The 5 pillars of a happy retirement

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  1. Financial stability

    Being secure financially is the bedrock of a successful retirement. Your Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs), annuities, savings and investments must be in order and set according to your retirement plan. It is also crucial that you draft an asset allocation strategy to know how much to spend and when to spend, bearing in mind all the necessary considerations, such as taxes and the inflation rate. Use the Picture Yourself in Retirement Guide or better yet, consult an advisor to explain all your investment options and help you in creating your financial plan.

  2. Mental preparedness

    Retirement planning is not only about being financially ready. A greater part of it is being ready for a new life. After years of working and being used to the daily grind, the slow pace of retirement may not be an easy transition for you. What would help is to have a clear idea of the kind of life you want to lead after you retire. You can make a kind of “life plan” where you list down things you would love to do and spend your time on. You may even decide to work part-time to help you gradually adjust into your retirement.

  3. Health and wellness

    A major factor in enjoying your retirement years is maintaining good health. It goes without saying that in order for you to enjoy all your plans and retirement dreams, you have to be strong and healthy enough to carry them out. A regular exercise regimen, balanced diet, as well as regular check-ups must be part of your retirement plan. This also extends to your mental health. Since this is a major life change, some may experience shifts in mood or even suffer depression. You can check out the Manitoba Health, Healthy Living and Senior website for a list of health services available to you.

  4. Connections

    Having a strong social network is another essential element to a happy retirement. Studies show that friendships help to increase longevity. It is important for you to be involved in the community and have opportunities to meet new people and socialize even if it is just getting in touch with old friends or joining religious and civic clubs. There are many groups that offer these activities in Manitoba. The A&O Support Services for Older Adults offers programs that actively promote participation in all aspects of community life for Manitobans ages 55 and above. You can also get in touch with your own ethnocultural or faith based group and get involved in community-building activities and programs.

  5. Purpose

    Activities such as volunteering, mentorship, and continuous learning add structure to your life and fill it with purpose. These also help keep you mentally and physically active while providing you venues to share your expertise, help out, interact, and learn. In Manitoba, older adults are valued volunteers. You can go to Volunteer Manitoba or to the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority to search for interesting volunteer opportunities. Meanwhile, Creative Retirement Manitoba offers programs for lifelong learning, taking to heart that mental stimulation is a major factor to good health and longevity. To see an example of one of their classes, watch the video below:

Thinking about your future? Plan now to Age in Place is a booklet with a checklist you can use to see if you are ready to age in place. Aging in place means “having access to services and the health and social supports you need to live safely and independently in your home or your community for as long as you wish or are able”. The earlier you plan, the better.

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Community Resources

Manitoba Information for Seniors links you to benefit programs, as well as existing and upcoming government and community services.

The site Age Friendly Manitoba initiative is a one-stop resource center providing information, discussions, resources and key persons that assist communities to become age-friendly.

Senior Centre Without Walls is an A&O Support Services for Older Adults program that offers free educational and recreational programs over the phone. Call 204-956-6440 or go to A&O Support Services for Older Adults for more information.

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