A woman sits on a swing and a man stands next to her, both are enjoying their retirement.

In our fast-paced, stress-filled society, the retirement years can seem like a luxurious period of easy days filled with nice lunches, day trips and relaxation. However, a happy retirement needs to be planned, and it is never too early to start saving and preparing for it.

Catherine McCann’s book, Love Life: A holistic understanding of ageing, explores the positives of getting older and gives practical advice on how to prepare for a happy retirement. Here’s a list of some of her best advice:

1. Be Prepared!

While retirement is the ultimate goal for many, it can become a disaster if not planned out accordingly. McCann writes that it’s important to plan out your retirement by budgeting, creating goals and looking back at skills you don’t take advantage of. Seek professional help and save money when you’re younger.

2. Travel

Take travelling around the world into consideration during retirement. With cheaper airline tickets, the world is your oyster; however, factor in personal health before going anywhere.

3. Consider hitting the books

There might be subjects of interest that you never had the chance to explore before. Retirement is an excellent opportunity to go back to school and learn more about subjects that interest you.

4. Talk to your children …

During retirement, it’s wise to review inheritance plans for the sake of keeping the family together. If you pass, and there’s a disagreement on inheritance, then it could cause conflict with your children.

Love Life book cover. It leafy patterns are shown on the front.

5. … and spend time with your grandchildren

Grandchildren can enhance the relationship between you and the next two generations of your family. While it may take a lot of energy, spend time with your grandchildren; the amount of bliss it can bring might surprise you.

6. Get creative

Retirement is the perfect time to find new ways to express yourself. Pick up a new hobby, try cooking a new cuisine or modify your wardrobe. These are fantastic ways to experiment with your free time.

7. Set house roles

The relationship with your partner can shift compared¬†to when you were employed. Your partner might expect you to help out with various chores around the house that you didn’t have to do as frequently before retirement. You and your partner need to have specific roles within the household that you can agree on to avoid conflict.

8. Volunteer

While career might be over, volunteering is a fantastic way to offer one’s skills without any major commitment. McCann writes, “An essential note to quality living is to know that we are still contributing to society, to know that we are givers as well as receivers in our relationships with others.”

9. Join a club

While it’s nice to lounge at home and relax, it can become boring rather quickly. Join a club that involves a skill that you are passionate about. It will allow you to meet others who are also passionate about the same skill. Better yet, you can also join a club that can teach you a new skill or introduce you to a new hobby. Examples include clubs focused on reading, playing chess or even making crafts.

10. Maintain good relationships

When entering retirement, your social circle takes a massive blow because of the lack of co-workers to interact with. However, with your newly acquired free time, you have the perfect opportunity to meet new people, while making current relationships with family or friends stronger.

To read more tips from Love Life: A holistic understanding of ageing, check out our catalogue.