Mentally prepare for your retirement

Preparing for retirement isn’t all about your finances! Take steps now to make sure you are socially, physically and emotionally ready too.

Remember the days when any free time you had was usurped by your littles ones…

and you dreamed of the day you could go to the bathroom by yourself? Well that dream has come true and now, as you vie for attention alongside your teen’s besties, you catch a glimpse of a chapter when you’ll have much more time to fill. Children become more and more self-sufficient and then often, just around the time they fly the nest, you, or your partner (or both), retire.

You don’t get many new chapters that require so much adjustment and many people struggle through this time in their lives. Financial retirement planning is crucial but as important, is to focus on preparing physically, socially and emotionally. Take these six steps now to make that future transition easier:

  1. Picture where you’ll be

Spend some time thinking about what you want retirement to look like – time to travel, a move to a different area? If you have a partner, be sure to create that vision together. Not only will this help you with your planning, but it’s much easier to save when it’s towards a yearned for goal.

  • Start adjusting your lifestyle

Yes, get into the saving mind-set now! Make a budget, eat home-made, only replace things when they break and try to buy less. Educating your children is important but do all you can to avoid using any retirement savings to do so.

  • Earn as much as you can

If you’re working, push hard in the second half of your career! If you aren’t, think about ways you could make some extra money – can you rent out a room in your house or sell your weekend hobby? It would be great to start something you could continue with past retirement age.

  • Find a new hobby

Can you even remember what you used to love doing with your free time before life got filled with raising children? Whether it’s reviving a long-lost love of baking, dusting off your tools and getting busy with woodwork, or joining a local choir, work hard to rediscover that passion. Having something that you enjoy doing fills up days that could seem empty and if your hobby can link you to people and allow you to socialise, even better!

  • Prioritise your health and your friends

The more exercise and healthy eating you do now, the less you’ll spend on medical bills as you age. Being fit makes you happier, and so does being connected to people, so work hard to arrive at retirement with a close circle of friends.

  • Keep a ‘When I retire’ list

You know those things you’d love to do if you only had the time? Write them down. Whether it’s finally sorting out your photographs or documenting your family history, it’s good to have some projects for when you finally get there.

Most importantly, enjoy your teen and the rest of the road to retirement. Cultivating a positive attitude, no matter what, is the best way to enjoy every chapter of your life, and teaching this skill to your children, is the best gift you can give them.


Choosing the right medical aid is no joke, but we’ll leave you smiling.