Wellbeing in the retirement years of life

In all phases of ones life, attitude and health are the two key factors that give us the best chance of achieving emotional and financial happiness and security. If we are able to achieve emotional and financial happiness and security in our retirement years, then our overall wellbeing is pretty much assured.

The term ‘wellbeing’ can be broken down into three types: emotional, physical and financial. Let’s have a brief look at each of these.

Emotional Wellbeing

The majority of us have family relationships. In today’s world we are witnessing increasing family conflict and expectation from those in the generations following us. Hence there is real potential for our emotional wellbeing to be challenged. Our attitude we take into each day is critically important to ensure we can cope with these challenges that do and will come along. If we do not deal with them then our emotional wellbeing will be compromised. So, for our emotional wellbeing, getting up every morning with a purpose in mind for the day ahead and a positive attitude are essential. Other key ways to contribute to our emotional wellbeing are setting goals, helping others, connecting with and socially interacting with groups of people from different walks of life and with different interests, being thankful for what you have, treasuring the small things, staying active, doing what you are passionate about and even continuing to work beyond 65 for less than fulltime hours. This will ensure a continuity of connection with people and of course continues to provide income.

At some stage during our life as retirement approaches, one other matter is so very important to attend to for our emotional wellbeing. This is the Planning of our Estates. This will include making the all-important decisions such as the content of our Wills (your Will should have been made much earlier than your approach to retirement), appointing our Powers of Attorney, providing a Memorandum of Wishes for our Trustees and providing a Guide for the Living and dealing with our Trusts and Companies if we have them.

Physical Wellbeing

Our physical wellbeing can only be achieved by having the right mindset to eat well (diet) and be active (exercise). Every day we are exposed to the virtues of a healthy diet and the need to exercise regularly. However, our diet and exercise practices throughout our lives  will be what we take into our retirements. For many, to achieve physical wellbeing is going to require change, but a human behavioural trait is that we do not like change, particularly as we get older.

Your challenge is this: if you think you need to, or should improve your physical wellbeing, that is maybe see the need to lose some weight, then make some changes now. They don’t have to be revolutionary changes. Learn about eating healthily and eat what is recommended by qualified dietitians. Eat items like bread and potatoes in moderation and drink alcohol in moderation. These are the big contributors to weight issues; and go for a walk each day. Set yourself some physical wellbeing goals. Achieving them is a very real way of giving yourselves a better chance of living a longer, happier life.

Financial Wellbeing

Financial wellbeing could be defined as having sufficient capital to allow lifestyle choices. Obviously the greater amount of capital we have access to, the more choices we have. However, money is certainly not everything in life. Many people say it can’t buy you happiness, and it can’t, but it will give you choices. Remember this: there are a large number of very wealthy people who are very unhappy.

The big question on most peoples’ minds as they approach retirement is: to achieve financial wellbeing, how much capital will we need to retire comfortably with (to generate sufficient income to supplement National Superannuation?). According to a leading Massey University researcher this will depend on where we live. If we live in a larger city then about $785,000, if we live in the provincial regions, about $486,000. These are capital amounts believed needed to generate sufficient income to supplement National Superannuation income of a married couple to enable them to live comfortably.

The best website to assist with planning your future financial wellbeing is www.sorted.org.nz This website has a variety of calculators to assist you to calculate your future financial wellbeing requirements.

65 Not Out’s Top 5 Tips for Wellbeing are:

  1. Communicate and be connected to people
  2. Make sure you get up each day with a purpose and positive attitude
  3. Keep your body and mind active
  4. Eat Healthy
  5. Begin your financial planning well before retiring.

Article prepared for The Farmlander magazine.


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