It's important to keep active in retirement

Retirement planning isn't just about saving money for the future, it's also crucial to think about what that future will look like and how you will stay active and busy after finishing work.

For NOEL WATSON, retirement is an incredible opportunity to find out and pursue what really enthuses you. In this video, he shares his insights on the steps people can take to lead a physically and mentally active second life.


Robin Powell:
You might think retirement planning is all about ensuring you have enough money. Well, that’s partly it.. But it’s also about working out how you’ll spend your time. For retirement planner and author Noel Watson, a big priority is keeping your brain active.

Noel Watson: It’s important to keep the brain sharp, just constantly challenge it. Now, you can’t fight certain aspects of the ageing process, but you can certainly push back against it and just keep trying to learn new things. And it’s all about just trying to keep young and trying to mix with all different types of people. So you could, for example, mix with everyone your own age; but why not try and expand your horizons and go and help out the youngsters? You’ve got all this experience: go and interact with them, and try and give something back.

RP: One option worth considering is volunteering, which, research shows, can be very beneficial for those who do it – as well as those they’re helping. Noel Watson’s advice is to start small... and to choose something you’re genuinely enthused by.

NW: I think it’s got to be something that is a passion of yours that you’re willing to get engaged in, because it’s no use saying: Oh, I’ll help out with – for example – something that’s not interesting to you. And therefore, you start with the right intentions but – six months down the road – you just think: it’s just really not for me, I’m not enjoying it. So it’s got to be something you have a passion for, and that you’d be happy to do – not just on day one – but further down the road.

RP: Something that every retiree should have is a bucket list. If you don’t, think of ten things that you — and your partner, if you have one — would love to do.

NW: It’s so important to challenge yourself, to start big. Because you can talk to various people and they’ll say, “Oh, I haven’t really got a bucket list,” but if you dig deep down, you’ll find they’ve always wanted to do something. And they’ll say, “Oh, but I can’t afford it.” So I think it’s your chance now – when the children will have left home – you’ve got all this time, why not do the things always wanted to do? One of the underrated attributes of a financial planner is almost someone who pushes you to do these things. Because one of the biggest fears of people at retirement is, I think, they’ve had this consistent pay check and now they see a big pot of money, but it’s going to be dwindling down – in a good way! And people are reluctant to start spending that money but, again, we don’t know what’s around the corner; and if we can prove they’ve got enough money at age 99 to pay for potential late life care, why not start going through that bucket list now?

RP: So don’t just have a bucket list. Keep ticking items off it. Life’s too short to procrastinate.