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Planning Retirement Online

Making the most of Retirement

At LaterLife our whole focus is making the most of later life and especially of retirement. In this introductory article we share some of the insights gained from the retirement courses we run and from our interactions with visitors to the LaterLife web site.

What is retirement like these days?

Retirement today is a huge opportunity. With better health than previous generations and increased longevity, we can often look forward to 25 years or more of good active life.

It is a time of opportunity and choice. There is the opportunity to do all those things that we've always wanted to do but never had the time because of the demands of work. We also make choices and we can choose to take whichever opportunities that we like. For probably the first time in our lives there will be no-one demanding our time - we can choose how to spend it.
We are all different, some of us want to go travelling and see far away places, others want to try new experiences such as gliding or sailing a tall ship, many want to give something back through volunteering, quite a number want to turn a hobby into a small business, plenty want to take up new activities from archery to pottery and so it goes on.

The key thing for us all is to have a set of activities that are both enjoyable and personally fulfilling, and that requires some planning.

To see some of the things that retirees are up to these days take a look at the LaterLife Challenge information at LaterLife Today.

Why planning retirement is essential

Retirement today is a huge opportunity, with better health and increased longevity, we can look forward to another significant phase of life when for the first time we are in total control.

However retirement is also one of the most significant changes in life that we ever experience. Suddenly we have 40-50 hours of extra leisure time, on top of previous leisure time, every week. In addition, for the first time in our lives, we have no structure. Previously we have always had structure; first from our parents, then from school, then from work, but now suddenly there is nothing to fall back on. It is a great opportunity to write our own ‘job description’ but it is also a challenge to decide how to spend all this time for the next 20-25 years in a way that is both enjoyable and fulfilling.

You can get retirement wrong too; there are pitfalls including making ill-advised financial decisions, relationships (where suddenly you may be spending more time with a partner than you ever have done before), loss of social network from work, loss of status and self-esteem, neglecting health and fitness and having insufficient stimulating activities.

By contrast, those that have a successful retirement have a range of interesting and fulfilling activities that enable them to achieve the 5 fundamentals of retirement described in the next section.

The bottom line is that retirement today is another major phase of life. There are huge opportunities and if planned properly it can be the most satisfying period of life, in which you are in control.

How to make the most of retirement

Most of us sort out our retirement sooner or later but the biggest thing we can do to make the most of it, and get a flying start, is to attend a Planning Retirement Workshop. Research by the University of Greenwich Psychology Department has shown that attending one, on average results in a 19% increase in life satisfaction in retirement, compared to those that haven’t attended one.

Making the most of retirement means realising our hopes and ambitions and achieving a balance in the things we do that is personally enjoyable and fulfilling. As well as having plans for some of the basics, it’s worth thinking about having 3 things that we’ve always done that we want to do more of and 3 brand new things that we would like to try or take up.

Those that have a successful retirement have a range of interesting and fulfilling activities that enable them to achieve the 5 fundamentals of retirement:

  • Staying physically fit
  • Staying mentally fit
  • Maintaining or increasing your social network
  • Staying financially fit (making the most of your money and living within your means)
  • Enjoying it!

It is a time of great opportunity and it’s well worth spending 1 day (on a planning retirement workshop) to make the most of the next 10,000!

Make sure you particularly take a look at the series of Retirement Guides for making the most of LaterLife and Retirement. Also, if you don’t already,o why not subscribe to our free weekly email newsletters on topics of interest to everyone over 50 to keep you up to date and provide new ideas and inspiration on the limitless opportunities available in later life.



Visit our Pre-retirement Courses section here on laterlife or our dedicated Retirement Courses site

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