Get pre­pared to en­joy your re­tire­ment

Hawke's Bay Today - - Money - By Liz Koh

Choos­ing the time to re­tire is a key life de­ci­sion that some peo­ple find ex­tremely dif­fi­cult. No doubt we can all think of some­one who has stayed in the work­force a bit too long.

A few rea­sons peo­ple can be re­luc­tant to re­tire are:

Wor­ries about not hav­ing enough money to re­tire on — based on ei­ther real or imag­ined con­cerns

A lack of so­cial con­nec­tions and in­ter­ests out­side work Fear of loss of sta­tus Feel­ings of be­ing in­dis­pens­able. These feel­ings can lead to peo­ple be­ing trapped in a job they may not en­joy, while miss­ing out on what could be the best years of their re­tire­ment.

Be­ing ready for re­tire­ment is not just about hav­ing enough money to re­tire.

Re­tire­ment readi­ness is about be­ing ready in all as­pects for a new phase of life. That means hav­ing a plan to learn new things, con­nect with old and new friends, find ways to stay ac­tive and mo­bile and strengthen re­la­tion­ships with a part­ner and fam­ily.

A Har­vard Univer­sity study on adult de­vel­op­ment con­ducted with 700 men over 75 years con­cluded peo­ple who are more so­cially con­nected to fam­ily, friends and the wider com­mu­nity are much hap­pier, phys­i­cally health­ier and live longer than peo­ple who are less well con­nected.

Peo­ple who feel se­curely at­tached to an­other per­son and can rely on that per­son to help them in times of need have their mem­o­ries stay sharper for longer, while those with­out such con­nec­tions ex­pe­ri­ence ear­lier men­tal de­cline.

Stay­ing at work pro­vides a high level of so­cial in­ter­ac­tion, while re­tire­ment can lead to iso­la­tion.

Prepa­ra­tion for re­tire­ment in­cludes build­ing so­cial net­works out­side work, find­ing new in­ter­ests to give pur­pose to life, and keep­ing phys­i­cally fit.

Re­tire­ment should be some­thing to look for­ward to rather some­thing to be feared.

Liz Koh is an Au­tho­rised Fi­nan­cial Ad­viser. The ad­vice given here is gen­eral and does not con­sti­tute spe­cific ad­vice to any per­son. A free dis­clo­sure state­ment can be ob­tained by call­ing 0800 273 847. For free eBooks, go to mon­ey­ and mon­ey­max­

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