Top tips for a happy retirement

Retiring after having such a busy and successful career may be something you are looking forward to. Or, possibly find daunting and wondering how will you fill all the extra time you’ll have. Whether you are planning to retire over the next few years or are already retired, our top tips for a happy retirement will ensure you make the most of your free time and keep you fit – physically and mentally.

Wind down gently

Ensure an even transition by retiring in phases. By easing off your workload over a few years, you’ll be able to get used to the idea of not working and fill your time in other ways.

Make a list

Writing down your goals may help you focus on what you really want to achieve. Work out what you can afford to do and schedule time to make it happen, so you experience a sense of accomplishment, a similar feeling from achieving goals at work.

Push your boundaries

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut and doing something different can be a refreshing change. Some people have found that simple changes, such as finding a different hairdresser or joining an exercise class they haven’t done before gives them a new zest for life. For others it may be a bit more extreme, such as jumping out of an airplane, or rowing across the Atlantic.

Take up a new project

Now is the time to get stuck into all those things you’ve been meaning to do but never got round to. Mapping your family tree, building a shed, planting a veg patch… the list goes on, but now you can actually do what you’ve always wanted to.

Develop a routine

You may find it feels more normal to continue getting up, eating and going to bed at roughly the same time every day. Plan in regular activities such as voluntary work, exercise and hobbies. This will keep things interesting and give you a purpose.

Exercise your mind

Government studies have shown that learning in later years can help people stay independent. So, use your free time to continue to challenge yourself mentally, whether it’s learning an instrument or a language, or furthering your education.

Practice mindfulness

Practicing mindfulness has become more popular than ever in the last decade as a strategy to relieve stress, anxiety and depression.

Studies have shown that meditation strengthens the hippocampus, the area of the brain that is important for memory, and slows the decline of brain areas responsible for sustaining attention.

There are no set guidelines for how often you should meditate for optimal result, but a handful of experiments suggest that a mere 10 to 20 minutes of mindfulness a day can be beneficial—if people stick with it.

Keep physically active

We should all aim to do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week, so build up to this if you haven’t made exercise a normal part of your life previously. Why not sign up for a charity event to give you a goal to work towards?

Or, how about tying in being physically active and practicing mindfulness and try Yoga? Here are the yoga trends that are around for 2021 –

Be one with nature

Fresh air and exercise is an instant mood booster and instrumental in maintaining your wellbeing. Why not incorporate a walk in the woods or a nearby park into your daily routine? This is an ideal way of achieving the recommended minimum of 150 minutes of physical activity per week.

Go for a health check

Prevention is better than cure, and now is the perfect time to get your free midlife MOT. The NHS Health Check programme aims to help prevent heart disease, stroke, diabetes, kidney disease and certain types of dementia.

Everyone between the ages of 40 and 74, who has not already been diagnosed with one of these conditions or have certain risk factors, will be invited once every five years to have a check to assess their risk of these age-related illnesses. They will be given support and advice to help them reduce or manage that risk.

If you’re in this category but haven’t had a check in the last five years, you can ask your GP for one.

Find out more about NHS health checks.

Seek social support

For many people, work can play a big part of their social life and it’s common to feel at a bit lost once you retire. You can easily fill these gaps by joining clubs and groups.

And, just because you are retiring doesn’t mean you have to lose touch with your workplace friends. Plan to make time for regular catch-ups. Or, use some of your new leisure time to catch up with old friends that you haven’t seen for a while.

Treat yourself

After years of hard work, you are now due some ‘me time’. Whether your idea of indulgence is a city break, a day trip to a spa or a small pleasure like dining out, schedule some time for a well-deserved treat. You could tie this in with meeting up with friends.

Travel more

Have you dreamt of going on an around-the-world cruise or a wine-tasting trip through Italy? Perhaps touring Europe in a campervan or a camping expedition in the Highlands has always been on the cards. Now you can make those plans become a reality.

If longer trips aren’t practical, mini breaks may be a good alternative – or even days out to places you’ve never visited before.

Get your finances in order

Knowing what you want to do when you retire and setting yourself goals are the first steps towards planning a successful retirement. The next step, is understanding whether you will be financially secure throughout your retirement. Gaining the help of a financial planner before you retire is crucial. They can help you understand questions such as when can I retire? Can I afford to retire? Am I saving enough to be able to afford the lifestyle I want in retirement?

Contact us and book your free retirement planning discussion – we will understand your goals, answer your questions and provide you with the lifestyle you aim for in retirement.


Other articles:

What to do in retirement – great ways to spend your time

Are your values aligned with your spending?

Can money really buy you happiness?


Related Posts

Latest Posts


Click below to book a no-obligation meeting at one of our offices.

Saddleworth office

Book a meeting at our Saddleworth office.

Manchester office

Book a meeting at our Manchester office.


Sign up to our newsletter for the latest financial advice