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Retirement: a question of lifestyle

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What is your vision of retirement?

It is likely to be more than a pertinent question since the lifestyle you envisage needs to be supported financially. That financial support, of course, comes from the pension pot you have available, and perhaps, the financial planning that has gone into your use and management of those retirement funds.

Although lifestyle involves highly personal choices, it might help you to home in on some of the essential considerations by looking at a few broad categories …

The healthy lifestyle

  • one of the basic retirement conundrums involves balancing the excitement of a whole new – and hopefully long and active – chapter in your life with some of the inevitable health problems associated with ageing;

Reinvention beats retirement

  • of course, there may be days when you are free to indulge in a long lie-in, spend the day in your dressing gown, and do very little – but these are likely to be few and far between once you’ve learned the secret and excitement of reinventing yourself in newly retired life;
  • a positive and enthusiastic self-reinvention might prove one of the best ways of avoiding any ageist stereotype;

Re-live the best days of your life

  • remember the saying that school days were the best days of your life?
  • at least part of your retirement lifestyle might let you re-live them – keeping your mental faculties sharpened and enriching your engagement with the wider world;
  • the challenge of learning – a new language, a musical instrument or any other talent or skill – not only keeps your mind active but gives you a sense of achievement, participation and the chance to meet new friends amongst fellow students;
  • the Retirement Expert even suggests ways in which you might pursue that further education entirely free of charge;

The not so retiring volunteer

  • retirement does not mean locking yourself away from the world – volunteering is a lifestyle choice that keeps you engaged with your local community and offers the satisfaction of knowing that you are giving something back to society;
  • your local library or council offices might steer you in the direction of local organisations with whom you might volunteer, or browse the website Volunteering Matters for ideas about putting your skills and talents to good use in retirement;

An entrepreneurial lifestyle or second career

  • if your working life meant a dogged nine-to-five at someone else’s beck and call, you might have nurtured the dream of running your own business or becoming an entrepreneur;
  • retirement offers just such an opportunity – and the chance to earn as much extra income as you care to put into the role;
  • similarly, a second career is a possibility – either because you need the extra cash, enjoy the comradeship of working or, both.

These are all potential lifestyle choices that may help to shape your retirement. Remember that none is dyed in the wool, but may be changed, adopted or abandoned as the fancy takes you.

Mixing and matching your chosen lifestyles may be the key to securing a well-rounded, rewarding and ultimately satisfying retirement.

Any data referred to in this article is correct as at the time of writing.

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