Retirement is something you deserve to look forward to. It’s a time of reward – after all, you’ve spent many years working hard. You’ve probably also spent a lot of time looking after your family and tending to many situations that are stressful or time-consuming. So, retirement should be a chance for you to have some time for yourself. But retiring successfully can be trickier than you think. So, whether you’re looking to retire imminently, or have already done so, here are a few tips to help you have a fulfilling retirement.
Finding the right balance
To start with, no doubt, you will have a real buzz about your new-found freedom. You will find lots to do to keep yourself occupied, and the novelty of your situation will probably give you a real zest for life. But what happens when the novelty wears off? Bear in mind that you have a spent a significant part of your life at work, with family or other commitments. So, the sudden huge amount of free time retirement offers can feel overwhelming. It can also be exacerbated over time. Many will undoubtedly be tempted to take advantage of this by doing as little as possible. Meanwhile, others will take on as much as they can to fill their days. Both have merits in the short term. But neither will work well in the long term. So, retiring successfully means you will need to establish a balance between keeping busy and taking it easy that works well for you.
You weren’t expecting us to say this, were you! It sounds odd when put like that, but the fact is if you don’t ring-fence your retirement even a little, others will fast find ways to fill your time for you. Others rarely seek to take advantage, but this can become a by-product of their perception of you having lots of ‘free’ time. No doubt you will want to help out family and friends where you can – but learning to say ‘no’ when you want to can be incredibly valuable.
We’re sticklers for this, aren’t we! But, with good reason. It’s likely that during your career, you will have had some schedule, routine or plan in place. Throwing out this routine when you retire generally isn’t a good idea. So be sure to plan ahead for both the short and long term. Planning a holiday to look forward to each year is just as important as planning what time you’ll get up in the morning!
As expected, you will probably lose touch with some of your former work colleagues when you retire. Perhaps some you will even want to. Either way, it’s important to maintain a social network when you’re no longer working. Nor should you focus exclusively on an online network. It is so important to interact with people face-to-face, else it can be all too easy to slip into feeling isolated. Taking up hobbies, volunteering for something you are passionate about, or simply arranging to meet up with friends are excellent ways to counteract this. Remember, your retirement is about you – so making sure your mental well-being is taken care of will be crucial to retiring successfully!
As always, if you would like to speak to an adviser about your retirement goals, please call us on 01243 767 469. Alternatively, you can email us from our contact page, and an adviser will be in touch.
Written by Ben Griffiths
Ben is a financial planner from our Whiteley office. While he specialises in pension planning, Ben is also able to generalise into all other areas of financial planning.