Lessons learned: Retirement advice from those who’ve been there, done that

Retirement advice brought to you by our very own Starts at 60 Community. Source: Getty

Oscar Wilde famously said “with age comes wisdom” and over 60s sure have a lot of it!

Now, Australian retirees have some advice for their younger selves, and by extension, anyone who has plans to retire soon.

Save more. Plan now. Retire early. Make sure you have enough saved up for the duration of your retirement and don’t forget to take into account inflation!

Those are some of the key takeaways Starts at 60 community members had to say when asked what were some things they wished someone had told them before they retired. For more golden nuggets of wisdom, continue reading on for a selection of great retirement advice from over 60s who’ve gone through it.

Set realistic retirement spending expectations

For many retirees, the idea of no longer having to work to live sounds like the dream! But some may underestimate the amount of money they actually need to cover basic living expenses. When you’re unsure about how much savings you need to last your retirement, you could potentially face future financial stress.

“To anyone due for retirement I would say, have a plan! Make sure your days will be filled with purpose, meaning and enjoyment. Otherwise, you will be in for a shock! You will likely die early. Be prepared to replace your old networks and contacts with new ones. Socialise, do volunteer work, exercise and have fun!”

“Not to myself but to others, if you cut back gradually you drift into it much easier, not that big change from work every day to being completely free. I found it great to do it that way and have not missed work one bit now 12 years later.”

“Save save save one minute you are 20, 30,40,50,65 and it all goes in a blink of the eye.”

“The only advice I would give is to make sure you have a good super put in as much as you can, pay your house off and enjoy your retirement.”

“Have some savings behind you the pension doesn’t cover the cost of living and doesn’t keep up with all the price rises.”

Retirement is the perfect time to get back into the hobbies you’ve stopped doing. Source: Getty 

Do more of what you love

One’s golden years can also present an opportunity to rediscover meaning and purpose and one way to do this is through hobbies. Many individuals have found new meaning and fulfilment in their lives by pursuing hobbies and interests that they may have neglected earlier in life due to work and family commitments.

If you enjoy swimming, reading, galleries, woodworking, painting, or hiking, there is a good chance there is a social group in your area that you can join too.

“Make sure you have a hobby or outside interest before your retirement.”

“Plan out things you want to do be it learn music, play an instrument, get involved with local matters, join clubs, or be interested in people, places and things. Do some study, learn new skills.”

“You have definitely got to join a Club or Association and maintain socialising. Do a bit of study to keep your mind active.”

Retire when you’re ready

The pathway to retirement isn’t always linear. While there are many who look forward to their retirement, others may still want to continue working. Whatever you choose to do, it should be on your terms.

“Don’t let your past job/s define you. Focus on your future and appreciate the effort you put in to get there and be grateful just to be alive to enjoy it and love your near and dear and keep connected.”

“You won’t have any regrets if you retire early because you’ll be young enough to enjoy life for the next 20 years.”

“Work as long as you are able and don’t be pushed into retirement by well-meaning people who ask ‘when are you going to retire?’ Then work part-time to get the hang of having more time to yourself.”

“Retire earlier. There’s a whole other life out there. You can work part-time if you need to/ want to work longer. Just do it!”

“The best thing I ever did was to retire from a job that I really didn’t enjoy for 47 years to a job that I love and only work a few hours a week. Get to enjoy all the things that I missed out on.”

There’s a whole wide world for you to explore during your retirement years. Source: Getty 

Travel and see the world

While some retirees may want to spend their post-work life relaxing at home and spending more time with family, others long for an adventure beyond their backyard. If you like the idea of travelling with like-minded individuals on a fun and memorable holiday where all the planning has been done for you, then Travel at 60’s group tours are worth considering!

“Do the bulk amount of your travelling o/s all your gorges hiking etc way before you retire cause your body for some doesn’t always stand up to these types of holidays speaking from experience.”

“If you can afford to travel when you are young do it. My late husband and I travelled the world  when we were young thank goodness we did because he died at 57.”

“Write a list of all the places you want to go to and things you want to do and do them. And don’t be scared to travel overseas on your own if you’re a single woman. I did. Then did volunteer work, and met lots of lovely people, however, met a few with regrets saying I wish I’d done this or that. Do it while you’re in good health and don’t be one of the ‘I wish’ people.”

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