New Year is a great time to take stock and set some goals for what we’d like to achieve in the coming 12 months. Resolutions don’t have to be big audacious goals to be meaningful and effective. They can in fact be small changes that bring practical and effective results, peace of mind and a greater sense of wellbeing.
Here’s Smooth Retirement’s top 10 resolutions which aim to improve and enhance the life of older Australians.
Why not adopt the ones that resonate with you and embrace a great 2020?
Commit to exercising every day with a moderate activity such as walking. Not only will it do wonders for your overall health and keep everything moving, it’s a great way of staying in touch with your local neighbourhood and improving your mood. Start with 10 minutes at a comfortable pace and aim to gradually increase the time and distance as you improve. A really good goal is 150 minutes (around 20 per day) of aerobic activity a week.
Get your estate planning in order
If you haven’t got a will or reviewed your estate planning strategy for some time, then the new year is the perfect time to get it all sorted. Making a plan that sets out what you want to happen to your assets, including providing for your loved ones, when you die is all important. This includes having an up-to-date will, superannuation death nominations, testamentary trusts, powers of attorney and guardianship, and a living will. You can seek assistance with this either via the state-based Public Trustees or a qualified lawyer.
Get your vaccinations up to date
This is an easy one to put off and ignore. It’s also a very easy resolution to cross off. As you get older, your immune system can become less effective at protecting you from some diseases. Vaccinations are a proven way of helping you live a longer, healthier and more comfortable life. The Australian Government gives some immunisations for seniors at no charge including shingles, influenza, pneumococcal, and measles-mumps-rubella (MMR). Contact your local GP and book yourself in for a general check-up and any vaccinations you need to help you stay well.
Revive an old friendship
One of the top five regrets of the dying was losing touch with friends. It is so common to get caught up in the busyness of our own lives and let friendships slip. There’s nothing like sharing memories and laughs with old friends. Social media platforms like Facebook make it easier than ever to find and reconnect with old friends. If you don’t know where to start, get someone who understands how to search and look for people online to help you.
Revisit an old hobby
If you’ve stopped doing the things that you used to love, make time in 2020 to pick up those old hobbies. Get out your fishing gear, knitting needles, oil paints and refamiliarize yourself with a pastime of old. You’ll most probably be surprised at how quickly it all comes back. Better still, introduce it to the grandkids or seek out a local club or group which is a great way to not only keep you involved, learn new skills and make new friends.
Challenge your brain
Just as physical activity is crucial to wellbeing and overall health, so is using your brain. Challenging your brain keeps your cognitive skills sharp and reduces the risk of memory loss. There are many ways you can keep your mind active staring with reading, playing cards and games, and doing puzzles and crosswords. Learning a new skill or embarking on further study are also excellent ways to stretch and challenge the mind.
De-clutter your life
We all hold onto things for sentimental reasons or in the hope that they might be useful one day. Too much clutter however can weigh us down, make it hard to find things and be a nightmare to try and clean and tidy. A good de-clutter doesn’t have to extend to the full Marie Kondo-treatment, but a really proper and honest stocktake and thorough tidy up can make you feel better, refresh your home and help you stay organised. Pack up unwanted and unused goods and give them to friends, family or charity. Recycle or throw out the rest.
Volunteering is good for you. Some 6 million Australians spend a staggering 900 million hours volunteering each year. From improving health and happiness to promoting a sense of belonging, boosting mood and making friends, the case of volunteering just gets better. If you don’t already, make 2020 the year you sign up as a volunteer. There are so many organisations on the lookout for new helpers from local sporting clubs to national charities. If you don’t already have an organisation in mind, go to volunteeringaustralia.org for more information.
This is much more than simply NOT being ungrateful. Practicing gratitude is a “thing”. According to Harvard Medical School, gratitude is a thankful appreciation for what someone receives, regardless of whether it is tangible or intangible. Heavy stuff! What it means is that practicing gratitude allows us to recognise the good in our lives, reminding us of the great things around us and recognising those who bring goodness into our lives. Simply writing down the things that you are grateful for each day actually brings amazing results. It’s all about taking time to consider the good things that happen every day, appreciating nature, recognising opportunities to learn and grow from adverse and stressful situations and being a whole lot less negative.
Make sure you laugh – a lot
When you laugh, it doesn’t just benefit us mentally and improve our mood, it actually induces physical changes in the body. Laughter can stimulate organs (heart, lungs, muscles, brain), relieve stress and soothe tension. Who doesn’t want a good laugh? If you’re having trouble seeing the funny side of life, seek out friends and family who can make you laugh. Kids are the absolute best at pointing out the truly ridiculous in life and keeping it real.
If you find it’s your retirement finances that need the most attention in 2020, then the start of the new year is the perfect time for a review and to start looking at all your options.
If your home is worth more than all your other assets and you think you may need to use some of its value to fund part of your retirement, then talk to Smooth Retirement. We’re the equity release specialists with solutions to increase income, refinance debt and more.
Call our team today on 1300 510 015
Smooth Retirement Pty Ltd is an independent service providing expert guidance in equity release and retirement income planning Australia-wide. ABN: 46 619 010 445; AFSL 510015; Australian Credit Licence: 510015; smoothretirement.com.au; firstname.lastname@example.org; 1300 510 015.