What exactly is the difference between simply ‘getting older’ and ‘ageing successfully’? A plan.
While ageing is inevitable, ageing well takes a little bit of work.
Your later years can be some of the happiest and most fulfilling of your life. It’s possible many will have the time, financial freedom and experience to be able to pursue passions like travel, spend time with family and friends, and learn a new skill or hobby. That said, ageing can also become a stressful experience if you and your loved ones don’t have a solid plan in place.
When considering what makes up a successful plan, this guide will outline the key areas to consider, so you’re armed to navigate your later years (or those of your loved one) feeling confident and empowered to make informed decisions.
A successful plan answers five key questions.
- Where will I live? Picking the right accommodation solution will depend on your finances, lifestyle preferences and health. Do you plan on living in the family home, in a retirement village, will you move to be closer to family or simply downsize? It’s important you have a plan B in place in case of illness, mobility issues or the poor health of a partner.
- What will my financial situation look like?Ensure you have enough money to maintain your lifestyle, and any extra care if and when you need it. Everyday expenses, your eligibility for government entitlements, family obligations and emergency cash options all need to be considered.
- How will my family be affected? You need to take into account not only your partner, but also any financial or emotional stresses placed on your wider circle. Getting a will in order and having an in-depth discussion with your loved ones about how you would like to live as you age are vital.
- How will I support my own mental and physical health?Looking after your health as you age will make for a happier and able life moving forward. Diet, exercise and keeping mentally active can all help prevent the onset of key diseases and mobility issues – ultimately helping you to live longer and maintain your quality of life.
- Where will I likely find fulfilment and companionship? Whether you plan on working, volunteering, joining a club or moving into a retirement village, it’s important you plan for how you will maintain your sense of accomplishment and friendship. When planning how you will age successfully, it helps to maintain a positive yet realistic mindset; we should all hope for the best, but also plan for the worst through open and honest discussions with loved ones. This guide will arm you with conversation starters, practical information and advice from experts within areas including mobility, nutrition, wellbeing, finance and technology.