Blueheath at the Bower

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The Social Network

The Social Network

When planning their retirement, most people focus initially on the financial implications. Beyond the practicalities there may be a plan for a bucket list trip or to buy a caravan, but what comes next?

A study from the University of Queensland recommends retires should also ‘socially plan’. Nick Steffans, postdoctoral research fellow and study author, suggests social planning may be as important to health and well-being in retirement as factors like financial planning, medical care and exercise. Here are our top tips to increase your social network in retirement.

  • Consider retirement living – retirement villages offer the opportunity to live in likeminded community with a range of facilities and lifestyle activities, all curated with retirees in mind.
  • Volunteer – many retirees replace paid work and find a sense of purpose volunteering to help others. Volunteering Australia reports that 29% of those aged 55-69 and 24.5% of those aged over 70 undertake some form of ‘formal’ volunteering for a sports group, church or religious group or in education and training.
  • Keep working – if work still brings you joy, carry on! This is the perfect time to try something different, find a job that aligns with a hobby or interest or work part-time. Some retirees also find opportunities to continue working in their field of expertise with greater flexibility and reduced hours as a consultant or contractor.
  • Take up a hobby – whether it be learning something completely new or rediscovering an old one, a shared interest can create multiple connections with new friends. Alternatively spend quality time with a partner or friend by investing time in a hobby you can do together.
  • Cultivate your close relationships - a shorter to-do list can provide the perfect opportunity to spend time with your children and grandchildren.

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