Tips For A Meaningful Retirement

Muirfield recently published an article in the Surf Coast Times “Celebrating Seniors and Retirement Living” liftout.  The article explored 5 tips for a meaningful retirement.

Retiring is one of the most significant life changes people make and for most retirees the transition is a relatively easy one to navigate.  For some, adjusting to life after work can be more difficult, particularly when people have spent a lifetime finding meaning and social connection in their careers. Obviously, the decision to retire is a big one from a financial perspective, however, over time, I have come to appreciate the importance of preparing my clients for retirement emotionally as well as financially.

The following are some insights I regularly share with clients around finding greater meaning in retirement.

  1. Creating connections with others is a fundamental human need. Often this can be lost in retirement where social connections from the workplace become distant.  Relationships with family, friends, neighbours and acquaintances in all areas of life should be fostered as much as possible. 
  2. Physical activity is vital for positive well-being, any activity that gets the body moving is helpful.  Whilst this can be challenging over time with the ageing process, finding things to enjoy doing with others, as regularly as possible is crucial for well-being. This can be simple things like gardening, walking the dog or playing golf and lawn bowls.
  3. Learning something new and trying to keep the mind active is important for retirees who often lose mental stimulation in their post-work life.  Trying a new hobby, rediscovering old hobbies or learning new things can help boost confidence.  The U3A network (https://www.u3avictoria.com.au/) provides access for retired and semi-retired people to come together and learn as a group.  Their tagline “because your brain doesn’t want to retire” is very apt and their philosophy is not about qualifications, more so the sheer joy of discovery.
  4. Stopping work doesn’t mean you have to stop making a positive contribution to society. Volunteering for a charity or community organisation can be hugely rewarding and a great opportunity to make use of the knowledge and skills developed during years in the workforce.
  5. Being in the moment, noticing things around you and being aware of your emotions can help.  This can be as simple as noticing changes in your grandchild’s development, or appreciating beauty in your surroundings. We are blessed to have so much natural beauty on the Surf Coast and Bellarine, step outside and admire all it has to offer.

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