Most people equate retirement planning with a large superannuation balance or saving money for the future.  While a retirement without money doesn’t sound like much of a retirement, focusing exclusively on the monetary aspects of the planning is missing the big picture.

Retirement is meant to be a time of leisure, to reward yourself for all your years of hard work.  As we live longer and are likely to spend more time as retirees, it’s important to be well-prepared for this phase.

A happy retirement is about so much more than having enough money to pay your bills.  Once you have a retirement plan in place to help secure your financial future, it is important that you also consider the non-financial aspects of a successful retirement.  You have so many more options today for how you spend your retirement, which is exactly why it’s more important than ever to plan for what you want to do.

Deciding Where to Live

Where you live has a big impact on your lifestyle, throughout your entire life, and this is especially true of your retirement years.  Making the decision as to where you want to live when you retire can take many years.

You have to decide what is important to you, and who is important, and that might even take some experimentation and preplanning.  You may already have some idea as to whether you want to live in a unit or a freestanding house; in a city, a suburban community or rural location; whether you want to continue to live where you are now or to return to where you grew up; or if you have children and grandchildren, whether you want to live close to them.

Some other important factors to consider are what amenities are available, good transport connections and affordable housing.  Good all-year round sunshine doesn’t hurt either!  The size of your home needs to be a good match, and many retirees choose to downsize their homes to save on maintenance and costs.

Before making your final decision, however, do your research.  It can be costly (and not to mention annoying) if you have to move again, and again.  Look for a way to try living in an area before you buy and commit to living there in retirement.

Keeping Family and Social Connections

When people retire, many lose their built-in social network of colleagues and acquaintances.  To have a happy retirement, you will need to find ways to have social interactions.  These interactions can be with your children and grandchildren, neighbours, members of a social club or church, or even the guy at the coffee shop.

Most of us are social beings and need to be involved with others to fully enjoy life.  Keeping involved in meaningful activities with people and groups – family, friends, church, community, sport just to name a few is vital to your well-being.  You could even look into volunteering to interact with people and make new friends which will increase the strength of your social network.

Retire with the intention to maintain your most important relationships.

Health Care

It is very important for you to consider your health during your retirement planning.  Your physical health and your mental wellbeing are connected.

Having an active lifestyle in retirement will help reduce the risk of health problems.  This could be as simple as joining a gym, walking club or team sport, which can also add a social element to your weekly routine.

Good health is a prerequisite for enjoying retirement, so ensure you invest in your wellbeing.  While the aim in retirement is to retain good health this may not always be the case. With this in mind being close to doctors and medical facilities should be a key consideration when choosing where you want to live in retirement.

Life will be very different once you retire, but if you put yourself in the right place, with the right people, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy life as a retiree for many happy years to come.  Some of the happiest and most content retirees have a few things beyond financial security in common.  While financial security is a key ingredient for a successful retirement, be sure not to neglect the other non-financial considerations that make for a happy retirement.

About Massey Financial Advice

I am a Brisbane-based Financial Adviser with more than 14 years of experience working with professionals to achieve financial freedom.  I have clients across Brisbane, including from Ashgrove, The Gap, Kenmore and Chapel Hill.

Sometimes people don’t really understand their financial situation – whether that be their personal cash flow, wealth creation or retirement plan, and this puts their lifestyle at risk.  I partner with professionals so that they feel empowered to make the best financial choices for them, their family and their career.

A great first step to preparing for your retirement is to book a cost and obligation free Financial Gap Strategy Session by clicking the link below.  This is a phone call at a time that suits you to discuss what you are working to achieve and find out whether I can help.

If you would care to share your experience with me, please comment below!