By Megan Giles: Retirement Transition Consultant. First published on Over Sixty [Link: www.oversixty.com.au]
In planning for retirement, I bet there are plenty of items on your to-do list! They might include travelling, playing golf, bushwalking or taking up cycling. Most likely there are some assumptions built into that list, for example that you will have good health, that you'll be mobile, that you'll have the funds available that you expect.
It is not unreasonable to expect these things, but what are you doing today to help ensure that they are the case? Too often we get caught up in the busyness of life and put off those appointments we know we need to make. We think “yeah, yeah I’ll get to that tomorrow”. Suddenly six months have passed and we still haven’t been to see the doctor, the dentist or the skin specialist.
Wendy always imagined that retirement would include four-wheel driving through Western Australia and the Northern Territory. A seemingly innocent fall one day, however, has impacted those plans. Assuming that she simply had twisted her knee, Wendy visited a GP. The GP recommended she see a physiotherapist for a rehabilitation plan, but with demanding job and busy home life, Wendy never quite got around to making that appointment…A couple of years later that pain hasn’t fully resolved and is exacerbated by too much walking. Wendy’s retirement dreams still involve The Kimberley but the reality is that she won’t be able to manage all of the hikes and walks she’d planned. She’s also a little apprehensive about how much help she’ll be able to offer her husband in setting up and packing down camp.
Conversely, Kate started working with a personal trainer (PT) a couple of years before she was due to retire. She was overweight, was experiencing heart problems and feared that this would be exacerbated when she stopped working. Outwardly she looked as though so was in her 70s and knew that she needed to make a chance now because the retirement she was facing was a limiting and possibly isolating one. By working with a PT and a tailored program, Kate not only lost weight and improved her health, but now radiates confidence and comments that she feels as though she’s still in her 40s. With that mindset she is looking forward to tackling some overseas treks!
It’s amazing the difference that quarantining some ‘me time’ in our busy diaries can make down the track. Don’t let being too busy become an excuse for a hampered retirement.
"Do something today that your future self will thank you for"
Who are the professionals that you need to see in order to achieve a life in retirement that is full of possibility and meaning for you?
Below are four professionals that you may like to make an appointment with today to set yourself up for a retirement you can look forward to.
1. Financial planner
Robust financial planning is critical to positioning yourself for greatest flexibility in deciding how and when you will retire. Don’t be scared to seek professional advice and understand your position and the options available to you. Financial planners are experts – they have the tools and resources to assist you achieve your goals.
Get that spot or niggling pain looked at – don’t let it be the reason you can’t live your retirement to its fullest. There are numerous services your GP offers and many at little or no cost. Did you know that a free health check is offered to Medicare eligible patients from 40 years onwards, or that free mammograms are offered to all women aged over 40 years? The cost of the annual flu job is a small price to pay for staying well over winter and having the recommended vaccinations helps to ensure you truly have the trip of a lifetime!
3. Fitness professional
As the adage goes, you need to ‘use it or lose it’. Being active doesn’t have to mean ‘pumping iron’ or sweaty aerobics class and there are so many fabulous ways to fit physical activity into your lifestyle such as yoga, swimming, netball, stand-up paddling boarding – the list goes on! To get started, meet with a personal trainer, instructor or coach as a means of building your confidence, finding your groove, and ensuring good technique for injury prevention.
4. Retirement transition support
Whilst the prospect of retirement should be an exciting time with so much freedom, for many people this can actually create a sense of anxiousness – what ‘should’ our retirement look like, what are we ‘supposed’ to do? If you are struggling with the transition, don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Talk through the challenges with your significant other(s) or find someone you can talk candidly with and share your fears and apprehensions. A retirement designer, life coach or counsellor can be a fabulous resource to help you make sense of the non-financial challenges and shape a life after work that is fulfilling and meaningful to you.
Whilst retirement can seem a long way off, don’t wait and simply expect your plans to fall into place. Prevent avoidable disappointment and do something today to set up the future you so desire!
Feeling a little apprehensive about retirement, know you need to do some planning but just can’t find the time? I understand. Between work, caring for your family and keeping on top of your ‘to do’ list, life is busy. So with that in mind I have created the Bite Sized Retirement Transition Video Series. Six practical, short & sweet videos (each no more than 3 minutes!) which will enable you to take action and successfully navigate the transition into retirement.
You can watch then when you find those precious spare minutes or even on the bus on you way to work!
Sign up using the link below and the first video will be on its way to your inbox!
If you enjoyed this article you may also be interested in the following blogs; Focus: Retirement Planning – Is Your Financial Position Keeping You Awake at Night? and 4 Myths About Financial Planners Busted!