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Life event: Retirement

Written and accurate as at: Mar 13, 2012
Current Stats & Facts

Maintaining independence requires a number of aspects of our well-being to all work together. Perhaps most importantly are the aspects of financial, physical and mental wellbeing.

Here are some tips to help you have a happy, healthy and financially rewarding retirement. 


The concept of financial independence typically relates to your ability to pay for your own lifestyle costs in retirement without needing the financial assistance of a third party. The reality is that many Australians will, or do, depend on Government support either wholly or in complement to their personal savings.

Whether you can fully fund your own retirement, or whether you need third party support, there are a few important considerations both prior and during retirement. If you haven’t done so already, it’s worth discussing these with your professional advisers. 


  • How much do I need to live week to week given my personal circumstances?
  • How much income will my likely superannuation balance generate?
  • How will superannuation assets affect my ability to receive Government benefits?
  • Do I need or will I be eligible for Government support?
  • Is it important to save money outside of superannuation?
  • If my only asset is my house, how long will my money last in retirement?
  • Do I need to continue working part time?
  • Do I need to purchase a funeral plan?
  • What types of pensions are available and suit me?
  • Will I need my insurance once I retire?

When considering factors which relate to superannuation remember it’s a complex topic. As much as the Government has attempted to simplify it, there are many rules and opportunities to stretch your money further by using this structure. You can read more about superannuation here.

Superannuation can make a difference to how long your money lasts, so it’s worth taking an interest in it.

It’s also important to regularly review your estate planning and Will ensuring you are clear on who is to receive benefits from your estate, and as importantly, how they are going to receive them. While doing this, it’s also important to review who you have nominated as the beneficiary of your superannuation fund.


The reality is that all of our bodies will stop working for us one day. Retaining physical health, and thereby, physical independence is dependent on a number of factors.

The rule of thumb with physical health is to keep moving, no matter how fast or slow you move.

Going to the gym, playing golf, riding a bike, swimming, surfing, and doing yoga are all great ways to keep the body moving.

If you’re not up to this, just making sure you get yourself out into the garden or down to the shops on a daily basis can be valuable. If you need help to do so, don’t be afraid to ask.

A great way to keep the body moving is by getting involved in regular activities. But remember to pick activities that suit you. For example, if you like socialising and giving back, get involved with a local charity. Or if you prefer solitude, how about taking up photography? Not everyone needs to become a grey nomad!

Retirement is also a stage of life when you have more time to reconnect with friends and loved ones. Consider organising gatherings that will keep you in contact on a regular basis.

Make an effort to invest in an active lifestyle and you may surprise yourself of what can be achieved, and how your body benefits.


Maintaining independence is as much about your mental health as anything else. You can have all the money in the world, but if you’re mentally unwell, you’ll almost certainly be dependent on the support of others.

The initial part of your retirement can feel like a holiday, but what happens once the holiday period is over? There are often a few issues to deal with, such as:

  • You feel a loss of self-worth.
  • You feel like you have no purpose or value.
  • You’re bored.

Taking a course, reading a book, chatting with friends, sitting on boards, learning new skills, writing a book and inventing new ways to do things are all great ways to exercise the mind.

Combining affordable pastimes and interests that stretch your mind and keep your body moving will maximise the likelihood that you can enjoy a healthy, happy and relatively independent retirement.