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The first days and weeks of your retirement are like a frenzy of activity. At first you start getting all those odd jobs done around the house, try new recipes, take up a new sport or hobby, and make plans for holidays. You finally feel the burden of going to work every day lifted and the days stretch ahead of you filled with exciting possibilities. Making the most of your retirement in the last quarter of your life can be either a big challenge or something you just slip into with ease. It depends on your mindset.

Retirement can be the best time of your life, but it can also lead to despondency, boredom and financial stress for some people. It takes a lot of planning, good management and a positive attitude to enjoy these golden years.




The key for enjoying a happy retirement is in the planning. Once you have your objectives and bucket list sorted, then you can start to plan around these. For example, if you want to set off on that holiday of a lifetime, then start making travel arrangements. This could be purchasing a caravan or motorhome and heading off on an around Australia trip. Or it could be visiting exotic locations all around the globe on a world residential cruise.



Here are my tips for planning for a happy retirement:

 1.    See a financial advisor and work out a financial budget for your retirement and subsequent loss of steady income.

 2.    Consider downsizing the family home and relocating to a smaller house, apartment or maybe a retirement village.

 3.    Think about working part-time to supplement your pension or super payments.

 4.    Plan your days so that you maintain a good balance of work, play, social activities, exercise and rest. It’s important to keep using your brain and moving your body.

 5.    Rekindle your love for old hobbies or take up new ones by enrolling in short courses or joining clubs with like-minded people.

 6.    Contemplate moving to another town or city so that you are nearer to family and loved ones. Or maybe experience a sea or tree change.

 7.    Book weekend getaways and holidays well ahead so that you have something to look forward to.

 8.    Sell or rent out your house for a fixed period of time and set off on a residential cruise. I can’t think of a better way to spend your retirement.




There really is no reason why you can’t enjoy your retirement as much, or even more, than the former working phase of your life. A new found freedom of not having to go to work suggests all kinds of possibilities!

Here’s some inspiration on ways to enjoy your retirement to the full:


·         Seek out free entertainment in your town or city. Events like free concerts in the park, festivals and markets, open days, free movie nights, trivia nights, live music and dancing at your local Club, library talks and free courses, and joining community groups.

·         Look for exercise groups in your local area that gather to walk, hike or cycle. Otherwise do a circuit on the outdoor gym equipment in your local park.

·         Re-instate the Sunday drive and explore your local region. Otherwise discover museums, art galleries, parks and gardens, and libraries in your city.

·         Become a volunteer for your favourite charity and put your skills to use.

·         Take up a new hobby or sport. Things like art classes, learning a new language, gardening, photography, playing bingo, scrabble or mah jong, learning how to play bridge or updating your computer skills. Sports can include lawn bowls, tennis, golf, croquet, Tai Chi or Yoga, walking, cycling and swimming. These are all great ways to keep fit and active.

·         Become a social butterfly and get out and about to socialise with friends and family. Meet up with friends for a coffee and chat or for a lunch date. Visit your grandchildren and play with them.

·         Take holidays! Start ticking travel destinations off your bucket list.



Consider enjoying your retirement aboard a residential cruise travelling around the world visiting exotic locations. This type of lifestyle not only ticks items off your bucket list, by visiting over 115 countries worldwide, but it also involves living a life of luxury aboard a well appointed cruise ship.

Imagine living at sea aboard a cruise ship in the stateroom of your choice, without having to worry about a thing. Most of your meals, beverages, on board activities and entertainment, housekeeping, fitness classes, Wi-Fi, TV, and even medical consultations, are included.

Life aboard a luxury residential cruise is similar to a normal ocean cruise holiday. The main difference is that residents get to spend extensive time exploring destinations. At each port, you will get three to five days to roam before returning to the ship.


Otherwise, you can dine at a variety of fine restaurants, enjoy a beverage in the bars, go to live shows and entertainment, see a movie in the cinema, undertake classes, play at the casino, and access free internet. What a great lifestyle for retirees!

For further information take a look at this VICTORIA CRUISES LINE FLIPBOOK

Making the most of your retirement is as simple as exploring all of your options and ensuring that you live your life to the fullest for your remaining years. I know I’m going to!

For further reading see my article TRAVEL IN RETIREMENT

Author: Kathy Marris

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