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Seven useful things to know before you retire
Some of these are things that nobody really tells you, and you often work out later, or find out once it's too late.
In this week’s Epic Retirement newsletter we have:
Article: Seven useful things to know before you retire
From Bec’s Desk: A personal message from me!
SMH/Age Money Article: Not retirement ready yet? Cath up strategies for late starters
Note: Join me on social media
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How to Have an Epic Retirement is now back in stock
How to Have an Epic Retirement is the ultimate guidebook for modern retirees. It is grounded in my own widespread research on modern retirement, and draws on my prior ten years as the CEO of Starts at 60 and Travel at 60 (before I stepped away to pursue my next career in retirement education). It also draws on the work of the leading thinkers in the longevity, health, happiness, purpose and modern ageing spaces and incorporates many interviews with people who have navigated the sometimes challenging path into retirement.
I am incredibly proud of the response to the book so far. It has sold out online in Amazon and Booktopia several times and run the warehouse out completely. It has also reached #4 on Booktopia’s National Bestseller list, #8 on Dymocks Business & Finance Books list and #1 on Amazon Australia in the category of ‘Retirement’. And, it has been in very short supply in bookstores throughout Australia in the lead up to Fathers’ Day after spending 5 weeks as the #1 bestselling self-improvement book by an Australia author.
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Seven useful things to know before you retire
Retirement is a significant life transition, and one you can and should prepare thoroughly for, as you all know. But many people don't have a good understanding of of all the things they should prepare. And I tend to think it’s a bit like the period before you have your first child, when everyone holds back from giving you ‘their advice’ because it is such a deeply personal stage of self-discovery. So, if you’re thinking about retirement right now, there’s a few things I want you to know and consider, ideally long before you get there. These decisions and explorations, if made before you retire, could be really important later in life.
1. Build your financial confidence muscles sooner rather than later
The people I know who have the most epic retirements are not wealthy - they have simply taken the time to properly understand their money and they have fairly aligned their goals with ambitions they can afford. If financial literacy feels like a challenge today - take some proactive steps to change that. Read a book (I’ve penned a helpful one), enrol in a course, consult a financial adviser, or speak to your superannuation fund about your money. Or maybe, you should do all of these things. When you understand how you can make your money work for you, you can relax a little and make more active choices with confidence.
2. Expect that it will take time to adjust - and prepare yourself for that
Fully retiring is an ‘ending’ of a whole phase of your life. Even if you choose it actively, you can feel a little grief or become a little lost in the months after the initial buzz has worn off. That’s perfectly normal. When you put in a proper ending to anything in life, a marriage, a career, even a home, there is a ‘middle zone’ that can feel really uncomfortable before you find the new beginnings you dream of. Notice it, be present in it and take time to understand what will give you purpose and bring you happiness in the next stage. The period of discovery eventually leads to those new beginnings. You can prepare yourself better for adjustment by starting some new activities and forming networks outside of work, before you retire.
3. Know that the big banks probably won’t be very helpful to you after you stop getting pay cheques
Banks are not really trying to target customers in their 50s, 60s and 70s. All their systems are designed around lending money to people who can pay 25 or 30 year mortgages. When you retire - you don't qualify for these so most people don't get offered sexy lower margin products and services like high interest bank accounts and credit cards and they certainly will struggle to borrow money. So please, review your banking before you retire - and consider whether you need to switch to get the better deals through banks with a greater focus on paying you a good interest rate on your cash. Read more in this article.
4. Review and plan your credit card needs before you retire
Nobody tells you that you will probably never be able to get another credit card after you retire - even if you have a million dollars in the bank. So if you need a balance increase - it’s wise to take steps before you get there. And, if you and your partner are sharing a credit card account, with one of you as the second cardholder, think about whether you need to set them up with an independent card. If something happens to the primary cardholder, they may never be able to access a credit card facility again.
5. Work on your relationships - they’ll help you live longer
Quality relationships are much more important than job titles over your lifetime. Nobody tells you this during your career, but the largest study of happiness and longevity in the western world has clearly demonstrated that it isn't money that makes the difference. It's the quality of your relationship that makes all the difference. A happy marriage, some best friends, a loving family - can create a protective bubble that positively impacts your health and lifespan.
6. Know that you can make health a priority - even if you have never done so in your life.
The science of ageing shows that regular exercise, intermittent fasting and a good quality diet packed with fruits and vegetables, omega 3, 6 and 9 oils, and healthy grains and seeds can slow or even reverse the damage of cellular ageing by stimulating something called cellular autophagy. And it doesn’t matter when you start in life - just as long as you start. The benefits are incremental and quite significant. So take the time to make your health a priority, even if it is a new project, started now.
7. Fuel your curiosity
As you prepare for and dream about your retirement - ignite your curiosity.Really put a bomb under it. Dive into new interests, explore uncharted territories, and relish the freedom to learn without constraints of time. Curiosity is the driving force that keeps life vibrant and fulfilling, regardless of your age.
Understanding these seven useful tips before retirement can significantly enhance your journey into this new phase of life, setting the stage for a more informed, fulfilling, and vibrant retirement experience.
Have you found others people should know? Email me (just hit reply to this email).
From Bec’s Desk
Another huge week for those of us in the second half of life.
The promised increases to the age pension and rent assistance payments finally arrived in bank accounts this week. More than 2.6 million retirees, who rely on the age pension, enjoyed an increase in their income from September 20. For those eligible for rent assistance there was considerable relief. Moreover, if you fall just outside the limits for the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, it's a smart time to take another look, as the limits have been given an upward nudge to account for inflation. Most people don’t realise that 62% of Australians over 67 draw down an age pension of some time. And once they find that out, they breathe a big sign of relief that it is so common and widespread. Read more about it here.
This week I performed a keynote presentation at the Over 50s Lifestyle Forum hosted by lifestyle community operator Gemlife, a fabulous event held near Bribie Island in South East Queensland with a powerhouse speaker lineup. Many thanks to Gemlife for the invitation. It was awesome to see so many of you arriving with your copy of the book for signing!
I’m doing a lot more guest speaking now, so if you have an event for pre-retirees or retirees coming up and want to offer them some proactive education and inspiration - reach out. More info here.
And finally, How to Have an Epic Retirement was restocked in all the major booksellers after what seemed like a very long 12 or 13 days without many books in the stores, online and off. Buy it now on Booktopia here. And please don’t hesitate to help us spread the word.
Do you have a question to ask or a story that you think we should tell? Reach out to me on email firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, simply send me a photo of you withe the book and tell me one of your retirement stories!
Whatever you do, have a wonderful week and make it epic!
Many thanks! Bec Wilson
Not retirement read yet? Catch up strategies for late starters
Let’s face it, life doesn’t always go as planned. In fact, more people than you might expect find themselves in their late 40s, 50s and even early 60s, and not having saved enough for retirement – yet! It might be because of unexpected financial setbacks or divorce, or simply because your priorities were elsewhere. If you’re feeling like you haven’t paid enough attention to your retirement planning, there is still time to play catch-up – for most people. Here’s how to get started:
Understand your current superannuation balance and how it is invested
If you’ve got this far in life, you will have likely paid compulsory superannuation contributions into at least one super fund. And you may not have paid a lot of attention to it until now. But an important step is to properly understand your current super balance, your account fees and the type of investment set up in the account. And if you have a number of funds, tidy that up.
Many people don’t realise that the balanced or default account for your superannuation fund is only one of the investment options. Depending on where you are in life and how much risk you are prepared to take, you could consider stepping it up to “growth” for a few years to maximise your compounding in an attempt to increase your super balance fairly passively.
Most funds will offer you access to a financial adviser to discuss your risk appetite and intra-fund options, or if you want to consider switching, you might want to talk to an independent adviser.
Recut your budget and consider contributing more to superannuation
The next step is to closely examine how much you need to live on, and how much you could afford to save each week or month for retirement. And to do that, you should create a household budget and look through it for ways to save. You can download a budgeting template here.
This is only part of the article. Read the rest of this article on The Age here.
Join me on Facebook & Instagram
I’m delivering a stream of micro-lessons about retirement on Instagram and Facebook, so depending on which is your favourite, please, come along and be a part of the conversations.
And you should already be a member of our Epic Retirement Facebook Group. If you aren’t you can join here: facebook.com/groups/epicretire
Order your copy of How to Have an Epic Retirement here
It’s back in stock at Australia’s two largest online booksellers.