Preparing for your golden years shouldn’t only happen in your late 50s. You can ensure a happy, healthy retirement by getting ready for the transition as early as possible. Here are some tips to help you enter the retirement phase with vigour. 

  • Organise your finances as early as possible.

Saving up for your retirement fund should start in your 30s or 40s. Otherwise, it might be too late, and you might have to work odd jobs or get help from others to fund yourself when you retire. So start building your retirement fund. Also, consider making investments that can support your preferred lifestyle in your golden years.

If you live and work in Australia, consider establishing a self-managed super fund or SMSF and use it to acquire investment properties. You can get SMSF home loans to purchase residential or holiday properties that you can put up for rent or long-term lease. Any profit you’ll make from these investments will help grow your super fund, which you can get once you retire. With hefty savings due to great investments, you can achieve a healthy and happy retirement—no matter how you want to spend it.

  • Explore different interests.

Sitting on the couch all day long watching reruns of your favourite shows isn’t a perfect example of a healthy retirement. You’ll have tons of free time to spend travelling, exploring and doing things you’ve always wanted to do. One thing to help you get excited about spending that free time outside your living room is to explore different interests while you’re still in your 40s or 50s. That way, you can build good habits or find hobbies you can go back to once you’ve entered your golden years. It doesn’t matter what these interests are. They could be biking, photography, gardening or painting portraits—what matters is you feel passionate about them. 

  • Connect with friends.

Having lots of friends in retirement offers mental, emotional and physical benefits. Plus, it is often thought that those with many good friends tend to be happier and live longer. So while in your 30s, 40s or 50s, connect with many friends. Don’t limit friendships to neighbours and workplace friends. Friendships should branch out to your personal interests beyond work. Love going to the gym? Stay in touch with your gym bros or the ladies you have fun with in your dance class. If you love theatre, join a local theatre company and connect with like-minded individuals. It also helps if some of these friendships will be with younger people as they can help keep your retirement years fun and exciting! 

  • Lead an active lifestyle.

The happiest retirees are the healthiest retirees. So take your health seriously, build good habits to lead an active lifestyle and start all these several years before retiring. While you can’t do a lot about ageing & genetics, staying healthy in your 40s or 50s gives you a better chance of keeping your retirement years healthy, happy & active. It’s not about sticking to restrictive diets—simply pay more attention to what you eat. And you don’t need to become a gym rat (well, if that works for you, that’s good, too!), but it’s more about finding exercises that you enjoy and can do sustainably, like biking, jogging, swimming or walking every day. 

  • Keep close to your children—but not too close.

Most retirees feel happy when they live near one or two of their adult children. That helps them stay connected with their kids and adorable grandchildren. But make sure not to be “too close” to your adult kids so that they end up depending on you. Supporting your adult children financially and emotionally can take a toll on you and make you less happy during your golden years.

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