What not to do in retirement

St Ives Carine residents enjoying time with their grandkids

Perhaps you’re edging closer to your retirement years and are creating a foolproof plan, or maybe you’re years into retirement and need a refresher to ensure you’re making the most of your retired lifestyle. Whatever your scenario, we’re breaking down the key mistakes made in retirement and providing a foolproof strategy to ensure your golden years are exactly what you dreamt they’d be. 

1. Just go with the flow

No doubt going with the flow in life can be fun, it can lead you to new experiences and new people, however in the years leading up to your retirement and beyond you must have a full understanding of your financial position with a plan for the future. Here are the key financial mistakes made by retirees in Australia. 

Failing to update their financial plan: Many retirees enter their golden years with a thought-out plan to budget their money to provide the lifestyle they dream of. However, with the joy of retirement, many overlook the need to stick to a financial plan or consider how the increased cost of living or personal circumstances might affect their financial position. If you have a change in circumstances such as moving house, make sure to reevaluate your finances and ensure you are spending in line with what you can afford. 

Not allocating an emergency fund: It’s no secret that as we age there is a chance we may face increased medical bills. This can be anything from hearing aids and glasses to at-home care visits in later life. While it’s hard to predict the cost of medical bills, it makes up an essential component of a retiree’s financial plan to prevent falling into debt.

Failing to diversify investments: Over your working life you might have moved your money into various investments. While it can be tempting to redistribute funds when a particular investment is soaring, it’s essential that your portfolio is diverse to mitigate the risk of financial loss should your stock lose value. 

Overspending in the early years: Retirement often means the trip of a lifetime, enjoying new hobbies and treating yourself to the garden furniture you’ve had your eye on. And rightly so, you’ve worked your whole life and you deserve to enjoy yourself, plus you’ll have access to a lifetime of savings on your super fund. But sometimes having access to your super fund as a lump sum can feel somewhat like a bottomless pit of money and this may lead to retirees spending beyond their means. Be on top of your spending, treat yourself within reason and ensure it’s part of your financial plan. A popular way to prevent the risk of overspending in the early years is to allocate your super as a monthly allowance and save, as you would when you were working for big-ticket items and holidays. 

2. Take it ‘too’ easy

Retirement is a time to explore new hobbies, find new passions and travel to the places you dream of. Relax on tropical beaches and spend your time pottering around the shops or your garden, but be careful not to fall into a comfort zone where you find yourself doing the same thing. 

Not embracing an active lifestyle: Retirement redefines the meaning of freedom, you finally can spend your time as you like and while it’s important to enjoy yourself, failing to maintain an active lifestyle can impact your mental and physical health and lead to complications later in life. It’s important to undertake appropriate exercise, whether it’s swimming lengths at a pool or enjoying a game of lawn bowls. 

Not saying yes enough: Retirees have the opportunity to explore new industries, volunteer and enrol in new education but it’s not uncommon to fall into a mindset of “I’m too old for that”. Trying something new can be daunting at any age, but try to embrace the experiences that come your way. After all, it’s never too late to learn a new skill or meet new friends. 

At St Ives, our retirement villages are home to a range of amenities designed to foster social connection and active living. From putting greens to indoor heated pools, there’s no shortage of opportunities to explore a new lifestyle and discover new pastimes. 

If you’d like to learn more about the life that awaits at St Ives, contact us or order an information pack.

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