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Retirement isn’t what it used to be. We mean this in a positive way; today’s retirees have far more freedom than previous generations when it comes to their retirement plans. Think less retirement village, more retirement dreams.

However, a great retirement isn’t gifted to you. Unfortunately, the state pension doesn’t provide you with enough to live a really full retirement, so plenty of planning (and saving!) is necessary. This means getting a proper financial plan should be at the top of your agenda if you don’t already have one.

Without further ado, here are Creative Wealth Management’s five things to make your retirement years the finest of your life:

Remember that retirement’s not all about old age

Despite being a step that people usually take past the age of fifty, retirement isn’t about ageing. It’s a transition to a new part of your life rather than gradually winding down. Try to think change, not age.

‘Sixtysomethings’ today don’t see themselves as old and in an era of long life expectancies, your retirement could last beyond 40 years. Just because someone’s retiring doesn’t mean they’re getting old. Thinking of how much your life changed between 20 and 50 should give you some indication of how much may still change.

Retirement is about more than money

Even though we’re financial planners, we’d be the first to admit that retirement is about far more than money. Giving up work means a huge change in your life that will certainly affect your emotional and psychological wellbeing. This makes it a great time to find a new sense of purpose in life, to find new things you love and new friends.

The Office for National Statistics report that health and wellbeing dramatically increase in retirement, while rates of depression and anxiety fall. While being a big step, retirement seems to have a generally beneficial impact on people’s lives.

This said, no one can find fulfilment if they can’t afford to do the things they love and enjoy. Your finances may be just one part of your retirement jigsaw, but they are an important part nonetheless. Getting your retirement planning right can be the difference between a retirement where you can do the things you want, and one where you outlive your nest egg, penny pinching in your later years.

Retirement can be the start of something new

When you’ve finished work, there’s nothing to stop you pursuing the things you really want to do. Whether it’s mentoring, becoming involved in politics, volunteering or whatever, in retirement you’ll have the time to do things that resonate your deeply held convictions and pick up pastimes you reluctantly gave up to focus on your work life.

Be proactive

Before retirement, people often fear losing their edge without the stimulus and social connection of work. When transferring to retirement, it’s best to maintain the proactive attitude you had at work and direct that energy into something else.

If done right, even the workaholics among us can learn to love retirement. Retirement doesn’t need to be passive – people make it that way. The difference between retirement and work is that in retirement, you’re the one who has to motivate yourself to push your boundaries.

Expand your horizons

People often think of retirements as long periods where little changes. This is wrong.

Retirement isn’t a static phase of your life. Things continue to evolve and it’s hard to predict what’s around the corner. This means what you planned for in retirement might change at any time. On the financial side, it’s best to factor in plenty of room for things to change. On your personal side, remember that each new interest opens new doors and can expand your horizons in unexpected ways.

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