The 4 most overlooked retirement questions

When you’re getting ready for retirement it’s vitally important to be financially prepared, but emotional preparation can be just as crucial to a happy life after work. 

Key learnings covered in this topic

  1. Importance of emotional preparation to live well in retirement 
  2. Consider how you will spend your time when you retire 
  3. Building social connections in retirement 
  4. Timing of retirement between partners 
  5. Where you live in retirement can have a major affect on your retirement.  

Let’s be honest, finishing work is a seriously major life change. Some people immediately take to their new life and embrace it with gusto, but for others it leaves them feeling directionless. Asking yourself these four questions could make the adjustment a little bit easier.

1. How do I plan to spend my time?

Many retired people find they miss the structure and responsibility of work. Fun things like travel and entertainment will fill some time but it’s important to consider an average day—what you’ll do and who you’ll spend your time. You might want to take up a hobby or spend more time with family. Or a whole lot less. Perhaps it’s time to scratch that travel itch.

2. Do I have a network of friends outside of work?

Work can be a fantastic way to make friends and get involved in social activities. But things will inevitably change after your farewell party. Here are a few suggestions to enrich your spare time in retirement.

  • Look into clubs that interest you: Consider a weekly walking group, the men’s shed*, or a dinner club. Get things started by looking at your community noticeboard or check out the friendship making website MeetUp*.
  • Reconnect with old buddies: If you think your friend list needs a boost, it’s likely people from your past feel the same way. So pick up the phone and get in touch. It’s not like you have anything to lose!
  • Volunteering is its own reward: There are hundreds of organisations around Australia that are desperate for a hand. Lending one could lead to new friends and mental stimulation.

3. Should my partner and I retire at the same time?

First you need to work out if you’re both ready to make this major life change simultaneously. The upside is you can jointly start a new lifestyle. But if you’re an independent couple, maybe you don’t want to be in each other’s pockets all of a sudden. Here are a few questions to get this important conversation rolling.

  • How do you see the first few years of retirement? Are your plans in synch?
  • Will one or both of you need support to create a retirement social life?
  • How will you feel if only one of you is still working? Will this create any jealousy or tension?

4. Where do I want to live?

Where you live in retirement can have a major impact on your routine and your social connections. You might want to stay in your current home – close to friends. Or perhaps you want a sea change, tree change, or to downsize so it’s easier to travel.

Retirement villages are also an attractive option for many thanks to easy access to facilities and social activities with other residents.

Wherever you live, it’s important to think about how it will impact your lifestyle throughout your retirement.

We’re here to help

Speaking to a retirement expert about your goals and how you might achieve them can really provide peace of mind and help set you up for the greatest holiday of your life.

As part of your CareSuper membership you can give us a call for simple super help, for free. Or for more comprehensive advice, book in to see one of our experienced financial planners for a competitive fee. 

Book a call-back today

* We are not affiliated, associated, authorized, endorsed by, or in any way officially connected with The Men's Shed or MeetUp.

Information correct as at 8 November 2023.