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Acting the age you feel, not the age you are

"I’m not interested in age. People who tell me their age are silly. You are only as old as you feel." Elizabeth Arden, founder of the cosmetics empire bearing her name.

Congratulations on reaching retirement!

You have spent the past 40-odd years acting your age and being a “grown-up”. You had to wake up early, dress in sensible clothes, battle peak-hour traffic and slog it out all day at work. You spent your lunchbreaks typing phrases such as, “at what age can I retire” and “savings calculator” into your internet search engine, before coming home late for a casserole dinner, watching an hour of television, then hitting the sack, only to wake up the next morning and to do it all again.

And now, after years of retirement planning and saving up your superannuation, that wonderful phase has arrived. You now have the spare time you have looked forward to for so long!

So, how do you make the most of all the free time that you have earned? Now may be the time in your life to finally set your own pace, perhaps slow down a little and relax. It might be an opportunity to enjoy spending more quality time with your kids and grandkids. You have worked hard your entire life and now it is up to you to enjoy it.

Whatever you do though, now is not the time to act your age. Let your retirement be about feeling and acting younger than your biological age. You are not old. You do not feel old. Old is far away and will not be reached anytime soon.

Looking and feeling young

Genetics has a little bit to do with the age we are, but the age we feel and project to others has to do with our mindset. In this special time of retirement, allow your attitude to reflect the age you want to be. That might be through making physical changes: if you have always wanted to dye your hair a different shade, perhaps today is the day to make an appointment with a hairdresser. Plus, no suggested work attire is one of the great benefits of being retired: you don’t have to wear a tie or linen blouse, you can look the way you feel. And, if that means wearing a pair of sparkly boots with red stockings: do it!

Have a look at this video to see how young people perceive retirement age.

Bringing back the childish fun

Do you remember that rush of adrenalin you felt when you were seven years old, hanging upside down on the school monkey bars? Or, what about that fantastic sense of self achievement you gained when the beautiful pottery pot you made came out of the kiln in the art classroom? Now you have your newfound flexibility, explore the hobbies and activities you can participate in to bring back that wonderful sense of childish fun and enjoyment.

Have you always wanted to be a ballerina, learn the guitar or speak another language? There are plenty of courses you can do with your new free-time. Hobbies are fantastic because they are not only fun, they also provide mental stimulation, physical activity and are a great way to meet like-minded people.

Take a look at some examples of how you can meet like-minded people in retirement.

Further studies

You have a wealth of knowledge and skills gained from years of hard work. If your passion lies in learning, perhaps you could reinvent yourself as a student in your retirement? Taking on academic study provides intellectual stimulation and physical wellness. Now might be the time to look into college, and university courses.

Take this quiz to discover what could be a perfect fit for you.

Take a road trip

Or, do your retirement dreams lie in places elsewhere? Is today the day you embrace your inner 20-something, pack the car with a few changes of clothes and hit the road for a spur of the moment mid-week holiday? Or, if your passion is for overseas travel, today may be the day to make some inquiries with a travel agent.

Here is some inspiration in our list of Ten wonders of the world you never dreamt existed.

Make the most of your super

Whatever you do, remember this is a very special time for you. You’ve worked hard for it and your super may help you achieve your retirement dreams. Enjoy your retirement and acting the age you feel. To find out more about your retirement income options through super, or to make sure your Sunsuper Income account is working for you, call us on 13 11 84 to speak to a Sunsuper financial adviser, or get in contact with us online.

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