It used to be said that life begins at 40
Well, put that book to bed! It’s now widely accepted that the very best chapter in any woman’s life is the one titled “retirement”. It’s the time when you can stop working to live and just live!
As with any significant decision in life – having a baby, taking on university study, getting married or divorced, travelling – retirement requires research and planning. If you want to get the very best out of that next chapter, both personally and financially, then you need to look at your retirement options to prepare and prepare well.
Luckily, help is at hand. Organisations such as Women After Work, are retirement coaching specialists in the field who can help you to consider your retirement options and plan the specific steps required to achieve the retirement you want.
There is more to retirement planning than finance.
There are a few things every woman should do before taking the big leap into the great unknown. Yes, you need to have an idea of when you would like to retire, however, an effective plan is about much more than that. With health outcomes improving and lifespans getting longer, the retirement years are often stretching out far more than in the past. So, investigating your retirement options should be high on your list of actions in preparation for retirement.
Have you considered a ‘practice run’ to look at possible retirement options?
You wouldn’t buy a new car without taking it out for a spin first, and retirement is a much bigger decision than that. You could take some leave – maybe a month or two – and see what shape your life takes. Are you bored? Are you itching to travel? Or lacking challenges? Learn from this and implement any necessary changes before making your retirement permanent.
What will you do with your time in retirement?
Considering how you will use your time is also part of your retirement options planning. Many people think that they could never possibly get bored, however, it is very important to explore which activities interest you. Activities might include hobbies (assuming you don’t already have one) such as craft, cooking, sport or volunteering. You may also want to be involved in activities which call upon your skills such as contract work, mentoring, contributing as a board member or doing further study. Activities and hobbies not only help keep your brain active, but will help you build social networks, utilise or build new skills, and create the shape of this new stage of your life.
Who do you need to share your retirement plans with?
Next, it would be a great idea to have a chat with the important people in your life about your plans. Do your retirement dreams tie in with the plans of your partner or significant others? Will the key members of your social group be available during the extra free time you now have? If not, how will you connect with other like-minded people? Does your retirement include additional family responsibilities for your partner, parents or grandkids? Open communication about your plans helps everyone else with their own planning.
Will your current home suit your needs in your retirement life?
Don’t forget consideration of your home situation in these talks – is downsizing or repurposing on the cards for you? Or maybe you need to remodel that home office into a gym? More than ever before, your home will be your haven, so make sure it’s absolutely right for your ongoing needs.
That’s all your retirement options considered, right?
Not quite. If you don’t already have a financial planner, make an appointment to see one. They have a wealth of information regarding your finances for your retirement and tapping into that knowledge will help you to manage a financially comfortable future.
Women of Western Australia – Women After Work can help you consider your retirement options in an organised and practical way. The best years of your life await, and we want you to be ready to enjoy your retirement!