By Emsie Martin
There was a time when the word “retirement” did not exist in your vocabulary, but now it’s just around the corner.
At this stage many of us can’t wait for retirement because you’re looking forward to doing nothing and do as you like, but when you become quiet fear begins to gnaw. Then you no longer think about the nice of retirement but begin to worry about that day.
Will you have enough money? How are you going to stretch your rands when you no longer have an income? Where will you live? Yes, many have saved ahead for this day, but many never earned the ideal income to save a lot of money every month for retirement. Many contributed to a pension fund at work, others not. And so the thought of retirement stirs different feelings.
One should start with the right mindset. Do not see your retirement as the end of your life, see it as a transitional phase ─ almost from teenager to adult, and make your bucket list today!
Don’t make yourself old before your time. The day you close your office door behind you, walk away with a bounce in your step. Make the best of your retirement.
Remember, you’re only retiring from your job, you can still enjoy new experiences. If you are an active person, “resting” will not be the answer. Resting makes the brain and the body lazy. Get out and experience new things, stimulate the brain, get a hobby, meet new people, stay active, become involved in the community.
You may fear isolation and loneliness and unfortunately at this age loneliness is a reality for some people.
Develop strong ties with your family, friends and acquaintances. Nurse friendships and make new friends.
Guard against confining yourself to your house. Get out of your house and become part of the community and residents in your neighbourhood.
If you want to practise an old or a new hobby, join a club or start a group where every member shares the same interests. Meet weekly to exchange ideas and socialise.
- Determine your future expenses.
- Remember, not everybody is lucky enough to retire with a million rand +.
- Determine whether you are going to have enough money to retire and afford your most important needs.
- Find out whether your employer can extend your contract or whether you can work part-time.
- Will you have to get a second job or use a hobby for an extra income?
- Save as much as you can while you can.
- If possible, make an extra contribution to your pension fund.
- Make sure whether you have a pension fund or a provident fund because the rules differ.
- Where will you stay? Not everybody is so privileged as to have an own home on retirement.
- Investigate housing possibilities.
- Are you going to sell, buy a smaller place, or buy in a retirement estate or resort? Do the children perhaps have a flat or accommodation? What are your options?
- Look at retirement resorts, what services are available and what it costs in the different sections. If this option suites you, put your name on a waiting list with the retirement resort.
- And most important, will your monthly income cover this accommodation?
Do not forget about your health
- If you feel physically well, you will also feel better mentally.
- A lack of exercise will make you feel older sooner.
- Walk to your friends in the same complex, except after dark.
- Walk around the block with friends. Always remember the saying “a sound body houses a sound mind”.
- One functions better if you adhere to a routine. If you sleep a bit later now, it is not the end of the world and there is nothing that compels you not to do it, but routine is good.
- Plan your week and day.
- Keep a diary for tasks and appointments.
- You will soon realise that your days are full and that you are busy every day.
- Come together regularly and enjoy it.
- The neighbours will notice soon enough if something is wrong when you don’t go for your routine walk and visit.
- Be thankful for what you have.
- Be amenable to change.
- See the humour in situations.
- Associate yourself with positive people.
- Turn your back on the rat race. If you like to camp or travel, there is now no more reason not to do it.
- Planning is important because you can do something every month even with a little money.
- Teach the younger generation a skill such as needlework, carpentry, painting, cooking, etc.
- You have never really had time for gardening and now there is ample time to work in the garden.
- Get a stall at a market and use your hobby to make money.
With this mindset your new phase of life will really become your golden years.
Look after your health and enjoy your retirement!