Don't be embarrassed if you're struggling with retirement

Not everyone finds the transition into retirement easy. The adaptation to a different pace of life can be quite a shock. You wonder what are you supposed to do with all of this time - there are so many hours between waking and going to bed! As a result your self-confidence and sense of self-worth take a beating.

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To retire or re-wire? How to reframe your retirement

Retirement is a gloomy word. It is derived from the French words ‘re’ and ‘tirer’, meaning to draw back and suggests that the best part of our lives is over once we are no longer working. It insinuates that retirement is simply a time to sit back and wait for the inevitable.

But what if we framed it differently?

Growing research in the field of neuroplasticity demonstrates that the brain is not static. It continues to evolve and adapt, i.e. rewire, as we age. What would you rather do – retire or rewire?

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The essential thing you need to do in your first year of retirement

It is great to have principles to live by such as ‘take each day as it comes’ and ‘focus on the good’ but what do they actually mean and what do they look like on a day-to-day basis in retirement? How do they help you to fill your days purposefully?

The challenge with relying on principles alone is that you run the risk of simply drifting through retirement. There is no impetus to jump out of bed each day. Your goals do not need to be all-consuming, after all freedom is what you seek in retirement, but they will provide you with something to work towards and thus give meaning to your days or weeks. It may be finishing that watercolour painting, collecting funds for your chosen charity, taking the 4X4 to the tip of Cape York or recovering from a hip replacement. What is it that motivates and interests you?

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Trying to find your perfect purpose in retirement? Why not just give something a go!

So many people struggle with finding their purpose in retirement and spin their wheels as a result. They see other people doing amazing things in retirement and they believe that they have to get it ‘just right’ from day one. Unfortunately the fear of making the wrong decision means that they do nothing other than muddle through each day, waiting for the inspiration to strike.

Rather than waiting to uncover the perfect 'thing', get started and do something meaningful each day! Want to know how? Try these tips below.

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Navigating Christmas party conversations when you’re struggling in retirement

You’re at a Christmas party and someone asks you “so what are you doing with yourself these days?” or assumes “you must love not working anymore”. You know that you’re supposed to glow and respond how fantastic life in retirement is. But inside you cringe. The journey into retirement is proving to be rockier than you anticipated and you haven’t yet found your feet.

4 tips to keep the conversation light and you feeling good!

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Will your health allow your dream retirement to become a reality?

For many people, this end of the year will be more exciting than usual as not only is the festive season almost upon us but it signals their decision to retire as well. This might be you. You have saved well and are confident that your financial position will enable you to do all of those things you dream of when work no longer consumes your waking hours! But what about your health, have you prioritised your health in planning for retirement?

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What are your non-negotiables in retirement?

The wonderful thing about retirement is that the Baby Boomers finally have the opportunity to become the ‘Me-Timers’. After balancing a busy career, family and social commitments for so many years, they finally get to focus on the things that light them up. That might mean learning to play the saxophone (I’ve only had the darn thing 20 years!), selling up and making that tree change, or trekking through Patagonia.

I am a strong advocate for possibility thinking, living one’s dreams and creating a full and exciting retirement, but I also want to ensure that people approaching retirement are set up for success. I want to ensure that their dreams and goals are achievable.

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When retirement has a negative impact on your mental health...

There are a number of reports which indicate that retirement can have a negative impact on your mental health. That the loss of status, connection, identity and drive can lead to depression, and that this is particularly prevalent amongst men. This is not surprising given that retirement represents a significant life change and can result in much upheaval to life as we know it. It does, however, beg the question is the transition into retirement the sole catalyst for poorer mental health or is there something else at play?

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Retirement planning: Your financial stock looks good but what about your emotional stock?

Our first priority when we think about retirement planning is ensuring that we have our financial stock in order. Your retirement portfolio might include savings, assets, investments and perhaps a plan to draw a pension. Without a doubt, robust and informed financial planning is critical to a successful retirement in that it positions you for greatest flexibility in terms of how you live your life after work. But it is not the only piece of the retirement readiness puzzle to consider.

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How Feeling Old Can Work Against You In Retirement

How old do you feel today? Younger or older than your driver’s licence says? As the old adage goes ‘you are only as old as you feel’ and this is particularly important when it comes to getting the most out of life in retirement.  The people who feel productive, happy and content in retirement tend to be those who have a zest for life and feel young at heart. To them age is simply a number.

The research suggests that those who see themselves as old are more likely to experience declining health more quickly, both physically and psychologically, and thus lead a ‘smaller’ retirement.

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How can yoga help you bring your retirement plans to life?

To the men out there! If you knew that yoga could benefit your retirement plans and goals, would you give it a go? Whilst it seems that almost every Gen Y-er and millennial owns a yoga mat and has a favourite class, there is much trepidation surrounding yoga for many Baby Boomers. Worries abound such as how to get your body to bend like that, what to do when you enter a class, and the ultimate fear of falling asleep and snoring! Men in particular tend to be sceptical, perhaps because they worry about looking silly or a little too much in touch with their feminine side.

Before you laugh it off, can I ask you to do a quick self-assessment – how’s your quality of sleep, what’s your mobility like and how easily does your body allow you to do your everyday tasks? If you toss and turn during the night or worry about how you are going to jump in and out of that 4X4, set up the camper trailer or take long hikes in retirement, yoga might be just the thing for you!

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The conversation we should all be dying to have

Imagine not being afraid to think and talk about death. What difference would that make? Most likely it would mean that we each have a clear idea about what we want our end of life to look and feel like. For example what life-sustaining treatments we would like to receive if we were unable to speak for ourselves, and where we would like to spend our final days. Not only that, but our loved ones would be aware of, and respect, those wishes.

Let's get rid of the fear and sense of taboo and have these really important conversations. Why not start today?

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The power of friendship in retirement

When we think about staying healthy in retirement, we often think about becoming more active, eating better and ensuring a good night’s sleep. But there’s another powerful antidote and it doesn’t require active wear, perspiration or watching calorie intake. Did you know that maintaining strong friendships in retirement can have a significant and positive impact on your wellbeing?

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Dealing with setbacks in retirement

You’ve done everything right in planning for retirement. You have saved, seen a financial planner, and have a good sense of how you are going to spend your days. You intend to spend more time with the grandchildren, perhaps making up for the time you were not able to spend with your own children. And then you receive the phone call....

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The right attitude is key to a happy retirement

It’s disappointing when I hear people, be they young or old, who are bitter and complain about all of the things that are wrong in the world. For those who are nearing the retirement age, I hear things like “it was never like that in my day” or “my family don’t care, that’s why they never come to visit”. Despite all of the good in the world, life seems to be pretty miserable for them. But then there are people who seem to be 'living it up' and embracing all that life has to offer. What's the difference?

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