Whether intentional or not, all that we do in our professional and personal life is working towards an enjoyable and fruitful retirement. It’s the time to literally and metaphorically put our feet up, and reap the rewards of smart decisions and a life connected with friends and family. If it’s been a while since you have honed in on your retirement plan, and articulated what you want from the future, it’s not too late. Commit to a plan that makes sense for your lifestyle and reflect on your unique needs. Here are some considerations to think about that may structure your retirement plan.


Retirement villages

Retirement villages in Northern NSW feature in a number of Australians’ retirement plans, as well as many other areas that balance nature as well as the conveniences and amenities of a modern city. There is such a great variance in the calibre of retirement villages, with options to suit all lifestyles, with most not even looking like a retirement village at all. In these sanctuaries, communities are formed and life evolves to be more enjoyable without the hassle of too much home maintenance, landscaping and even travelling far and wide to reach cafes and recreational spaces. Before you choose a retirement village location to live in, narrow down your choices to include suburbs that are close to your priorities – whether that is grandchildren, the beach, libraries or any other outlets and areas you hold close.


Review, replace and reignite your passions

Most retired individuals take this time to review, replace and reignite their passions in retirement. You should be reviewing what your current habits are, and which ones you like and which ones were just attached to your old working life. You now have the choice to pick and choose what works and replace the ones that bring you no value. This is what retirement is all about – designing your lifestyle. When you have reviewed and replaced this time, you can start to prioritise your passions and begin to reawaken those activities you always loved, but “don’t have the time”. Perhaps it’s fishing, crocheting or even photography – now is your time to honour those interests, whatever they may be.


Check-in with your physical and mental health

It doesn’t matter what your age is, physical and mental health is always paramount. However, when you reach retirement you will have the time and energy to assess these needs and begin to explore some regimes and routines that will contribute to your health. Have you ever found that you always get sick on a holiday? It’s because your body and mind start to slow down and relax, and those pesky detractors can often finally land. Take the time to acknowledge that your lifestyle has shifted, and start to think about how you can support your health in small and incremental steps. 

If your old work commute required a 600-metre walk from public transport, treat your body to the same physical exercise. If talking with friends and family makes you feel more positive and productive, set a new time to charge your social battery and don’t miss out on those opportunities. Many commit to a full-body physical as well, so consider looking into this also so you can best serve your body and mind.

There really is so much to look forward to in retirement, and it’s no wonder people rush to plan their years due to sheer excitement of the opportunities that exist. Remember that anything you decide about your future does not need to be set in stone, and you have the flexibility to re-design your life, again and again, so involve your family and friends in the process for greater perspective.