They were startled when Penny dropped to the floor and started doing push-ups while in the coffee queue at the local cafe. You’d be surprised too if you knew her age. Penny just turned 68. It was an impromptu demo for a couple of girlfriends – who were both still frozen from awe and disbelief. She could’ve done the military-style push-ups from her knees but dismissed the silly idea.
“Wrinkles should merely indicate where the smiles have been.” ― Mark Twain
There is no longer a linear path from education, to work, and on to retirement. We’re living healthier and longer lives. Some bear children later in life. This has created a trend of older people working past retirement age. For some, it’s a choice. But for others, a necessity.
Your personal and financial well-being is often dictated by the circumstances of earlier years. You see, what happens to you today was shaped by the decisions you made yesterday.
You can buy into the doom-and-gloom about getting older or you can seize the opportunity to plan for the vacation of your life: your retirement.
When retirement comes, it’s often associated with ageing. Some cultures revere their elders and look to them for wisdom from a lifetime’s worth of experience. To others, ageing is a disease and choose to fight it.
Having the ability and means to make personal and financial choices will enable you to enjoy life and to revel in your extended later years – that’s Positive Ageing.
The more longevity you enjoy, the more financial needs you have to plan for later in life. Consequently, the risk of financial hardship and poverty due to insufficient savings and income plus additional expenditure, increases.
Therefore, if you can make choices and have control over important aspects of your life, you are more likely to feel good about yourself, your financial well-being and your financial capabilities.
Positive ageing tips
Design your dream retirement
Any retirement plan starts with setting your own goals and envisioning your desired income and lifestyle.
Planning starts with thinking about your goals. How do you want to live and what do you want to do? Set goals and envision the future you want. Have a mental image of your desired outcome. While some plans don’t always go perfectly, imagining the future can at least help you develop a game plan. This is where lifetime planning becomes important.
Ask yourself these questions:
- How will you ensure you have sufficient income in retirement?
- Do you want to have financial independence?
- Would you like to downsize or is there somewhere you hoped to retire to?
- Do you and your partner have the same ideas on where to live and what to do in retirement?
- Do you want to travel?
Take stock of your current situation
After visualising your future, take a look at where you are today. This is where the starting line is. The closer you get to retirement, the more effort you need to focus on planning. If you have debts, are they under control? Are you managing your expenses? Are you setting aside enough money in superannuation and investing in line with your risk tolerance level?
Estimate your retirement needs
Once you know where you are and where you want to go, it’s time for a retirement income calculation. This is crucial because you’d want to know if you are on track for retirement or if you need to make some adjustments to improve your situation.
Review your sources of income
Once you know how much income you’ll need when you retire, you can determine if you’ll have enough to assets to generate that income for the rest of your retirement years. Also ensure you consider your level of superannuation, investments, and any government income support. If you believe you won’t have adequate, then you’ll need to either save more, work longer or revise your desired level of income to a more modest level.
Besides your finances, there are also many non-financial things to consider as you plan for a successful retirement.
The way you view life and the ageing process can affect how you view life in general. So, keeping a positive attitude will allow you to continue to feel good and have a sense of control. You can also change your mindset about retirement: from a time to do less to a chance to do a lot.
Exercise with friends
Start to slowly incorporate physical activity into your daily routine. Exercising with friends will provide you with motivation and support. You don’t have to enrol in a CrossFit program, but it’s not a bad idea.
Take up a hobby
Pick up that long-neglected hobby or try a new one. Some take up dancing or maybe a new sport. Others prefer more sedate activities like pottery or fishing. Either way, it’s a great way to meet new people and extend your social network.
Your local sports club or community group are often in need of help from volunteers with the life experience to contribute. It’s a terrific opportunity to give back and connect with new people.
Adding more life to your years
Longevity is now commonly available so adding years to your life is no longer the goal. The new challenge is how to add more life to your years. Research have shown that adopting a positive attitude and mindset can potentially slow down the signs of ageing.
Ageing is inevitable. And those who age positively live longer and healthier lives and enjoy a better quality of life.
Ageing healthily and happily and having the ability to make financial choices to enjoy life in old age is the ultimate goal. And through a combination of financial guidance, advice and a positive mindset, you too can look forward to a bright future ahead in your golden years.
Take a step in the right direction and give the Integra team a call or book a meeting here.