Retiring from your job can be a life-changing event. If you have not actively planned for your retirement years, you may view the “new freedom” as lacking in focus and fulfillment. It is important to be well prepared for the golden years and all it takes is simply planning - the earlier, the better.
So what can you do to make sure you are more prepared for your retirement years?
Have sufficient savings
Firstly, make sure you have enough savings for your retirement. If you do not have enough you might want to consider continuing to work, either on a full-time or part-time basis. If you have not talked to your financial adviser, now is the best time to do so and work out the sums. See how much you have in your CPF and other investments and work out whether this will be able to tide you over during your retirement. Also, make sure you are adequately covered in your health insurance. As we get older, the need for medical care increases so you need to use your Medisave wisely.
Look at how you can stretch the dollar and save. This includes buying house brands, reducing your overseas trips, eating out less and buying things that are necessary, not on impulse.
Create a routine
Work gives your life meaning because it gives you a daily routine and a set of activities to do and look forward to. When you retire, it can be quite unsettling if meaningful activities to replace work are not planned in advance. It is therefore important to start planning a daily routine for your retirement days, which should ideally include social/networking activities (e.g. meeting up with friends), time for hobbies, time for self improvement, time with loved ones, time for exercise, as well as time for relaxation.
It is also important to discuss and agree on the type of retirement life with your spouse, as his/her idea of retirement may differ from yours. For example, one partner may want to keep busy with travel, hobbies and volunteer work, while the other expects a more relaxed daily routine.
Having a routine and an active lifestyle after retirement keeps you happy and fulfilled – so do plan ahead.
Pursue old/new interests
With the extra time that you would have on your hands. What can you do?
There are many options. You can consider starting your own business on your favourite hobby if you have the money, doing volunteer work, exercising more regularly, or learning a new skill such as ballroom dancing or playing bridge at a community centre. It is important to stay active and at the same time, interact with people.
Keep up with old friends and make new friends
Stay in touch with old friends and family members before retirement. Efforts to maintain contact now would help you to spend fulfilling time with them when you retire. Organise weekly or monthly gatherings centred on activities such as walking in the park, visiting your old neighbourhood, cooking, etc. Sharing old memories with people whom you have known for many years can be an enriching experience.
Have an open mind and make new friends at work or during pursuit of your interests. This would help you to stay in touch with your industry or even mentor younger colleagues after you’ve retired. New friends could provide novel ideas and fresh perspectives to keep your mind active in your retirement years. View retirement as a beginning of a new chapter in your life that will be filled with fresh opportunities, interests and friendships.
- Keep an open mind when making new friends
- Review your retirement needs and goals with a financial adviser. It is good to consider setting a monthly budget.
- Lifelong learning - Go to your community centre and participate in their activities such as IT courses, line dancing, etc.
- How can you stretch your dollar?
- Buy house brands
- Buy things on impulse
- Eat out more
- In Singapore, what is the current retirement age?
- How best can you deal with your retirement?
- Make sure you have enough savings
- Stay active
- Consider a part-time job
- All of the above