You only get one retirement - make the most of it

Retirement is about a lot more than having more time and less money, say the experts at 10X Investments, who add that to be really happy after you have quit working you will most likely have to consider the needs of the mind, the body and the soul along with the practical aspects, such as money and time.

“For many people work is not just a source of income, but also of identity, visibility, status, self-esteem, power, belonging, networks, structure and much more,” says Tracey Jensen, chief financial officer at 10X Investments.

Finances – making your money last 

A critical financial aspect you need to consider is how to ensure you don’t outlive your money. Steven Nathan, chief executive at 10X Investments, recommends starting with making a plan. He says this will force you to confront issues and set objectives with time horizons.

“The plan should set out your goals and how you intend to fund them, as well as important financial ‘to-dos’,” says Nathan. “Things such as whether to take a portion of your retirement savings – from your pension or provident fund or your retirement annuity (RA) –  in cash, what type of annuity to purchase and how to invest any extra cash you have are key decisions you will need to make to ensure you can realise your goals.”

Nathan unpacks these ‘to dos’ in some detail in the attached article: “So, finally retirement is here: now what?”.

Time – what to do with it  

Time is something you will probably have a lot of in in your retirement. In “How to stay healthy, happy and sane after retirement”, Jensen emphasises the benefits of using the hours wisely by keeping busy and productive.

“Retirement allows us to cast off the shackles of corporate life, but that does not mean we should stop being productive,” she says. After the novelty of having free time and not having to go to work wears off, productivity will bring a sense of value and self-worth, adds Jensen who believes that this can be achieved by redefining work in this new context – and then building a routine around it.

Body, mind and soul 

For most people, transitioning into retirement is a big life change that can affect mental and physical health in many ways.

“It is psychologically taxing to step into a new life that does not include formal work,” says Jensen, who has lots of advice to help cultivate a sense of wellbeing for the mind, body and soul in retirement.

“Taking the time for softer actions such as introspection to assess what it is that truly makes you happy should not be underestimated,” she says. Jensen also explores regular exercise, personal growth pursuits and helping others as ways to achieve this.