How can you build retirement resilience?

putting money in jar for retirement

Most retirees have to deal with an unexpected hiccup after retiring, a US survey has found.

Of those surveyed, 69 per cent of men and 81 per cent of women admitted experiencing such an event and, as a result, 93 per cent believe that being prepared, flexible and willing to adapt are all important ingredients for a successful retirement.

But if the evidence points to the reality that retirement resilience is critical for a happy retirement, it leaves one important question to answer: how to build retirement resilience?

Life is filled with challenges and, as you age, these may include the death of a family friend or loved one, your own unexpected health issues, or significant financial stresses that can come with stepping away from your career and transitioning to a whole new phase of life.

And with a growing number of retirees still dealing with debt, including ongoing mortgage repayments or rental price hike stress, the struggle is definitely real.

To help you survive – and thrive – in your own retirement, no matter what the economic climate throws at you, these practical tips may make a positive difference.

How to enhance retirement resilience

Having reliable sources of diversified and protected retirement income to last the rest of your life – no matter how you live – is the dream of every retiree.

It’s never too late to help nurture your retirement nest egg with some smart investment strategies and budgeting that can add extra money to your retirement savings.

Determining if you (or your partner) will be financially secure if something happened to your loved one is a good start. Looking into a life insurance policy may offer some protection but, if you have super, check to see if there is a suitable policy. See if the cover includes an adequate payout amount that will cover any remaining debts and expenses if one person in the partnership passes away. Talking to an insurance specialist will help you understand if there are steps you can take to bump up this cover.

Financial planning is at the heart of a resilient retirement

Factoring in potential market downturns and the impact that financial hit may have on your superannuation and savings is another important thing to consider. What can you do to diversify your savings to ensure you have the best possible protection from a fluctuating market? Talk to your financial adviser to find out more.

Putting a plan in place that protects you from any future cognitive decline and poor decision-making is another way to build sustainable resilience in retirement. Do you have a community around you that will support you as you age? If you don’t, it’s important to prepare the plan for eventual aged care and understand the costs involved. If you know you have enough to fund your entry into retirement living and beyond, it can remove some stress.

Knowledge is power, so, although that reality may still be many years away, knowing what your options are and that you have it covered, can help you face your retirement years calmly and happily.

By establishing a care plan for yourself (or your partner) you will feel more in control. This plan could be as simple as setting up a dedicated savings/investment account (or home equity?) with funds allocated for that specific purpose. The right insurance policy can also potentially take care of this, so do some research and get the right advice from a trusted adviser.

Read more: How you can achieve retirement contentment

Do you feel you have enough resilience for retirement? Did you make a conscious effort to build it? What steps did you take? Share your stories in the comments section below.

Written by Claire Halliday

Claire is an accomplished journalist who has written for leading magazines and newspapers, such as The Sunday Age and Sydney Morning Herald, Australian Women's Weekly, Marie Claire, Rolling Stone, Australian House & Garden, GQ, The Australian, Herald Sun, The Weekly Review, Kidspot.com.au and The Independent on Sunday (UK).

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