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How to Make Retirement a Step Forward, Not a Step Back

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Retirement always seemed like a long way off. The light at the end of the tunnel when we could finally do all those amazing things we’d held off on in replacement for the things in life we couldn’t neglect. However, now that retirement is getting closer, it has enabled us to really start considering all the things we want to achieve and which ones we want to prioritise. To help people who are contemplating retirement we wanted to offer some suggestions which will help during this big transitional period.

Take up a hobby

 If you are used to working full-time it can be unsettling when you finally retire. You will have more time on your hands than ever before, therefore it would be beneficial to look for a hobby you will enjoy and be passionate about. You could even combine the next step of increasing your vacations with finding a hobby.  Look for an advert in your local paper featuring the words “catamaran for sale” and sail happily into your retirement.

 Preparing for retirement

 Like any big change in life planning and preparation are crucial to success. Planning the transition will be one of the initial steps as it will allow you to ease into this change of pace. A good way to do this is to plan breaks from work. Planning multiple trips or longer travel breaks whilst you are still working will allow you to get accustomed to having a bit more time on your hands and prevent it from being a shock.

Reduce your working hours

 Depending on your situation a good way to ease yourself into retirement is to look at ways to slowly reduce your working hours. The changes you could request include a reduction in working hours, your pattern of work such as job sharing or even change to your location – with the potential to work from home. It is certainly good to think about what would suit your lifestyle and hold a conversation with your employer to gauge what possibilities they would be willing to consider.

Expand your friendship group

 Social connection is an important part of life and not just retirement. A number of studies have advised that social connect is the key to happiness, and happiness is what we want in retirement. A great way to kill two birds with one stone is to combine your hobbies and friendships. Starting a new hobby is a great way to make new friends, try out fun new activities and start developing those friendships ahead of your retirement.

Consider where you want to retire

 If like many others, you have grand plans of retiring to the beach or bush, there are a few things to think about before you up sticks and move to your dream retirement home. Is your chosen retirement location commutable to work? If it is commutable, could it be a viable option to move before you retire?

A further consideration is whether you wish to relocate to a different city, as an exciting opportunity could be to look for a new job or a possible job transfer to your dream city and try something new.

Although planning such a big transition can seem daunting at the start, we can assure you it will be the one of the most exciting journeys if you plan it properly. By doing something towards it everyday it’ll all add up. If any of these suggestions seem too challenging, why not start small and aim to try something new every few weeks and build your confidence up to bigger things? We hope these tips have helped.

For help with retirement income planning, visit https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/superannuation-and-retirement/retirement-income-planning

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