What does a ‘good retirement’ look like? For me, this does not necessarily mean early retirement. It simply means that you have the ability to step back from work at a time that is right for you, into a life that continues to be enjoyable and meaningful. Here are some tips on just how to do that.

1. Save and invest.

While working, my absolute number one tip is to spend less than you earn and invest the difference. Get out of cash and into a well-diversified portfolio as young as you can, keep investing your surpluses, and stay invested.

2. Have a financial plan.

You can try to do this yourself or you can engage an independent financial planner. But one way or another, it’s vital to know how exactly you are going to fund your retirement. And once retired, keep aware of your spending and stick with the plan.

3. Have a lifestyle plan.

Try to picture how you’re going to spend your retirement years and, using the financial plan income / expenditure budget, plan a lifestyle that you can realistically support financially. Think about what you want out of retirement life, what you enjoy doing and how you can continue to do that.

4. Talk it through.

Talk to your partner and/or family and make sure that the hard ‘money stuff’ conversations are not being avoided – be totally open about what can and can not be afforded. Nurturing these family and personal relationships is of course as important as ever in retirement.

5. Develop social networks.

Entering retirement with only your immediate family and your work network is a frequent cause of retirement depression. So develop and maintain an active social network. If lockdown has taught us one thing, it’s the importance of socialising to our mental wellbeing.

6. Stay active and engaged.

For many, work has filled the challenge / purpose / meaning gap in our lives. In retirement, we have to make sure that gap is filled with relationships, social activities, physical activities, hobbies and continued personal development.

Finally, take a look at the resources on offer at the Retirement Planning Council of Ireland.

And if you like this article, try this one: 5 Retirement Myths