Retirement is another country. So which one will it be for you?
Your dream retirement may resemble the sunset beaches of Bali, with the promise of a life of leisure and ‘me-time’, where days merge seamlessly into each other. Is it Monday, Wednesday or Saturday? Who cares when you can lie back and relax?
Others think retirement should be more like Italy – a super busy mix of work, social activities and family. For these retirees, work is the important glue which adds structure to their days and lives, and provides a much-needed stream of cash to keep the party rolling. While others may long for a more conservative regime – say Germany – where things are highly organised, tightly budgeted and entirely predictable.
The good news is, whichever ‘retirement nation’ you choose, it is possible to lead a rich retirement on a low income. How? you might wonder, as you struggle with the knowledge that you will be one of the 75 per cent of Australians aged 65 plus living on a fixed income based on a full or part Age Pension. If you are one of the fortunate 25 per cent not likely to be on a pension and with access to life’s luxuries, congratulations.
But even the financially well off will need to plan to avoid what might become an empty and unfulfilling lifetime of Saturdays. So read on for our essential ingredients to transition to a rich retirement, regardless of your income.
Make a well-planned transition
Change frightens most people. This is regardless of whether the change is to a desirable life stage such as retirement. Many of us need time to work our way into a new situation. So to give up full time work and lurch into full time vacation, paradoxically, tends to place many people under a great deal of stress. A loss of identity, swiftly followed by a loss of self-esteem can follow. Those who segue into life after work tend to do much better in the happiness stakes. So, starting your move from full-time work into one or two days fewer per week makes a lot of sense. Perhaps the new trend of ‘long-weekend retirees’ (LOWEs) is the way to go – working Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in your regular job and exploring ‘life after work’ across a longer weekend.
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