New Challenges
 

Welcome to this second module, focused providing knowledge and practical tools and techniques across up to eight key areas of life relevant to your retirement

Tackle the module in bite size chunks, don’t feel the need to do everything in one go and allow plenty of time to digest and apply the information covered

The module includes helpful ‘Activities’ for you to complete, it is strongly recommended that you undertake them to get the most out of the content and the key learning points

Allow yourself time to reflect and take on board the advice, key messages and suggested tasks in the programme to enable you to move forward with your retirement

In relation to your retirement this, module will enable you to

  • Feel confident and comfortable to take on new challenges and opportunities

  • Identify the relevant areas of activity you want to pursue and how to manage them 

  • Ensure that you structure your finances to enable you to make your plans happen 

  • Start creating a meaningful and fulfilling retirement that you will enjoy and value​

  • Feel in control and look forward to this new and exciting phase in your life 

It may not feel like it, but the fact is that you are more in charge of your future now than ever before, it is entirely up to you, and nobody else, to decide what

 

  • Retirement means to you and what it will consist of

  • You want to do in this crucial next phase of your life

  • New challenges you do, or do not, want to take on

  • You need to do to make these new choices a success

 

This total control and responsibility for what happens next can be both exciting and scary

 

Retirement will not be the first time in your life that you have experienced new challenges

 

You have dealt with lots of new challenges at each stage of your life, as can be seen below

At each stage, you have successfully dealt with (and overcome) new challenges

 

So you know you have the coping mechanisms and the skills to manage future challenges

Retirement simply generates a different set of new challenges for you to manage and enjoy

As we saw in the previous module and as illustrated below

 

There are up to eight main areas of activity that may be relevant to your retirement plans

 

 

How important (or not) they each are to you will be driven by your values, needs and wants

Paradoxically, while retirement is often welcomed as an opportunity to relax and leave behind the pressures and stresses and strains of full time work, it can also generate new stresses of its own

The two most important factors that can potentially generate these new stresses when retiring across each of the areas of activity relevant to you are

  • Your sense of control over how to manage the areas of activity you want to pursue

  • Whether you have strong or moderate aspirations or drivers in each area of activity

This can be illustrated in the diagram below

Anxiously stressed

For example, if gaining a paid or unpaid part time role is an important area of activity for you and you don’t feel in control of how to achieve it, then it is only natural to feel some apprehension or nervousness

Haphazardly meandering

For example, you may have an aspiration to learn a new language or a new skill, but it isn’t top of your priorities and you haven’t really thought it through and are struggling to formulate and implement an action plan

Purposefully relaxed

For example, you may have an existing hobby that you want to become more involved in, you feel well equipped to make it so and you will make it happen in your own time with no particular deadline in mind

Happily accomplishing

For example, seeing more of close family and friends and being more actively involved may be right at the top of your priorities and you feel comfortable and in control of how you are going to enjoyably make it happen

Summary

Whether you have strong or moderate aspirations or drivers in each area of activity relevant to you, the rest of this module will enable you to take and feel in control and decide what actions to take

Once you have chosen your actions

  • Module 3 – will enable a a positive attitude so you feel confident to make them happen

  • Module 4 – will help you to manage your time effectively to bring them to fruition

If you so wish, retirement can

  • Enable you to spend more time and energy focusing on personal relationships

  • Potentially change or have an influence across a range of current relationships

  • Possibly offer an opportunity to review, adjust or ‘recalibrate’ some relationships

  • Across a whole range of types of relationship, the five essential ingredients for ensuring healthy and positive relationships are

  • Effective communication – articulating and express yourself clearly and positively

  • Strong listening skills – attaching real meaning to what is being said to you

  • Empathetic understanding – recognising other people’s views and feelings

  • Unconditional positive regard or respect – accepting and having regard for others

  • Authenticity and genuineness – being consistently true to your values and yourself

Lets have a look at a couple of useful activities to hopefully help you to move your thinking forward concerning the groups of personal relationships illustrated below

We will be looking at the issue of wellbeing in the next module in the context of generating and maintaining a positive mental attitude, so we won’t cover it here as well

 

 

In this section we will focus on issues around health and fitness

Health

Longevity is set to continue rising, so the average time retired is (thankfully) lengthening

Self evidently, reasonably good health is essential to enabling you to enjoy your retirement

 

 

So it is essential that you nurture and manage your health for a significant period of time

 

 

Research indicates that some of the most important factors include

 

 

  • Having a balanced and healthy diet

  • Consuming food and drink in moderation

  • Avoiding or stopping smoking or vaping

  • Minimising feelings of stress or distress

  • Maintaining positive mental health

  • Regular exercise and reasonable fitness

Websites that you may find useful in helping you to achieve your health objectives include

https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/how-to-in-later-life

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-weight/

https://www.agewatch.net/diet/

https://www.helpguide.org/

Fitness

Fitness is a relative not an absolute term – we each have views on what fitness mean for us

 

 

Guidelines for a reasonable level of fitness for a healthy person in their sixties might include undertaking the following on a weekly basis

  • 3.5 hours of muscle strengthening activity – e.g. digging the garden

  • 2.5 hours of moderate physical activity – e.g. brisk walking or cycling

  • 1.5 hours of more vigorous activity – e.g. raising a sweat with a sport

For some this will feel like a great deal of activity, for others it will sound like a ‘starting point’

Whatever fitness activity you decide on and pursue it must be enjoyable, safe and healthy

Some useful fitness related weblinks to help you to decide what will work for you include

www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/

www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/health-wellbeing/exercise/

www.helpguide.org/home-pages/exercise-fitness.htm

www.agewatch.net/fitness/

Using some of your newly acquired time and energy to pursue current or new leisure pursuits will make a significant contribution to your enjoyment of retirement

Leisure is defined as an activity that is freely chosen, self motivating and pleasurable

But what does leisure mean for you! 

After all – one persons leisure is another persons chore - shopping comes to mind!

Leisure might, for example, include

  • Home maintenance and DIY – making and fixing can be useful as well as enjoyable!

  • Gardening or cultivating – gaining satisfaction from organising and growing your own!

  • Travel – domestically and overseas, you may have lots of travel plans waiting to happen

  • Sports or games – enjoying them either on a competitive basis or purely just for fun

  • Hobbies and interests – ramping up previous or current ones or starting new ones

  • Down time – doing nothing is also a form of leisure, but unlikely to be fulfilling on its own

Research indicates that key health benefits of enjoying leisure activities include helping to

  • Improve memory and intellectual ability

  • Reduce stress and improve resilience

  • Strengthen the immune system

  • Promote better sleeping and rest

  • Enhance self-esteem and confidence

Some of the most useful website around leisure activities in retirement include

https://www.thechallengehub.org/

https://discussion.roadscholar.org/b/blog/posts/top-12-hobbies-for-retirement

https://www.ageco.co.uk/viewpoint/health-and-lifestyle/hobbies-for-retirement/

https://www.newretirement.com/retirement/what-to-do-in-retirement/

If you are seeking paid or unpaid part time roles or work, you will need to

  • Research what you enjoy and what work opportunities are available

  • Understand what you have to offer and how to best present yourself

  • Participate in formal or informal meetings, interviews or presentations

  • Prepare a CV or other relevant documents to support any applications

  • Be well prepared, confident and professional to achieve your objectives

Modules 5, 6 and 7 provide the key information and activities to enable you to make it so

Finances

You may have already been thinking about the financial aspects of your retirement and, in particular, what will be contained in the three main components of your monthly budgeting

  • Income – e.g. state/personal/company/annuity pension(s), investment/rental returns, part time paid work

  • Unavoidable expenses – e.g. housing, utilities, food, energy bills, repairs/maintenance, taxes

 

 

  • Discretionary spending – e.g. holidays/travel, gifts/donations, hobbies/interests, recreation/entertainment

Now that you are (or are shortly to be) retired and have up to date financials to work with, it is worth recasting the numbers to see what they look like and what they mean for you

In completing the activity below, you don’t need the numbers to be ‘down to the penny’, some approximations will be fine where you're not sure

Wealth

It is crucial to seek reputable, professional financial advice if you are in any doubt about what to do about any of your assets or have significant asset related decisions to make

You may not believe the word 'wealth' applies to you and you may well not describe yourself as ‘wealthy’, but you may be surprised what your physical, financial and property assets actually all add up to

With a bit of luck, your accumulated assets will need to last you for several decades of retirement and your monthly living costs are highly likely to accelerate over time, so you may need to pace yourself as to how quickly you spend your capital assets

Finally, having said all that, you certainly can’t take it with you and if you don’t spend it then somebody else will do it for you!  So its about getting the balance right between enjoying spending your resources and making them last long enough for you and any partner.

Gifting

You have two options when it comes to gifting, you either

  • Make the gift(s) while you are still alive

  • You can only gift what you comfortably don’t need yourself

  • Gifting now means you can enjoy seeing others enjoy the gift

  • The timing and way you gift can affect potential tax liabilities

  • Make the gift(s) after your death

  • Having a will means you determine what happen and makes it easier for your beneficiaries

  • If you don’t make a will then

  • The gifting process will be out of your hands and follow pre-set rules

  • You are highly likely to maximise the tax burden on your estate

  • If you have no living relatives, your gift will be to the Crown!

  • In so may ways, it makes sense to have a will and you won’t be surprised to hear that professional legal advice to help you draft and complete it is recommended

You may find the following money related websites useful

https://www.retirementlivingstandards.org.uk

https://www.yourpension.gov.uk

https://www.pensionwise.gov.uk

https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk

https://www.moneyandpensionsservice.org.uk

https://www.pensionsadvisoryservice.org.uk

Wealth strategies

There are a myriad of financial, wealth management and gifting strategies, the only issue is which one is the right one for you

Unfortunately, you don’t have a crystal ball to predict your future, so any strategy is liable to have risks attached to it and might need subsequent adjustment

One highly likely prediction, however, is that your living costs will probably rise over time and, in particular, may accelerate in the last few years of your life should you experience declining health and the need care support

All you can do is choose your strategy based on what your aspirations are and also what you know at this moment in time and as time passes

 

For example, three of the many potential strategies available to you could be as illustrated below

Preservation strategy

This strategy applies if feeling a high sense of financial security and leaving a meaningful financial legacy is important to you and you have sufficient monthly income to enable you to enjoy your retirement without dipping into your savings and assets

Depletion strategy

This strategy treads a middle path between wanting to enjoy the fruits of your past labour and any future income but also recognises that you would like some financial reserves and leave a financial legacy and gifts after you have gone

Consumption strategy

This strategy is appropriate if you are not risk averse and have no interest in leaving any significant financial legacy with your main focus being on enjoying spending or gifting your income and savings while you are still able to do so

Summary

Whatever your preferred strategy is in relation to your finances, wealth management and gifting, it is highly recommended that you obtain good quality, professional financial and tax advice and also legal advice in relation to the preparation of your will

‘The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.'

Mahatma Gandhi

Society

It is highly likely that you have already made contributions to society in the broadest sense in all kinds of different ways e.g.

 

 

  • Economically – by adding value to the businesses you have worked for

  • Generationally – by nurturing and supporting your own and other children

  • Societally – formally or informally by undertaking charitable or civic tasks

Perhaps now might be a good time to seek new opportunities to make a further contribution 

 

Community

At a more ‘local’ level you may already be active in your community and neighbourhood

This could be an ideal time to get involved and undertaking new roles and tasks to give you a sense of being valued and connection to your immediate environment and community

Networks

You may also possibly wish to

 

  • Develop existing networks socially e.g. former work colleagues, clubs or associations you belong to etc

  • Joining new groups or networks e.g. juggling, or line dancing, tai chi, a wine club and many more options

To assist you, a list of some of the most useful and relevant portals can be found by CLICKING HERE

'Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty.'

Henry Ford

As we saw in the first module, we do not lose the ability to learn and develop and grow

 

 

For some of us, we may simply need to adjust to learning in different ways

 

 

The main thing is to make sure that you value and enjoy the experience

 

There are numerous potential avenues for formal or informal learning via ‘free’ or ‘grant funded’ or ‘paid for’ adult education, so you need to have a clear picture of what it is you want to learn about

In fact there are so many routes it can sometimes be difficult to know where to begin looking and sifting to decide what you want to do

 

As a starting point, some of the most useful portals include

 

https://arden.ac.uk/

 

https://www.bbk.ac.uk/

 

http://www.open.ac.uk/

 

https://www.wea.org.uk/

 

https://www.coursera.org/

 

https://www.futurelearn.com/

 

https://www.bachelorsportal.com/

 

https://www.hotcoursesabroad.com/

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/subjects

 

http://www.workandlearning.co.uk/projects/retirement/

 

https://www.ageuk.org.uk/search/?q=Education+and+training

 

http://www.retirementexpert.co.uk/learning-for-free-retirement.html

Introduction

Across the broad areas of beliefs, mindfulness and spirituality and, in particular, the value and benefits of meditation, you may have

  • Absolutely no interest in these issues and no desire to kindle or rekindle them, in which case, this section will probably be of little interest to you

  • Strong and well embedded views about them that you are comfortable with, in which case this section may be of some value and benefit for you

  • Some past or current interest in (or would like to at least look into and consider) these areas, in which case this section may provide an opportunity for you to do so

Key concepts

Beliefs – generally involve a creed, or an act of faith, or a set of religious doctrines, involving one or more deities or other levels of higher existence and being and also an existence outside and beyond the physical world

Spirituality – is more about a state of being based on an awareness of transcendence, even the most enthusiastic and passionate atheist can, and often will, express wonderment at the physical world and universe

Mindfulness – is about being more aware of the present, of your surroundings and of how you are thinking and consciously aware of your feelings without any reference to a belief system or spirituality

Meditation – derived from, and achieved by, any of the above three concepts, and widely accepted as having the capacity to make a significant contribution to improved mental and physical wellbeing

Lets now spend a bit more time looking at meditation and how you might use it as part of your retirement plans

Meditation

All forms of religion involve meditation, however, you don’t have to be religious to meditate

Research indicates that meditation physically and functionally affects the brain by

  • Developing the prefrontal cortex, associated with higher order functions e.g. problem solving, reasoning, concentration and processing of thoughts and feelings

  • Reducing interaction between the prefrontal cortex and the anterior cingulate cortex, associated with registering pain and unpleasant sensations, resulting in greater physical and mental pain tolerance

  • Shrinking the brain's amygdala, associated with anxiety and ‘fight/flight/freeze’ reactions

  • Replicating brain wave patterns similar to people who are peacefully asleep or at rest

Meaningful meditation can take place in many different ways

  • In a formal, semi-formal or informal environment

  • With structured or unstructured formats or styles

  • While sitting, standing or undertaking repetitive activities e.g. walking, gardening, decorating and even doing the dishes!

Some useful sources of information, advice and guidance on meditation include

https://www.ageuk.org.uk/information-advice/health-wellbeing/mind-body/mindfulness/

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/nhs-fitness-studio/bedtime-meditation/

https://www.mindful.org/how-to-meditate-3/

https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/basics/meditation

https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/types-of-meditation

In relation to your retirement, this module has enabled you to

  • Be confident and comfortable to take on new challenges and opportunities

  • Identify the relevant areas of activity you want to pursue and how to manage them 

  • Ensure that you structure your finances to enable you to make your plans happen 

  • Start creating a meaningful and fulfilling retirement that you enjoy and value​

  • Feel in control and looking forward to this new and exciting phase in your life 

Go to the next module by CLICKING HERE

Go to the Active Retirement main menu by CLICKING HERE