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Setting goals for your epic retirement
When planning for retirement, one crucial activity can significantly impact the direction of your retirement journey: setting goals for yourself.
Goal setting is a powerful process that fuels our desire to strive and keeps us curious and motivated. So it’s really important in the lead up to, and in retirement. In this phase of life, having an intentional sense of purpose and curiosity is crucial. You might be surprised how often it is overlooked though! So today I’m going to suggest a 3 step process that’s easy to work through, to get you started on setting some goals for your retirement. There’s a much longer goal setting exercise in the book.
Goal setting for retirement can be a little different to what most people expect or live through in their prior years. It is no longer just deciding what to strive for, or it doesn’t have to be, you can take it one step further. As you approach retirement, I suggest you ask yourself three fundamental questions that shape how you approach this phase of life and set your plans with the answers.
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But before you dive into the questions, stop and contemplate that retirement can mark a significant shift in identity. It can be your transition from being defined by "what you do" and your job title, to contemplating "who you are" and linking that to what you want to do next. Many people I’ve interviewed say its valuable to pause, reset, and comfortably re-identify with "who you are" or "who you want to be" in this stage of life before determining how to fill your time with activities. Often, this requires a you to reflect on what truly motivates you and energises you all over again, consciously.
As I said above, it can be good to approach goal setting for retirement as a three-step process, dedicating attention to reconsidering your vision of yourself before putting action plans in place. So what are the three steps?
Step 1: Re-explore your identity or ask yourself, 'Who do you want to be?'
I know this seems very profound and profound isn’t for everyone, but stay with me. Before diving into the specifics of what activities or pursuits to spend your time on in retirement, I want you to take the time to reconnect with what you think might be your true identity, beyond work, especially if you’ve lost track of it. Tackle the more challenging step of reflecting on your values, passions, and aspirations for yourself. Consider the qualities that define you and what brings you joy. Who do you want to be in this new phase of life? What will your attitude be? And what will that mean for how you approach life activities, challenges and bumps? Embrace the opportunity to redefine yourself beyond your past career accomplishments attitudinally and set yourself a vision. Understanding and accepting your evolving identity and setting who you want to be will pave the way for a more consistent, fulfilling retirement that can become your identity in this next stage and help keep you consistent in your pursuit of your goals.
Step 2: Exploring your motivations and energisers
Once you have worked through who you want to be, you can focus on understanding what motivates and energises you. The more passive income sources of retirement offer you the freedom to pursue activities based on personal fulfilment rather than financial or external expectations. So take time to think about the things that excite you, the experiences you've always wanted to have, the areas of interest you've been eager to explore and the people you want to be there for. Consider the hobbies, passions, or causes that ignite a sense of purpose within you and the things that put you in 'the zone'. This exploration phase is essential for crafting meaningful goals that align with your authentic self.
So take the time to understand your motivations and energisers, and you lay the foundation for setting compelling goals for retirement.
Step 3: Putting some tactical actions in place
Only once you have this clarity should you decide the 'things you will do' in your retirement to become the person you want to be. And with this clarity about who you want to be, it should be much easier to see and define. As things change and you get older, you can adapt quickly, trimming your sails but not changing direction if you know who you want to be at the core.
Your more tactical goals should reflect your desired identity and your motivators and energisers and point you toward the people, activities and pursuits that bring you joy, fulfilment, and a sense of purpose.
Establishing short-term and long-term goals is essential to provide structure and direction to your retirement journey.
Short-term goals act as stepping stones toward your larger aspirations. They can be centred around immediate interests or projects you want to pursue. These goals provide a sense of achievement and progress as you navigate your early retirement years. Long-term goals, on the other hand, lean into the broader vision for your retirement. They may involve significant milestones, such as travelling to specific destinations, being a part of philanthropic endeavours, being interwoven in the lives of loved ones or learning new skills.
It's important to note that goals are not set in stone and can evolve. If you know who you want to be in retirement, you then have the flexibility to adapt and explore new paths to get you there. I encourage you to embrace having the ability to reassess and modify your goals as your interests and circumstances change.
So I ask you today - the three big questions you should ask yourself…
Who will you be when you are retired?
What will motivate and energise you?
And then, what will you do to bring that to life?
This goal-setting can play a healthy role in shaping a fulfilling and ‘epic’ retirement.
Hope you enjoy it! I dive a lot further into goal setting in the book, How to Have an Epic Retirement, breaking down the types of goals you might want to consider having across the 6 pillars of retirement.
Some helpful examples
Ted, who was interviewed for the book, decided he wanted to be an ‘awesome grandpa’ early and spent his retirement working consistently on this mission, looking for opportunities to engage with his grandchildren and taking incremental actions to build up his relationship with them while they were young and impressionable. Now 76, he has a wonderful relationship with his now teenage grandkids, and they with him.
Karen had a personal passion for reading and wanted to anchor herself in her community, and build valuable, meaningful relationships with friends to give her a sense of purpose. Over many years she created and organised a bookclub that brought many people joy. It later evolved into a group of ladies who lunch regularly and a lot of wonderful friendships, online and off and who have a genuine interest in each others’ wellbeing and happiness.
Groundbreaking discovery in ageing reversal - Did scientists just unlock the fountain of youth?
This breakthrough discovery holds enormous potential. It could pave the way for new treatments that combat age-related diseases and even help repair injuries more effectively.
In an astonishing breakthrough, scientists have unveiled a groundbreaking new approach to turning back the clock on aging within the human body. This groundbreaking revelation, made just last month, promises to not only rejuvenate our cells but also provide a powerful tool in the fight against age-related afflictions like diabetes, heart disease, dementia, and cancer. This cutting-edge breakthrough may well be one of the most significant advances in ageing and longevity science today.
It’s a discovery that not many in Australia are talking about, but one I think is significant and worth all more of our attention and understanding. So I’m taking a dive into it today.
A team of researchers from Harvard Medical School, collaborating with experts from the University of Maine and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has introduced an entirely new approach to reawaken cells and roll back the effects of ageing. This achievement, previously achieved only through advanced gene therapy, marks a significant leap forward.
The scientists achieved this feat by developing a special mixture of chemicals, often referred to as a "cocktail," that has the power to rejuvenate aging cells. This cocktail of chemicals was carefully designed to have a positive impact on the cells' behaviour and function. Imagine it like giving cells a special treatment to help them feel younger and more energetic.
Retiring in 10-15 years time? Here’s how to prepare now
I write a weekly column for Sunday’s Money Section in Nine Newspapers. This article appeared in The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Brisbane Times and WA Today on Sunday 6th August 2023 in both print and digital. Read the full article here.
I’ve spent a lot of time on talkback radio this week talking about my new book, How to Have an Epic Retirement. The No.1 question people ask is: if you are preparing for retirement in 10-15 years’ time, when should you start thinking about it, and what would you do?
My answer? If you want to have the financial confidence to retire in 10-15 years’ time, you need to think about your goals and ambitions, about your budget, and get comfortable with how to shape a financial position to fit, ideally sooner rather than later.
One of the most powerful levers you have in growing your retirement savings before retirement is time and the power of compound investment. Superannuation, invested well, at an average return of 7-10 per cent a year, can double in value every seven to 10 years through passive compound interest alone.
Most people don’t realise this and take it seriously only with four to six years to go. While that’s still a reasonable amount of time to improve your financial situation, if you can motivate yourself 10-15 years earlier and take a few critical steps, you could put yourself in a far better position.
The list of things you can do 10-15 years out from retirement isn’t especially tricky, but it does require some dedicated effort on your part. So do it once, check in once a year and know that your strategy is off to a running start.
Article continues on Sydney Morning Herald website. Read the full article here.
From Bec’s Desk: How to Have an Epic Retirement: now back in stock
It’s been an exciting week, with How to Have an Epic Retirement selling out last week on both Amazon Australia and Booktopia. It certainly was a solid achievement for the book in its first ten days. I’m pleased to report it is now back in stock at Booktopia and Amazon won’t be far behind!
And it is also available wherever books are sold, including: Big W, Collins, David Jones (some stores), Dymocks. QBD, Target, Newslink (Airports), Relay (Airports), WH Smith (Airports), Bookface (NSW), Harry Hartog (NSW, Qld, SA, ACT), and The Book Warehouse (NSW). There’s also a long list of regional booksellers which you can see on my website here.
In the news
The media coverage of the book has been sensational with TV, newspapers and talkback radio embracing it. In fact, the conversations about how to have an epic retirement have been heard all over the country on regional and metro talkback. You can listen to and watch some of the wonderful interviews about the book on my website here. Some recent clips I’ve added in recent days include these beauties, and I’m adding more almost daily:
An interview with Virginia Trioli on the ABC Melbourne Morning Show with callers, texts and load of community engagement;
An interview with ABC NSW Drive host Anna Moulder on her ‘Tuesday Book Club’ again, with callers and texts.
About the book
How to Have an Epic Retirement is filled with practical information, examples and questions covering the six key pillars of great modern retirement:
Building your financial confidence
Looking after your health
Understanding how happiness is created and finding fulfilment
Living out your travel dreams
Your home and how your needs change in all the different phases of retirement
It’s the first book of its kind to explain in detail how the systems that support a new age and modern retirement in Australia work, making what can be a complex topic seem easy to navigate.
Retirement Diaries Podcast: Living life with the goal of being a ‘Super Alive Centenarian’ with Robyn Everingham
Robyn is an ambitious and healthy modern retiree who is squeezing the juice out of life. She talks about her cognitive and physical health goals and what she does to try and become a centenarian.
Listen to the podcast here or watch it on YouTube below. And don’t forget to subscribe to our Youtube channel for more.
Make it epic!
Bec Wilson Xx