Let’s begin with an exercise. On a blank piece of paper, write down all the things you would like to have or experience when you retire. It can be anything at all. After that, cross out all the things that money can buy. For instance, an expensive vintage watch collection, the latest sports car model, etc. Cross it out, too.
What you are likely left with is a list of simple memories and moments that money cannot buy — sharing a bottle of wine with your sweetheart, seeing your grandchild walk for the first time, or feeling purposeful after volunteering at an animal shelter.
Not everything in retirement is about money. Beyond financial needs, most people also need to make their retirement meaningful. It all boils down to answering one key question: what makes me happy?
Here are a few tips:
A Clear Vision
A financial plan is not the same thing as a retirement plan. While building on your wealth is important, having a holistic approach to retirement may be even more vital. Start by envisioning what you want your life to be. How will you get the most out of each day? Maybe you want to climb Mount Kinabalu with some friends or continue to work part-time at a library. The idea is to always have something to do and look forward to, even in retirement.
There are also those who believe that physical health is the key to healthy ageing. If you’re already hitting the gym — good for you! But don’t forget the mental aspect; healthy ageing of the mind is important, too. In fact, some would argue that it’s even more important than jogging for five nights a week at 60 years old. The point is to take care of your intellectual and emotional wellbeing.
Develop Your Relationships
Humans are social animals, and that is the case even in retirement. Developing new relationships and sharing experiences can help make us better, well-rounded people. It can be as simple as sharing stories about the good old days with your friends, talking over your retirement plans with your spouse, or having get-togethers with your children and grandchildren on weekends. At the end of the day, our close personal relationships are what drive us, and developing relationships — new and old — may just be what we need for a healthy emotional state.
A Balanced Lifestyle
Retirement isn’t about doing nothing at all with your life. A lack of stimulation can, in fact, affect our mental and emotional state in the long run. And with life expectancy pushing beyond 83 years for Singaporeans, which is a lot of time to be shaking your legs and twiddling your thumbs! Always spread your leisure time over different activities to keep yourself stimulated.
If there is one major takeaway from this article, it’s this: adopt a positive attitude. Retirement will inevitably bring about big changes to your life, both the positive and negative varieties. No matter the changes, keeping your chin up and rolling with the punches will dictate the quality of your life after retirement.