Retirement is not only a time to relax — it can also be a journey of self-discovery.
By facing your fears now and overcoming them, you can pave the way for a more rewarding future. Here are four of the most common retirement fears and some tips for dealing with them.
We may not always find work fulfilling, but it does provide us with a sense of purpose and a reason to get up in the morning. Many people worry about becoming bored once that’s taken away.The solution is to think of retirement as your new job, but one designed by you. Start by brainstorming a list of things you’ve always wanted to achieve, from learning to paint and volunteering for a cause you believe in, to traveling Australia and growing your own veggies. Then write a step-by-step plan of how you can reach those goals. You’ll never be bored — and soon you’ll be able to look back with satisfaction on all you’ve achieved.
- Poor health
Australians are living longer than ever before, putting us in the top 10 OECD countries for life expectancy. But the older we become, the more likely we are to experience health issues, with more than one in five older Australians suffering from heart disease, stroke or vascular diseases1.Fortunately, there are some simple steps many of us can take to stay healthier for longer. Prevention is always better than cure, so make sure you eat well, get daily exercise and have regular check-ups.
Think carefully before dropping your private health insurance, since the government’s Lifetime Health Cover system is likely to mean that opting out now will cost you dearly if you re-join in the future2. Remember, too, that over 65s and over 70s, get higher rebates on private health insurance premiums, making them more affordable3.
- Memory issues
Along with declining eyesight, memory problems are the bane of getting older but there’s plenty you can do to keep your mind nimble and promote brain health.The Alzheimer’s Association has a simple five-step plan for keeping your brain in shape, from challenging yourself mentally to eating ‘good fats’ like olive and fish oils — see www.yourbrainmatters.org.au for details. TV personality and ABC Mental Health Week Ambassador Todd Sampson is also a keen advocate of disciplined brain training.
“I spent the last two years having my brain probed and explored all around the world creating the Redesign My Brain series,” says Sampson. “Like a muscle it needs regular training to stay healthy — and it’s easier than one might think.”
“Making brain health a priority is the critical first step.”
“Try and remember all the names of the people at the next dinner party. Stop using your phone as a surrogate brain and memorize some of the numbers yourself and the next time you need to do a calculation, do it in your head.”
- Running out of money
The longer we live, the more money we’ll need in retirement — and the greater the risk of running short.The good news is that a little planning can make an enormous difference. Even if retirement is only a few years away, there’s a lot you may still be able to do to maximise your savings before you finish work. And the right strategies in retirement can help you build a healthier and more sustainable income, without putting your financial security at risk.
A financial adviser can help you navigate the complexities of Australia’s super and pension system and create a practical plan for a more secure and rewarding retirement. Because the sooner you start planning, them more time you’ll have to create the future you want.
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