Retirement Lifestyle Design

10173524_10152733331030828_824944048215180311_nThis post is part of my series on planning for retirement. It’s going to be a short post because it just provides an overview of how I’ve been thinking about the shape that I want my retirement to take and some of the considerations that I’ve factored in so far.

Foremost in my mind is the need for a resilient approach to the uncertainties of retirement, these include:

  1. The weather, I need a mix of activities that will occupy me regardless of the weather, but I also want to get out and about in bad weather which means nice places to go, not too many icy hills and as good a weather as we can affordably get in the UK
  2. My health, currently about 10-20% of the time I’m in a flare and struggle to get around on foot or bike, but ideally I still need to move about as much as possible.  That means a swimming pool close by and ideally not too many hills.
  3. My cost of living, inflation might be an issue and healthcare costs might increase so we don’t want our fixed cost of living to be too close to our income, in other words we need to have variable costs we can reduce if we need to
  4. My income, we want 70-80% of our income in low risk, inflation linked investments or defined benefit pensions
  5. Where our children end up living, our children might end up all over the world, so we might travel more than expected, so we don’t want to be too tied down by where we live.  This means not too big a garden, don’t get a dog until we have retired and have a better idea of travel

Next up what type of activities do I want to fill my retirement with,  this is what’s been going through my mind:

  1. Making progress towards a goal is one of the most important things to me, and I get a great sense of fulfilment from creating things
  2. Working in a state of flow is extremely enjoyable, flow states are also linked to creating things
  3. Movement is hugely important to my health challenges, but also to my general health and enjoyment of life
  4. When I’m in a flare I won’t be able to work in flow or get much enjoyment from movement though so I need some enjoyable activities saved up to look forward to during these bad days
  5. Rainy day activities are important
  6. Although I’m happy being alone, I do like to get a fair bit of social contact each day in addition to family time at night, even if it’s just saying hello to people in the street, or in cafes much better are walks or cycle rides with friends …
  7. Be more mindful, pay attention, count my blessings, savour the good stuff, be open, express my joy in life
  8. Pursue a calling, something bigger than myself, I have one idea in this area which is to try and get Lytham St Annes to become a Transition Town.
  9. Give back probably through volunteering
  10. Possibly have some flexible way to supplement my income
  11. Learn to slow down

As I mentioned earlier spending as much time as possible in a state of flow is important, here’s how it’s described:

One must be involved in an activity with a clear set of goals. This adds direction and structure to the task.  One must have a good balance between the perceived challenges of the task at hand and his or her own perceived skills. One must have confidence that he or she is capable to do the task at hand.  The task at hand must have clear and immediate feedback. This helps the person negotiate any changing demands and allows him or her to adjust his or her performance to maintain the flow state

Keeping a healthy brain becomes very important in retirement,  my work keeps me challenged at the moment so I don’t give it much thought but I can’t take it for granted, some ideas I have:

  1. Play games to challenge my mind – chess, word and number puzzles, jigsaws, crosswords and memory games
  2. Pursue a new interest such as learning to play a musical instrument, taking a course or going to the theatre
  3. Break up my routine – take a different route to the shops, breakfast in different cafes, change the order of my morning routine, go on hikes or bike rides in new places, read books I wouldn’t normally read
  4. Read a book – discuss it with a friend or online
  5. Pursue cultural activities like going to plays, museums, concerts, galleries, conferences
  6. Go to community meetings, take an interest in local politics
  7. Read the paper (maybe not)

Subsequent posts in this series will build on these basic ideas.

The photo today is nicely in keeping with todays post, having fun playing on the beach, just a few miles up the coast at Cleveleys, it’s not often that the sea comes close to shore in St Annes and it’s all sandy so we don’t have skimming stones.

Steve Richards

I'm retired from work as a business and IT strategist. now I'm travelling, hiking, cycling, swimming, reading, gardening, learning, writing this blog and generally enjoying good times with friends and family

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