How to Craft a Great Retirement Lifestyle:

Building a blueprint for a life you’ll love, part 1.

In the midst of our workaday busy-ness, it’s easy to forget we can craft our lives just as we would a work of art. We’re so focussed on getting by, seeing the kids settled, building our nest egg and pleasing our bank manager, there’s no time to consider whether we’re living a remarkable life.

In fact, retirement can often be the first time you actually sit back and really consider what a satisfying life means to you, let alone take steps to achieve it.

It’s not just about money.

Many of us plan extensively for retirement – you’ve probably spent substantial time creating a financial portfolio to enjoy in your “golden years.” However, most of us forget that we also need to plan for the emotional and psychological consequences of retirement.

As the last day of work approaches, it’s not uncommon for impending retirees to realise they’ve neglected to ask themselves a couple of absolutely crucial questions, such as:

  1. What exactly are my dreams for the rest of my (non-working) life?
  2. How do I find a new purpose that will keep me fulfilled for the next 20-30 years?

These questions often require a degree of serious soul-searching and can sometimes inspire an existential crisis as you’re catapulted into a new life stage. And that’s OK, because the first stage of making this blueprint for retired life will be to extensively explore what a meaningful retirement means for you.

Think of this stage as crafting a new kind of retirement portfolio – one filled with pursuits that are important to your emotional, physical and mental wellbeing.

Consider all the possibilities open to you.

Retirement is an amazing opportunity to create a life that reflects who you really are – separate from the responsibilities (family, work) that defined your younger years. Suddenly you’re free to be who you want to be – and there’s the rub.

Sometimes when your options are wide open you can feel even more at a loss. If you’re feeling paralysed by choice, it’s time to do some research in earnest.

The first step is thinking about what’s important to you. What energises and motivates you?

What gives you the sense that life is meaningful?

Is it family and being with loved ones? Social connection and community? Learning and creating? Philanthropic or volunteer work? The second step is to then think about setting priorities and goals and figuring out how you’re going to spend your time to meet those goals. Being purposeful is not something that just happens without your being active and intentional.

Somewhere to start.

Struggling with questions like these is normal. But if you’re feeling really stuck, try this:

  1. Take out a piece of paper. Jot down everything you’ve ever dreamed of doing. Don’t think about it too much, list them quickly over 5 minutes (Hints: travel, painting, spending more time with family, learning a new skill, surfing).
  2. Now circle those dreams you’d like to pursue in the next few years.
  3. Grab a new sheet of paper, fold it in half, then fold it again to make 4 squares.
  4. At the top of each square, write down one of the top 4 dreams most important to you.
  5. Use the rest of the square to list what steps you’ll need to take to make them come true.

Congrats. You’ve made your first emotional blueprint for retirement.

The next step is simplicity itself: work your way down the list. Try surfing. Pick up that guitar. Take a painting class. Learn a new language.  It doesn’t matter if you discover something’s not really your thing – having a go is key. Be open and explore your new freedom – but remember that even if something’s not the right fit, you’ve got plenty of time to change tack.

We’re all living longer…………….

At Encore Living Trafalgar, were committed to helping you enjoy life over 55 and making your dreams come true.

Discover how by contacting Debra on 1800 362 673.  

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