A different kind of nest egg:

We’re all living longer. The medical industry is becoming more and more adept at recognising, and treating poor health earlier, and while there’s no fountain of youth just yet, we can still reasonably expect to live two to three decades after retirement.

That’s a long time in anyone’s book. And yet many retirees fail to consider what they’ll do during these years.

One reason is the transition to retirement is such a frenetic one. After you’ve finished work, downsized the family home and taken that longed-for trip, it’s understandable to want a well-deserved rest from planning.

But after you’ve settled into retired life and caught up on your sleep – how will you spend the rest of your retirement?

If you’re still unsure what your new life’s purpose after work should be, here are some further helpful ideas to get you thinking about how to make this next stage of your life exciting and fulfilling.

How to plan for the emotional costs of retirement.

  1. Volunteer your time. Giving your time to worthy causes can be enormously rewarding and it gives you an opportunity to get out of the house and meet new people. Research has also found a significant connection between volunteering and good health, including longer life, decreased depression, less heart disease and higher functional abilities. And, as they say, the only true road to happiness is making someone else happy.  
  • Take care of your body and mind. Studies show that keeping physically active may be vital to brain health. Because exercise promotes neurogenesis (literally, renewed neurons), increased brain volume, and improved cognitive function, it helps aging brains retain plasticity, keeping you mentally engaged and ready to take on your dreams. Make sure your blueprint makes time for daily exercise.
  • Get another job. If you’re one of the many people who finds meaning through their job, being retired doesn’t mean you can’t work. New technologies mean there are plenty of opportunities to pursue part-time work or work from home.
  • Keep connected. An essential ingredient to a meaningful retirement is maintaining your social networks and making new connections. If you’re feeling isolated, take a step towards meeting new people: think about joining a local walking group or take a class at your community centre.
  • Find a mission. One recent study has shown that those who have purpose in life have a 30% slower rate of cognitive decline than those who don’t. Having purpose also reduced the risk of Alzheimer’s and its precursor, mild cognitive impairment. Even those whose brains had the plaques and tangles associated with Alzheimer’s had better cognitive brain function when they felt their lives had meaning.
  • Ask an expert. With Boomers demanding more from retirement, there’s been a concurrent boom in professional advice for those finding the transition difficult. Need some extra help? Hire a life coach, go to a retirement workshop or sign up for a life-transition program – they’re all great ways to discover new passions and how you can make them happen step-by-step.

With a little soul searching you can make your retirement more emotionally, psychologically and physically fulfilling.

How have you planned what you’ll do for the rest of your life? We’d love to hear about it!

Rediscover a more fulfilling retirement lifestyle at Encore Living Trafalgar.

Take a tour of your new life. Contact Debra on 1800 362 673.