Retirement Planning

Planning for retirement is so much more than ‘how much money do I need to retire’. Sure, finances are very important in retirement planning but a more integrated approach is essential that covers the following. Let’s look at the 11 point retirement planning checklist.

Will You ‘Retire’?

These days it is not unusual for people to keep on working – perhaps not in their usual workplace.

Financial pressures may be a reason for continuing to work, but other reasons include having a schedule, time management, meeting new people, socialising and feeling valued.

Part Time Positions, Gigsters

Is it possible to find work part time or casually? How about a becoming a gigster?

Not only can work stimulate the brain, it’s also an opportunity to try something new, meet a variety of new people and earn some additional income in retirement.  It may be helpful to check with your financial advisor before starting a new venture.

Sue Ellson has written a helpful book about Gigsters

Book with a red and white colour with red and black writing, retirement-planning
Photo: 120 Ways Publishing

Retirement Planning: What Are Your Retirement Living Priorities?

What is your top retirement living priorities? Can you list them?

What’s on your list?….finances?, health?, learning new skills?, travelling?, moving home?

If you have a partner, are these the same or different?

Will you Relocate In Your Retirement?

Where would you like to live in retirement? Will you relocate? Will you stay in the same home? Perhaps you would like to downsize your home, or even upsize?

If you are thinking of moving to a different area, have you: visited the area in all seasons?, checked out the medical facilities?, looked at transport options?, looked at the cost of living?, do you think you will ‘fit in’ to the community? These are just some of the many options to look at if you are thinking of moving. We have a long checklist when we research Where To Retire In Australia.

A warm spot in winter may prove too hot in summer. A quiet community in the ‘off season’ can turn into a jostling town where it is ‘better to park the car at home and walk to the shops’, as my friend Frank always says.


How will you plan your leisure activities in retirement?  There’s many health benefits of staying active and engaged in retirement.  It can also be fun.  You can meet others. It’s also a chance to try new activities.

The important role that high levels of leisure has in overall good mental health and well being has been documented.

Man in blue and white shorts, light blue and dark blue top serving a tennis ball on a blue and white tennis court , he has a partner at the net and two opponents on the other side of the net, retirement-planning
Photo: Julian Schiemann

Use It Or Lose It

Dr Ross Andel, a gerontologist, has suggested that we use our brains differently in retirement. In this interesting clip Dr Andel says that ‘retirement can be a trap’ and why some people need to get that ‘Friday afternoon feeling’ and not become disengaged.

This may not apply to everyone, but his research is well worth considering.

Swinging The Legs Out Of The Bed Each Morning

Having a purpose in retirement is important. Having realistic goals and objectives is also important.   

A U.S. study found that 92% of respondents said that  ‘purpose is key to a successful retirement’. (Edward Jones and Age Wave)

Finding out what gives life in retirement meaning and purpose and how activities in retirement can achieve this is essential.

I met a couple who proudly told me that they have always had a ‘5 year plan’ that included aspirations and goals.  They had achieved many of their goals. In their retirement, however, they told me they had ‘drifted along’ – which was a worry to them.  After the euphoria of retiring, doing some travel and spending more time with family and friends they said they had felt listless – until they went back to ‘having plans’.


How much time do you envisage spending with your family?  Are you content with the amount of time you spend with them now?

Not all retirees want to mind children. Some do and welcome the chance to help their family – not only with child minding, but with various other tasks.

Having a conversation with family (and friends) about your plans for retirement may be helpful.


Will you spend some of your retirement volunteering?  There are just so many opportunities to volunteer – often with an organisation that

The benefits are many: health and mental wellbeing, being part of a community, socialisation, feeling good about ‘doing good’ – are just some.

Ten hands in a circle holding a greeen plant in the middle, retirement-planning
Photo: Anna Shvets


Hobbies are great to engage physical and mental wellbeing as well as being good for social connectiveness.

What type of hobby will you have in retirement? Will you have one main hobby or many?

Hobbies that may make you money, hobbies for fun, hobbies to learn, hobbies for your health, hobbies to impart your wisdom and experience – so many hobbies to consider in retirement.

(Yelling at talkback radio is not a great hobby).

Find the right one/s for you.

Retirement Planning: Communicate and Engage

Final point.  Get out there, socialise, chat, talk, learn and have fun! Retirement planning is much more than just finances

Jill Weeks is the author of 21 Ways To Retire and co-author of Where To
Retire In Australia and Retire Bizzi. Information Provider For Great Retirement Lifestyles.
She is a regular contributor to radio

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