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No matter how fulfilling your career may be, most people look forward to retiring, spending more time with their family and doing the things that they love. With the average life expectancy lengthening and people keeping fit and healthy well into their retirement, with any luck, you’ll have a long and enjoyable number of work-free years. However, giving up work can be quite an adjustment for many. It’s worth putting a bit of thought towards planning for a happy, stress-free retirement. Here are a few tips to get you started:

Money, money, money

Saying goodbye to a weekly paycheck doesn’t have to be scary if you’re financially savvy and plan ahead. The two most common sources of income to draw on in retirement are superannuation and the government pension. Many online calculators help you to track your cost of living and then estimate your needs when your working life ends.

Another way to supplement your income to ensure you can enjoy retirement to the fullest is through a home equity release. As the name implies, this involves using the equity in your home either by accessing a small amount each year or receiving a lump sum for home maintenance or renovations. It can also be used for unexpected costs, such as medical treatment.

Spend Time with Family and Friends

Have you decided where to live when you stop working? Many people choose to relocate to be closer to children and grandchildren. Another possibility is to take extended holidays to visit your loved ones or invite them to come and stay with you.

If you’re not close to family, make sure that you cultivate your friendships or find ways to meet new people. Research has shown that people with close social connections live longer, which is a pretty appealing side-benefit of investing time in your relationships!

Pursue Hobbies

When you’re working full-time, it’s easy to let your hobbies slip. Sewing, swimming or tinkering with cars gives way to the cycle of working, family and household chores. Once you retire, you’ll have a lot of time on your hands, and some people struggle with boredom and a lack of purpose. This is the perfect time to rediscover those hobbies that you have enjoyed over the years or explore new ones.

Consider Travelling

Where have you always wanted to go? More and more retirees are roaming the world and discovering new places. There are lots of ways to travel. Some choose to invest in a campervan or caravan and hit the road. Others enjoy exploring by sea on cruise liners. Alternatively, you have the freedom and flexibility to keep an eye out for affordable airfares at any time of year, without the constraints of annual leave approval or school holidays.

Learn Something New

Keeping your mind active has been proven to slow the decline of people’s thinking skills and may even prevent or delay dementia and Alzheimer’s. Plus, it can be a whole lot of fun! Reading, crossword puzzles, word games, and jigsaws are all great options that you can do at home. To take it up a notch, consider learning an instrument or a new language, or get involved in a game with a social element like bridge or chess. You might even meet some wonderful new friends along the way.

You’ve worked hard to get there, so make sure to take the appropriate steps to ensure your golden years are worthwhile. By effectively planning your finances and pursuing the things you love most, you’ll be certain to enjoy a fulfilling, hassle-free retirement.