Managing the transition from work to retirement – 7 Great tips!

Retirement presents opportunities to do the things you’ve always dreamed of.

This time may seem a little scary at first or totally exciting, either way, a plan and a positive attitude can help you find the happiness you desire during this very special time of life.

The key to a great transition is planning! Consider these questions; what are your expectations, what do you want to do? What are you passionate about? What gets you excited, what lights up your face when you talk about it? What do you really care about? What can you give? All these things need to be considered! You are now your own master, you’re calling the shots – how empowering is that?

Here are my 7 top tips to a healthy retirement transition;

1. Start planning! It’s important to plan for the nonfinancial aspect of retirement living by considering how you will spend your time? Maybe you’ll visit the rain forest, go touring, start a business or make time to write that novel you’ve always talked about. Maybe you’ll continue to work part-time, or find time to support your community in some way.

2. Talk to your family. If you live with someone or have a close partner, retirement living becomes a shared experience. It’s important to make time for you and your partner to both share your dreams—you might be pleasantly surprised to learn that your partner wants to join you on your travels to the rain forest and he or she may have ideas you’ll enjoy.

3. Develop new friendships. A pretty accurate measurement of whether people are successful at retirement living is the strength of their social network—this includes family and friends. Numerous studies have now shown increased longevity due to social interactions.

4. Stay active. Keeping physically active improves your health and quality of life, and can also help you to live longer. It’s never too late to start doing some exercise.

Brisk walking is a great start! Consider making strength training a priority too! It offers numerous benefits as you get older, such as; increasing energy levels throughout the day, reducing stress and anxiety, delaying or preventing age-related disorders, enhancing sleep, balance, endurance, and flexibility.

5. Take responsibility for your health. By this I mean get educated, start researching, asking questions. I’m not against doctors or drugs; I just know that we need to take a more proactive approach to our personal health care.

Far too many people are conditioned to simply think that drugs or surgery are the answers to their health problems. Many of us have become satisfied with treating the symptoms, when we should be taking action to understand and affect the causes of what ails us.

6. Develop a positive attitude. Only when you’re retired do you discover what you’ve lost.

Immediately after retirement, there is often a strong upsurge in well-being which can last for a few months, known as the honeymoon period. But often after one or two years, there can be a decrease in wellbeing, which can often turn into serious low mood or depression.

So preparation is everything, your retirement plan, your short and long term goals and social integration play a vital role.

Food and activity also play a part. Cut back on white bread, rice and pasta, replace with wholemeal versions. Reduce sugar intake and increase vegetables and fruit; reduce your overall calorie intake by 200 to 300 per day (providing you’re eating 2000 to 2500 calories per day). Surround yourself with positive, uplifting, and active people of all ages.

7. Have fun. Laughter is the best medicine! Enjoy your family, friends and your community. Maybe consider giving something back, this could be your time or experience, your organizational skills or anything that can help others. Many can now look forward to 20 or 30 years in retirement so let’s have fun, stay physically and mentally active and try new and exciting things. Live every minute!