If you’re planning for your retirement, you need to go beyond financial planning. Your financial wellbeing in retirement is obviously important, but you also need to plan how you’re going to stay physically and mentally healthy with all your extra free time.
Your physical wellbeing in retirement
“Use it or lose it” is a popular saying as you get older. Many retirees live incredibly active lifestyles and it boosts both their physical and mental health as a result. Some even use their newfound free time to take up entirely new sports or hobbies, like marathon running or ocean swims.
Of course, you don’t have to do something as challenging as that unless you really want to. The main thing is to stay as physically active and healthy as you can. The Department of Health has the following exercise guidelines:
- if you’re under the age of 64, you should do 2.5 to 5 hours of moderately intensive physical activity each week (such as brisk walking, jogging, cycling or swimming).
- if you’re 65 or over, you should do up to 2.5 hours of moderately intensive physical activity each week, like playing 9 holes of golf.
Being physically active helps you to maintain your muscle strength, cardiovascular fitness and a healthy weight. A good idea is to find a fitness buddy to help you enjoy your physical activity and give yourself some extra motivation. Make sure you have a physical check-up before you start any exercise program.
Eating the right foods in the right amounts can also help you to stay physically healthy in retirement. This includes:
- eating from the five food groups each day (fruit, vegetables, grains, proteins and dairy).
- limiting your consumption of food that contains added fat, salt and sugar.
- drinking alcohol in moderation.
Your mental wellbeing in retirement
Your mental wellbeing in retirement is just as important as your physical wellbeing. Some people struggle with the amount of free time they have after they retire. Others fill their lives with so many fun activities that they wonder how they ever found time to work.
Keeping your brain stimulated and connecting with other people is the key to your mental wellbeing in retirement. Ways that you can maintain or boost your mental health as you get older include:
- having an active social life by connecting regularly with family and friends.
- doing voluntary community work.
- travelling to experience new places.
- spending more time in nature, such as going bushwalking or spending more time in the garden.
- getting a pet for companionship or doing fun activities (like going to a dog beach).
- staying mentally sharp by doing crosswords, Sudoku puzzles, or playing games like chess or Mahjong.
Your financial wellbeing in retirement
There’s another old saying that “if you’ve got your health, nothing else matters”. While it’s undoubtedly true, it’s also important to plan financially for your retirement so you have enough money to live the lifestyle you want. You can read more about how much money you need here.
It’s also a good idea to talk to a financial planner to help you plan and make the most of your retirement nest egg.
Want to learn more about making the most of your next 30 years?
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