Age is no barrier this Seniors Week
13 August 2015
As we celebrate Seniors Week across the Sunshine State, it is important to recognise that ageing is an issue that affects us all.
Seniors Week is just one way in which we can celebrate the valuable contribution seniors make to our local communities, while also providing a great opportunity for all generations to get involved.
This year’s theme, ‘It’s On for Young and Old’, has a special focus on creating stronger bonds and connections between generations through storytelling to help reduce feelings of social isolation and strengthen intergenerational relationships.
When you take the time to sit down and listen to senior members in our community, what you may be surprised to discover is how the majority of these people enjoy life just as much, if not more, than younger people.
We all know it is important to stay active and healthy, both mentally and physically, in retirement, which is why planning for your retirement and assessing your current lifestyle is critical as you approach your twilight years.
Retirement offers older people time to enjoy many and varied activities, which is why it is important to ask yourself: “What do I want to do in retirement?” and “What are the costs associated with this?”
Questions such as these help us plan for major expenses in retirement including holidays, hobbies, home modifications and health-related needs and expenses.
To help plan for a happy and busy life, here are my top five retirement living tips.
Top five retirement tips:
1. Make life plans
It is vital to think about when you expect to retire and what your potential life expectancy is - remembering that you must be at least 65 years old (and up to 67 years old depending on when you were born) to be eligible for the Age Pension. And while you’re thinking about how much money you'll need in retirement, think about what you want your life to look like, and how you want to feel.
2. Spending in retirement
Put together a budget for everyday expenses and plan for major expenses. Transitioning from a regular wage to your own savings and super can take some adjustment. Having a good budget will help to take away any anxiety and let you enjoy life more.
3. Find hobbies
Keep your mind sharp and find a purpose when making your retirement living plan. Look for things you can do on an ongoing basis to add structure to your life, such as travel, volunteering, hobbies or even part-time work or starting up a small business.
4. Make new friends
Check out groups that help you meet new people or join community and sporting organisations that have members who share your interests. One of the great benefits of retirement is the ability to spend more time with people who matter the most to you, including family and relatives.
5. Remain healthy and happy
As our life spans increase, so too do our lives in retirement. This makes it even more important to stay in shape and eat a balanced diet. It’s also important to pay attention to your mental health and don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Remember your attitude plays a big part in happiness in retirement.
The COTA (Council on the Ageing) Queensland currently coordinates Seniors Week and run Seniors Week events and activities. For more information or to register for an event near you, visit www.qldseniorsweek.org.au or phone 1300 738 348.
Ms Morris is a Chartered Accountant with over 20 years’ experience as a non-executive director. She has held directorships across many industries, such as financial services, retail, energy and infrastructure. Founded in 1965, LGsuper is the super fund for current and former Queensland local government employees and their spouses. Today LGsuper looks after almost $9.5 billion in retirement savings for around 90,000 members.