Your retirement should be something you look forward to: a time when you can reward yourself for the years of hard work you’ve put into your career, your family and anything else you’ve spent time and effort on throughout your life. But retiring successfully can be trickier than it might first seem. So, whether you’re looking to leave the world of work behind in the near future or have already done so, read on to find out our top tips for a fulfilling retirement.
1. Find the right balance – When you’ve spent a significant portion of your life staying busy with work, family and other commitments, the huge amount of free time that retirement offers can feel overwhelming. Many will be tempted to take advantage of this by doing as little as possible, whilst others will go in the other direction, taking on as much as possible in order to fill their days. Neither of these will work beyond the short term. It’s therefore important to get a balance between keeping busy and taking it easy that suits you.
2. Be selfish – This might sound like an odd piece of advice, but if you don’t ringfence your retirement to some degree in order to actually do what you want to do, all that free time will end up being taken advantage of by others. You’ll no doubt want to help out family and friends now that you’re more able to do so, but learning to say “no” when you want to can be incredibly valuable.
3. Plan ahead – It’s unlikely that you’ll have lived from one day to the next during your working life without some sort of schedule or routine in place, so throwing out this strategy when you retire isn’t a good idea. Plan for both the long-term and the short-term: having a holiday to look forward to later in the year is just as important as planning what time you want to get up each morning.
4. Stay social – It’s perhaps expected that you’ll lose touch with some of your former colleagues once you’ve finished work, but without actively maintaining your social network – not just the one online, but the physical one where you interact with people face to face – it can be all too easy to slip into feeling isolated and allowing friendships to fade away. Taking up hobbies, carrying out work part time or as a volunteer, or simply arranging to meet people for a specific and enjoyable reason are good ways to counteract this.