your work life and reorganising your personal life.
Retirement planning must also go beyond mere financial considerations. While some people know exactly what to do in retirement, others find the idea stressful. This important milestone brings many changes. Stopping work can, in some cases, mean boredom and a feeling of depression as well as lower income. The practical aspect is essential but so is the psychological aspect. Retirement can mean grieving for your work life and reorganising your personal life. We can never say it enough: plan for your retirement as soon as you start your professional life !
Make lots of new plans
Bear in mind that retirement is not the end, but the start of a new stage of life that brings a whole new sense of freedom. What will you do with all this free time? The secret is to remain active while planning lots of endeavours to avoid falling into the trap of nostalgia or inertia. Have you always dreamed of visiting Japan? Would you like to become a volunteer for your favourite NGO or devote yourself to a new hobby? Now’s the ideal time, so go for it! By following certain rules, it’s even possible to keep one foot in the workplace, combining retirement with a paid activity. Whatever you decide, the time has come for you to think about yourself, do what you love doing, and start exploring. This will ensure you remain young at heart. One trap to steer clear of is inertia and isolation. Learning new things or sharing your knowledge are two keys to happiness in retirement.
Learn, and share your knowledge
It’s never too late to learn! More than ever, retirement is the chance to acquire new skills and take an interest in new fields. Maybe you’re not too familiar with the latest technology or you’d like to learn a new language? Take advantage of this free time to sign up for lessons.
On the other hand, if you’re full of energy and knowledge, it may be interesting to share them with young students or even your grandchildren, who will be more than happy to spend time with you. Some charities such as Mouvement pour l’Egalité des Chances – MEC and Luxembourg Senior Consultant promote continuous training, sharing of experience and intergenerational relations.
For your physical and mental wellbeing, it’s important to keep a degree of structure in your time management and to maintain or develop good habits.
Develop healthy habits
Wanting to enjoy your retirement is entirely normal. But don’t overdo it or abandon your routines completely! For your physical and mental wellbeing, it’s important to keep a degree of structure in your time management and to maintain or develop good habits. Rediscovering the joy of preparing some nice meals, and doing regular exercise such as walking, swimming and even gardening are good ways to keep in shape and avoid a feeling of drifting through the days. Apart from the benefit of a healthy diet and physical exertion, these activities have a significant influence on your mood and quality of life. In other words, while you are free to live at your own pace once you retire, it’s important to make a conscious decision as to what this pace will be. And to then stick to it!
Under no circumstances should retirement mean loneliness. On the contrary, maintaining a busy social life is fundamental to a happy retirement. And this should be even easier as you can now choose with whom you would like to spend your time. Saying goodbye to your workmates does not necessarily mean breaking ties with them. Whether with family, friends or people with whom you share an interest, maintaining social relations is important. Through social networks or group activities, why not use this free time to widen your circle of friends!
In summary, to make the most of your future retirement, you need to be preparing for it now. Not everyone experiences this important milestone in the same way, but it’s a great opportunity to make a fresh start, share your experience, finally bring certain plans to fruition, and maintain a busy social life with the people of your choosing. The future looks bright!