In the Philippines, the life expectancy for women is around 73 years and for men, 67 years. If you leave work at 65, for example, you could expect between 2 and 8 years (at least) of retirement.
If you are retiring in a year or two, plan ahead. If you are unsure whether or not to retire earlier than the mandatory age of 65, it may help to take long service leave or extended unpaid leave to give retirement living a trial run. Going from working a fulltime job to having nowhere specific that you have to do or be each day sounds fantastic, but some retirees end up feeling bored and unproductive. After years of a structured schedule, the hours can seem endless. Some people feel loss of self-worth once they stop working, and loneliness is a common source of depression in older people.
Partner issues can crop up too, especially when one has retired or plans to retire, while the other wants to continue working. Working out on how much time to spend together can be difficult. For those who are living in an extended family household, this may not be too much of a problem. There are a lot of people at home to spend time with. But then again, grandparents may find themselves to be obligated to baby sit all the time, and that could be a source of emotional stress.
Then there are money issues of retirement. Even if you have made reasonably sure that you have money to live on, it may still be not enough. Make sure to consult with a financial planner or accountant to help preserve as much of your money as possible and create a budget to maintain the lifestyle you want.
People who plan an active life after retirement tend to be happier than those who have no plans or routines. Now, let us count the ways to have a happy and healthy retirement:
1. Make and Stick to a Budget. Once you retire, your priorities shift. You will have to spend less money on some things and more on others. You may no longer need to pay for transportation to work, but you may need to pay more on health or medicine costs. Thus, you will still need to make a budget and stick to it. This is a way to stretch your retirement income. Remember to always take advantage of the multitude of discounts for senior citizens.
2. Downsize and Save. Many people buy larger and larger homes over the course of their lives as their families grow and their careers blossom. But by retirement age, your children are probably grown and out of the house. Even if you do not have a mortgage, you are still paying for utilities that probably are not getting much use and spending both time and money to keep up your home's exterior. Now is the time to consider scaling back to a smaller house so that you will only be responsible for maintaining the interior of your home. After your house, your car is usually the next major expense. If you have different cars for different purposes, consider whether those cars fit your needs as a retiree. A smaller, more fuel-efficient car could save you a lot of money. It may also be cheaper in the long run to get a newer car that requires less maintenance.
3. Keep on Working. Many people are finding that their savings are not going as far as they thought due to the rising cost of everything. Many retirees take part-time jobs, either related to their previous careers or in an entirely different field. Some put up a small business. Having a regular schedule and interacting with different people on a daily basis can help maintain the emotional and mental health of retirees.
4. Stay Active. Despite all of the things that you could be doing, it is easy to get into a rut when you are retired, especially if you live alone. Sitting around the house is not just bad for your mental health, it is bad for your physical health as well. There are exercises that you can do to keep yourself fit. However, being active does not just mean exercising. You may have to seek out new friends and join clubs or groups in your community for recreational and social activities.
5. Share Your Knowledge. Even if teaching was not your profession, it is still something that you can take up after you retire. Not necessarily teaching children (although if you are interested in a second career, it is a possibility), but teaching other adults what you've learned in the years spent in your chosen industry. Some colleges and technical schools like to employ people who have a lot of real-world experience, even if they do not have teaching experience. Many companies also employ career coaches or bring in speakers to share their knowledge with their employees.
6. Become a Student. It is never too late to go back to school. There are plenty of senior citizens setting foot on campus to earn undergraduate or graduate degrees. If that idea is too far-fetched for you, there are several institutions offering short courses. Continuing your education keeps your mind sharp and active.
7. Learn a Skill, Start a Hobby. Many of us have skills or hobbies that we wish we picked up but never got around to. Now is your chance. You could learn how to play the guitar, use the computer or ballroom dance. Maybe you do not want to learn how to do anything, but you are interested in starting a collection. There are plenty of online groups and forums dedicated to various hobbies. Some of them meet in person or even hold conventions. No matter what your interest, you can find others out there with whom to discuss it.
8. Volunteer. Volunteering not only keeps you moving and engaged, it also instils a sense of purpose and fulfilment. Check out volunteer opportunities at the local school, non-government or charity organization or church. There are a lot of things that you can do that naturally fit your interests.
9. Get Political. Casting your vote when election time rolls around is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to participating in the political process. You could find yourself working for someone running for local or national office. They all need volunteers help to get there. If you do not want to campaigning for a politician, consider the issues that most affect you and the pieces of legislation that your local and national representatives could advocate for or vote on. There are countless grassroots organizations and special interest groups devoted to a particular issue or category of issues. They work to get politicians interested in their cause and try to convince them to vote a certain way, and they need volunteers to help spread the word.
10. Travel. If you ask most people what they look forward to about retirement, the ability to travel would probably be high on the list. Retirees are seen as people with endless amounts of free time and few attachments to keep them from spending months away from home. If you have the money to travel and the desire, go for it!