The Four Pillars of Retirement

Once you reach retirement there are four main issues you need to consider and deal with, so you’ll be able to enjoy this next phase of your life.


1. Money

Money many not buy you happiness, but it is the foundation of a happy retirement.  You can live on government benefits alone – and many people do – but if you don’t want to scrimp you’ll need sufficient savings and investments.

To survive in retirement, you need to assess where you stand financially and put yourself on a budget.  It’s also a good idea to have all your debts paid off if you want more to spend.

Talk to a financial adviser if you need help sorting it all out.

2. Health

Most people would agree that living a healthy pain-free life into our 90’s (or even 100’s) and then dying peacefully in our sleep would be the way to go.

No one can guarantee you a healthy old age, but there are several things you can do now to make your prospects more promising.  Everyone knows we’re supposed to eat our veggies and avoid too much sugar and fat.

Walking is probably the best exercise for most people.  If you don’t like exercising, try something you’ll enjoy like ballroom dancing or pickle ball.  Have some fun as you work up a sweat.

The point is, don’t try to do something just because it’s good for you.  Participate in some sort of physical activity you enjoy, so you’ll keep doing it.

3. Companionship

People who live long lives tend to prize their social lives.  They are engaged in their community and connected with family and friends.

Companionship is a basic human need.  It’s important to establish a sense of belonging.

Look for opportunities where you can socialize, meet new people and make new friends of all ages while continuing to maintain old friendships.

Seeing other people, whether it’s in yoga class or just for lunch, forces the brain to be active, promotes happiness, and makes you feel cared for and supported.

4. Purpose

Once you’re retired you’ll have already made whatever difference you’re going to make in your professional life.

Sure, you can kick back and watch the world go by, but that can get boring pretty soon.  The key to a happy retirement is being involved in purposeful activities.

Many people find volunteering very rewarding or starting a little at-home business. But don’t think you have to have a major goal. Think about how you will use your old skills or develop new ones.

Something that keeps you busy and fills you with satisfaction – growing a garden, immersing yourself in a hobby, learning something new, or spending time with family – will keep you occupied and interested.

Whatever you do, give yourself a reason to get out of bed in the morning.


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