What does retirement look like for you?

Money and Life
(Financial Planning Association of Australia)


Keeping busy with work and family year after year can make it tricky to decide how to spend time in retirement. Discover ways to feel your best and make the most of life after work.

1. Keeping active

According to research from Sydney University, people who have retired generally adopt a healthier lifestyle than their working peers. With more time on their hands, retired people are getting a better night’s sleep and more exercise. The study of 25,000 older Australians shows that retired people sleep 11 minutes longer and spend 93 minutes more per week keeping physically active, compared with the same age group still in the workforce. These findings could be part of the reason why Australians are living longer. “We hope this information could translate to better health in older Australians, preventing cardiovascular disease and diabetes,” says Dr. Melody Ding, lead researcher for the study.

So what could your healthy lifestyle in retirement look like? If you already like to run, hike or cycle, you’ll have more time to enjoy these activities and won’t need to budget for extra equipment. Joining a gym or sports team is another way to add exercise into your weekly routine, and make new friends too.

2. Staying social

Your social networks in retirement are just as important to your health and wellbeing as a regular commitment to exercise. In a 2013 research study, Oliver Huxhold from the German Centre of Gerontology[1] found a significant difference in life satisfaction among older people who regularly take part in activities with friends. Not only does this social activity improve mental health and boost positive feelings, it can also protect people from the negative effects of ageing.

Work can often play a big part on our social life. In retirement, you can find yourself feeling isolated when you’ve been used to daily contact with colleagues and friends from work. So it’s important to strengthen social ties with friends, new and old, who share your interests. There are all kinds of ways to reach out to like-minded people in your community, through volunteering, joining clubs or local interest groups.

3. Working and volunteering

Not everyone sees retirement as their chance to stop working altogether. Continuing to work in some capacity can be a very positive lifestyle choice, giving your days and weeks a welcome routine and purpose. Part-time work can also be a great way to supplement your income in retirement and help your savings last longer. Having more time on your hands can also allow you to set-up that business you’ve always wanted to try or start a hobby that could turn into an extra source of income.

After a lifetime of work, you’re likely to have knowledge and skills to offer others through a mentoring or tutoring arrangement. This can be a very rewarding way to develop your social network and you can choose whether to accept