MONEY TO SPEND AND LOVING IT! – Learn the steps that make retirement attractive.

Older couple opening Christmas presents together
Have you fantasized about that last day when you’ll wave goodbye to everyone as you sail off into the sunset with a wide smile? Contrary to popular belief, not everyone looks forward to retirement. The prospect of waking up with nothing to do after 30/40-plus years of regularly going to work can be scary for some while others can’t wait to start. Whatever camp you’re in, one unifying factor is that you can’t spend all your days doing absolutely nothing. While it may be so for the first few weeks, it would prove difficult to do it every day for the next 25 to 30 years of your life. So, what can make retirement an exciting experience to look forward to?


Retirement gives you many options to do the things that you’ve always wanted because you will be the one controlling your days and your time (aye, aye Captain!) So here are a few things to look forward to-


  1. Better health- It goes without saying that without good health, there’s no point to most things. It gives you the opportunity to live life the way you want, travel where you want and try out new and mind-opening things. Retirement means you can slow down and smell the roses (or in Naija, simply the fresh air), and relaaax. You have more time to exercise or work out, and cook better balanced meals. You may find that you have more energy than before retirement. All we’ll say is- enjoy it. You deserve it.


  1. Build relationships- You’ve had to juggle many balls in the last 30 or so years and unwittingly, one always drops or something suffers. There are close relationships that probably suffered because you had to work. Now you can make amends. It’s a great time to reconnect with friends, forge strong bonds with grandchildren, or simply create new relationships. The decision is pleasurably yours.


  1. Learn something new- Have you always wanted to learn how to paint? Or you think you can be a good teacher? Perhaps you’ve always wanted to learn a new language or volunteer at something? Go right ahead! The beauty of picking up a new hobby (or even career!) at this time is that you go at your own pace. Also, because you’ve had your life experiences, you are in a better place to appreciate the little things and take the big ones in stride. Remember, no one is ever too old to learn. Believe that ‘this old dog can still learn new tricks!’


  1. Expand your mind- If you’re a bibliophile like us (no, not someone who likes bibles; someone who loves books!), retirement is a fantastic time to catch up on all the reading you’ve promised to get to over the years. Reading is also a great way to keep the old grey matter active and alert. And with the beauty of technology with e-readers and tablets you’ll never be short of variety, and can have hundreds or thousands of books at your fingertips. So, go ahead; start compiling your reading list.


  1. Go part-time- For many retirees, the urge to work or do something is so deeply ingrained that the prospect of not having anything to do fills them with dread instead of bliss. If you’re that kind of person, then perhaps you may consider working part time in your retirement. The upside is that you can do what you want at your own pace and get paid for it. Yes, it may not be much compared to what you used to earn before, but considering that retirement is generally a time when no active income is coming in, it would make very nice pocket change indeed.


  1. Travel the world- Know the expression ‘So much to see, so little time to do it’? The world is a vast and beautiful place of which you’ve probably seen only a fraction. And you don’t even have to go far these days to see something new. Look for resorts or places of interest that you can travel in a day or so. Or you could dust off that passport and finally give yourself the treat you’ve always promised yourself. Go ahead, you deserve it.


Needless to say, while the above is just a slice of things you can do in and with your retirement, none of it will be possible if you don’t have a proper retirement package in place. Remember that your income will drop once you retire (unless you’re a billionaire, in which case, no worries!) and inflation will affect the rest.


If you still have a decade or more to those golden years, you can put a great plan in place, but if you’re close to that setting sun, never fear, all is not lost. Call our KISS agents now on 0800MERISTEM, we’ll put heads together and create something for you. But the most important thing, we repeat, is to start NOW.


NEXT: Exit the Rat Race with a Great Financial Plan


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