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Building quality of life: The 5 secrets to a happy retirement

Entering retirement is for the most part an exciting journey full of new possibilities and adventures but at the same time the transition from working life can be a shock to the system with so much free time on your hands.

Instead of having a job to go to each day to make up the hours retirees are often left twiddling their thumbs trying to figure out what to do with their newfound freedom. This is why it’s important to be prepared and consider what will help you live out a happy and fulfilling next stage of life, taking into consideration everything from how the finances will be kept in check to what measures you’ll take to ensure a positive frame of mind.

1. Managing finances

Before stepping away from work it’s essential to take a look at the finances and figure out how retirement will be funded with no income entering the bank account each week or month. This could be in the way of the Age Pension or superannuation which has been building up over the course of one’s career.

There are, of course, age limits in Australia as to when you can access the funds and the calculator tool provided by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission is a handy way to understand how much super you’ll receive. But there are other assets that can only be considered as is explained by financial expert Mike Chesworth.

“There is a few things you’ve got to do, one is to take a stocktake of where you are, and that’s not only a stocktake of your assets, it’s a stocktake of what you want to be doing and who you want to be doing that with,” he told Starts at 60. “If I look at the assets to start off with – it’s what is going to create an income stream for me when I retire, and if it’s going to be super that’s great, and any other investments you have inside or outside of super.”

However, Chesworth advised not to include the home in this list, unless you are planning on downsizing soon, because even though it’s an asset it’s not something you will be making a profit from. Meanwhile, he also suggested taking some long service leave on half pay before retirement to get an idea of how you will manage on decreased funds.

2. Finding meaning and purpose

As retirement goes on and the big bucket list items have been ticked off it’s normal to hit a bit of a road block and question what you should be doing in life. Throughout one’s career you are constantly working towards a goal and without anything of the kind you can feel lost and in some cases depressed.

Though it may be difficult to begin with, getting outside your comfort zone and challenging yourself, by meeting new people and helping out someone less fortunate through volunteering can really boost the endorphins and make you feel valued in society. There are a range of charities or not-for-profits that are always on the hunt for passionate and motivated people to lend a helping hand, such as Vinnies or the Salvation Army at one of their op-shops, or the Red Cross, driving the elderly to medical appointments or managing admin tasks.

Published by Starts at 60 to read more open the attached link
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