Sophie Burton Hishon, Marketing and Communications Manager at Simplicity explains why the holidays are the ideal time to plan for the future.
Yes you read correctly. The holidays can be a surprisingly good time to think about retirement. In New Zealand, January and February is when many of us shed work or busy parent skins and transform into fun, holiday versions of ourselves. So why spend precious holiday time doing retirement planning?
When we’re in holiday mode, bigger picture thinking comes naturally. We might gain new perspectives being away from work, or spending time with someone who offers a different outlook on life. Extra time with children or grandchildren can also reframe what’s most important as a new life stage approaches.
Industry averages predict how much the average person will need during retirement but they are just that, an average. A clear vision for your dream retirement makes allocating funds for this life stage much more accurate. Spend time now pondering what matters so you can make it a reality when it’s time to retire.
Wellbeing is an integral part of any discussion around retirement. It impacts your health, which impacts longevity and is the foundation of a life worth living. At the start of a new year it’s natural to want to improve and set goals, make the most of the momentum! The five recognised well-being pillars are: giving, being active, continuing education or self development, gratitude, connection. Think about your retirement from these different perspectives. Money will give you choices, but structuring your retirement around these pillars will make those years feel worthwhile and fulfilling. Set some goals these holidays around the five pillars that will improve your life now and pay dividends during retirement.
- Giving: In the later stages of life, where time and finances tend to be on your side, giving back occurs naturally for many seniors. Whether it’s time, attention, or charitable giving, it impacts the giver favourably because it gives people a sense of value and purpose.
- Being active: Research has proven that being physically active is not only beneficial for your body, but also your mind. Being active is a good way to combat feelings of anxiety or loneliness through movement and also by staying connected to others.
- Continuing education or self development: Staying on top of your game, whatever that game is, also promotes wellbeing. It could be maintenance mode or even more ambitious learning and challenging yourself in some big, or small way. Like anything in life, you get out of it what you invest. So stay invested in staying vital and keen.
- Gratitude: It may sound a cliche but gratitude is the kernel from which everything else blossoms. Be thankful and appreciative for what you have, whom you have in your life, opportunities, events and even the blessing of a stranger’s smile or kindness as this will enrich your life in untold ways. It’s a mindset as much as a habit and one to keep circling back to.
- Connection: Mother Teresa once described loneliness as the worst form of poverty. It’s important to remember in the context of saving money and managing money. Staying connected to friends, family, pets, neighbours and larger networks will foster wellbeing in an exponential way.
Priorities should be distinguished from urgencies. Too often we live our lives based on what is urgent, and not what is important. It’s all too easy to spend years chasing the next urgent thing and never setting aside a few hours to do what we know we should. Retirement may seem far off – but there was a time when the age you are now was also unthinkable. The nature of long-term goals, like how much you want to have stashed away when you reach retirement age, is that they don’t demand attention right now. It’s up to you to set the time aside and this summer could be the perfect moment. Your future holiday self will thank you for it!