Many people today are so preoccupied with making ends meet, they barely have time to envision the future or take steps to secure their later years. Yet retirement isn’t something that just takes care of itself. Even as you work to control your financial stability, these steps can immediately help set the stage for a comfortable old age.
Whether you’re in your prime or a few years away from retirement, it’s never too early to start formulating a retirement plan. Most people know that without a career plan, for instance, they may never reach their goals except through blind luck. Retiring comfortably works the same way; every year that passes without a concrete vision for your post-workforce future leaves you with fewer opportunities to take action and ensure that you can enjoy your golden years.
Hire a financial planner, if necessary; when you retire, you won’t be able to rely on further income, so it’s imperative to start settling debts now, accounting for total estimated future expenses, and setting aside money for those targets. If you’re already financially independent and thus ahead of the curve, you could consider buying a retirement home now – house and land in a development area like Donnybrook, away from the Victoria CBD, can be a smart and affordable investment. You could even rent the property in years prior to relocating and thus subsidize the mortgage with a passive revenue stream.
Maintain your health
Next to housing, healthcare is among the biggest expenses associated with retirement. Worrying about possible future ailments – is there a family history of cancer, or Alzheimer’s? – may be a waste of time; you could simply be filling your mind with negative thoughts. Instead, take productive action now and invest in your health and well-being. If you haven’t already started to pursue a healthy lifestyle, now is the time to start forming and maintaining healthy habits. Cut down and completely eliminate harmful habits like smoking or drinking; do the same with junk foods containing excessive sugar and trans-fats. Replace these habits with positive ones like regular exercise, and incorporate nutritious food into your diet. You can’t predict or fully control your future health, but taking the right steps will set you up to be as strong and healthy as possible, cutting down on healthcare expenses and even related costs such as transportation – after all, seniors can also walk and bike around.
The widespread use of social media has warped our social skills in many ways, and younger generations’ concept of a social network may not apply at all come retirement age. Face-to-face conversations and traditional social skills reward us with more meaningful and engaging interactions; as seniors face ever-shrinking social circles through loss and physical limitations, it becomes even more valuable to have good social skills. Years before you have to deal with that issue, you can start taking deliberate steps to hone your communication skills and begin to really socialize with people. Acquire the art of small talk, try making new friends or touching base with old ones; in your old age, these skills will help you retain the mental health benefits of social activity and provide you with a free option for leisure.
Retirement doesn’t have to be some vague and far-off future scenario. Give the matter the consideration it deserves, and start building the habits and skills you’ll need to greatly reduce the hassle and expenses incurred at a time when you won’t be earning any longer.