In the coming years Australia is primed for a substantial shift in the lifestyle of its currently active workforce. It is a well-known fact that life after retiring requires adjustment for many individuals but knowing exactly what to expect can throw even the most avid planners into a spin.

Research shows that Australians are among the most worried in the world about retiring for several reasons. This includes concerns related to their future financial security, declining health or even how to spend the additional free time. While many are looking forward to retirement, the apprehension can start even before they reach the end of their working days.

Here is how you can prepare for how life changes after retirement.

Finances

The possibility of running out of money is one of the biggest fears faced by Australians looking to retire. After leaving regular work, your income naturally reduces, even as living costs stay the same. Without the ongoing income provided by traditional employment, retirees may soon fall into financial difficulty.

To avoid this, it is important to plan methodically to ensure you can comfortably live at a desired level. A certified financial planner can assist with reviewing your retirement goals and helping to set up a wealth plan before you reach the last day of work. You may also look at budgeting to reduce expenses over time or adjusting your current lifestyle to a more manageable level.

Presently, the Age Pension is the major source of income for eligible Australian retirees aged 66 years and older. They may also qualify for the Pensioner Concession Card which offers discounts on a range of good and services – including medicines, household utilities and public transport.

In addition to the pension, superannuation can cover a significant portion of daily expenses and help to maintain a desired lifestyle. However, many prospective retirees who rely solely on the standard employer contributions may need to reassess their expectations and seek further advice, especially if their superannuation account is not at a healthy level.

Activities

Knowing how to find their purpose in life after retirement is one of the key concerns many retirees face. For most, commitments such as working or caring for their families provides a level of meaning that makes up a significant proportion of their quality of life. But as they approach retirement age, there can be a real fear of wasting what is traditionally referred to as the best years of their lives.

The reality is that while life after retirement will be different, but it does not have to mean a loss of purpose. If golfing and cooking classes are not exactly up your alley, rest assured that there is more to retirement than just these activities alone.

The best way to prepare for your retirement is to start exploring new goals and passions before hanging up the boots one last time. For some, this may be the time to start travelling the world, exploring places they may have always dreamt of visiting. With this additional time to spare, you can send yourself off on an adventure as far from or close to home as you would like and make new memories to last a lifetime.

Part time, voluntary and pro-bono community work in the community can also be another way to fill the time gaps in the latter years. If you have spent a significant portion of your life building up experience in a field, why not reach out to your industry body and look for opportunities to mentor a younger professional just starting.

The key to planning activities for retirement is to do what makes you happy. With additional free time now available, it can be easy to fall into bad habits such as spending all day at home or watching TV and movies (unless of course if that is what makes you happy!).

Friendships

Humans are social creatures but unfortunately, with retirement brings about the risk of loneliness. Many retirees, especially those over 75, may find themselves becoming socially isolated, leading to side effects such as depression, illness, or even premature death.

Regular working life keeps many of us connected to others without the need to invest in new friendships. In the workplace, organic relationships between co-workers with mutual interests may lead to friendships outside of the workplace. Without work, it can be difficult to replace this human connection without making significant efforts. Ironically, while those in the pre-retirement stage complain about finding healthy work/social life balance, retirees may experience the complete opposite, with more time and fewer friends to see.

One way to get around this is to look for others with shared interests in social clubs. Many sporting clubs also offer age-friendly alternatives to keep you fit and active while meeting new people. Learning is another way to discover new friends and find meaning in life after retirement. Perhaps there are activities that you may have wanted to try for long time. Look to pick up a new skill such as gardening, a new language or rediscovering an old hobby such as art and crafts is one way to find both purpose and human connection. Lifelong learning will also keep the mind sharp and reduce cognitive decline.

Above all, it is important to stay connected to old acquaintances after retirement. After family and friends, these are the people you can share old memories and reminisce on your working life with. A simple phone call or occasional email is enough to stay in touch, and with our Nokia 3.4 Smartphone Mobile Plan , you can get unlimited talk and text from only $21/month. 

Staying connected at home is also easier with our nbn Broadband Bundles from just $60 a month, including nbn broadband and Home Phone with great call inclusions. Our Southern Phone plans are specially designed to keep you communicating without the large monthly bills.

Looking for something simpler? You can also find out more about our SIM Only plans and Seniors smartphones.

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