Planning a good retirement

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John Deeks

And first up, let’s head way up north to beautiful Toowoomba and say a very good morning to Judy Rafferty, our first guest on this episode of Mind Your Own Retirement. Hello Judy.

Judy Rafferty

Good morning John.

John Deeks

It’s lovely to have you with us. Judy is a practicing psychologist in Toowoomba. Boy, wouldn’t you be busy at the moment? And also author of that new book, Retirement Your Way, of which Janelle Ward spoke of.          Ah Judy, are you taking any clients at this time or are you not practicing as such?

Judy Rafferty

Well, I am still in practice John and ah because of our pandemic, the way that I’m in practice has changed a little. Rather than face to face now, it’s pretty much either telehealth or phone consultation.

John Deeks

Now we’re going to talk about your book and we’re here to talk about your book, Retirement Your Way. And that’s the reason for our call. What was the genesis of that book, Retirement Your Way, Judy?

Judy Rafferty

Well, I wrote that book because I’m at retirement age myself John and I guess a number of people come to see me who are around my age because they feel quite comfortable that I might sort of get what they’re talking about. And a number of those conversations, of course, are about retirement and issues that arise from retirement. And I, being in retirement age myself, listening to clients talk and then it literally came home to me when my husband retired. So I thought, well, this is all very interesting. Let’s see what we can learn about this. And I went out to look for, as I usually do, if I have a challenge. What information is out there? And there’s a huge amount, but really most of it is on money and the financial aspects of retirement. And what I did find, the literature didn’t address the really very specific and small aspects of retirement that can make the difference between a good retirement and a not so good one.

John Deeks

Such as?

Judy Rafferty

Such as, what happens when one of you retires in your couple and one doesn’t? What happens when the person who’s retired is now at home and doing things his or her way? You know, there’s lots of little things that actually are very big things.

John Deeks

And I guess unless you address it early, it can put tremendous stress and strain on a relationship that otherwise might have been chugging along nicely for decades.

Judy Rafferty

That’s right. Well change always requires management. And you’re quite right, if you address it early and if you address even the small things, then they don’t build into big things.

John Deeks

The your Life Choices team have always noted that the retirement in the 2000s is very different to the retirement of our parents, where it was like, well, that’s it, it’s all over now and you know, I’m finished and it’s now just basically, you know, waiting for death. But now it’s a very different beast.

Judy Rafferty

Ah indeed. Indeed. And I think we can look to the baby boomers a little bit about that. But I think that now retirement is very much about, what haven’t I done that I still want to do? What experiences haven’t I had that I want to have? And baby boomers typically want to have a big life. They don’t want to have a small life. So, no card-carrying baby boomers going to go into old age with frailty and being an old codger very happily, are they?

John Deeks

No.

Judy Rafferty

So, I think retirement has changed quite a bit from that of our parents.

John Deeks

You’re listening to Judy Rafferty. All the way from Toowoomba today. And she’s written a fabulous book called Retirement Your Way. Now, obviously, Health and Wealth are major players in retirement Judy but if you nominate one other area that is pivotal. What would it be?

 Judy Rafferty

Well, what I would probably want to highlight is often when people talk about health, they are talking about their mobility, the aches and pains. But I want to highlight mental health. I think that’s critical. In fact I know it’s critical because the research supports just how critical it is.

John Deeks

And we are so much more aware of it in the 20s, aren’t we?

Judy Rafferty

That’s true.

John Deeks

Whether it be footballers, whether it be politicians, you know, a lot of people can basically come out of the closet now and say, look, I have a mental health issue and you know, this needs to be addressed.

Judy Rafferty

That’s right. One of the little bits that is problematic though, If we’re thinking about retirement is that people generally, you know, think of retirement as ah lucky you, you know, you’re retired. Well, isn’t that great? And a lot of people have some hesitancy in talking about mental health problems in retirement because, you know, what are they supposed to be struggling with? So that’s often something that I have come across in my practice, that at the upfront about the struggles of retirement and the impact, because really the chance of suffering from a depression increases by about 40 per cent during retirement.

John Deeks

Wow.

Judy Rafferty

That’s a lot. Isn’t it?

John Deeks

Ah Incredible. There’s a lot of great tips and sage advice in there from you Judy. Judy Rafferty, a practicing psychologist up in Toowoomba and author of the new book Retirement Your Way which is available through all good bookstores and online folks. And you can check out YourLifeChoices website for further details. Judy, I hope this is not the last time we get to speak. I wish you well through this interesting stage of our lives. And please folks, do get a hold of Retirement Your Way. Good luck to you, Judy, and be well.

Judy Rafferty

Thank you, John.

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