Four ways to plan for mental wellbeing in retirement

05 December 2017

Retirement is one of life’s biggest transitions, and, as with any major change, it comes with a combination of excitement, apprehension, and the risk of mental health challenges[1].

These risks can be managed with support and planning, to ensure your psychological health is well looked after.

When retirement planning, most people consider finances to be the top priority. While this is vital, psychological preparation is also key to a successful, happy retirement.

There are many things you can do to plan for a mentally healthy retirement.

 

Start planning early

The earlier you can begin planning, the better. With time, you can consider the impact retirement may have on your life and create strategies for those factors within your control.

For example, you can think about your retirement expectations, establish social and emotional support networks, and think about the lifestyle factors you would like to continue. Being proactive early will set you up for the retirement you hope for, and create contingencies for when the unexpected occurs.

 

Look at wellbeing factors

There are five ways to wellbeing in retirement: connection with others, being active, mindfulness, continuing to learn and giving back. By considering each of these areas, a healthy and happy retirement is possible.

 

Set clear goals

The Australian Institute of Family Studies found, for most people, life satisfaction increases in the years following retirement[2], showing that with some preparation, this can be one of the best times of your life.

This satisfaction is often linked with establishing and working towards goals, an essential ingredient to a successful retirement.

 

Use a tool to help your planning

SuperFriend’s Planning for a Mentally Healthy Retirement seminar provides participants with strategies to prepare them for retirement psychologically by looking at the things that may impact their wellbeing during this period.

This includes a practical retirement planning tool, which helps participants to review how various parts of their life may be affected.

 

[1] https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/depression/what-causes-depression

[2] https://aifs.gov.au/sites/default/files/publication-documents/aft8-life-satisfaction.pdf

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