How To Plan For Your Retirement

Approaching the end of your working life? Or suddenly finding yourself with no definite reason to to get up in the morning any more? It can be a scary thing! How to Plan for your retirement assumes that retirement day hasn’t arrived yet. If it has, and you’re wondering what to do next, this article isn’t going to suggest playing bingo as often as possible, or taking a nap every afternoon. Although you can if you like.

Retirement doesn’t mean you are ready for the scrapheap. It doesn’t mean trying find meaningless things to occupy the tedious hours whilst waiting for the grim reaper to pay you a visit. On the contrary, retirement is merely the next chapter of your life. A regeneration of everything you once were, and everything you once believed, should be at the top of your agenda as you attempt to effect changes in your new life that will elevate you to new heights and unveil new discoveries.

A purpose with greater meaning whilst maturing further

The name of the game from now on should be heavily centered around how to mould a new you. Effecting massive change, and directing your thoughts and actions towards a life you didn’t think possible a few months ago, is what you need to to strive for. You deserve to contemplate a future ahead of you similar to the time when you had just left the security of full-time education and the excitement of all the possibilities of an unknown future beckoning. The giddy feeling that comes with not quite knowing what is around the next corner is exactly what every recently retired person (or soon to be) should be experiencing right now.

The significance of carving out a meaningful contribution towards what is arguably the most substantial portion of your life, can’t be taken lightly. The planning, thought and gravity with which your next steps will determine your massive imminent trajectory, be it a solo project or a with a partner, the outcomes will be a stellar journey. It cannot be stressed forcibly enough, the earnestness and solemnity that focussing on a new, prodigious version of you, and your significant other, will cement your future as a more spectacular evolution of your greatest expectations. All you need to do is believe and take small baby steps towards whatever that ‘dream’ or ‘wish’ you had never considered worth entertaining before, but you now know is not only possible, but going to happen.

Most people will never realize that wondrous version of themselves

It is quite obvious that in order for something to change, something different needs to happen. As a famous mathematician once observed, ‘…the definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results’. You need to do it defiantly (change), to get a different (better) result. It seems the majority of our existence is spent repeating similar, comfortable processes, over and over again. It is can’t be any surprise when nothing of any significance actually changes as we stumble through our mediocre lives.

Difficulty and pain are what really sum up people’s inability to attempt to become better versions of themselves. Who would ever voluntarily take on pain? The necessity of unlearning old habits, and starting on the road to adopting new ways of realizing people’s path to growth, is just too hard for many. Instead of committing to actual change and doing what your heart always told you what the only thing in life worth pursuing, you occasionally dabble in self-improvement, and occasionally read about how other people make it happen.

Finding your true purpose has to about change. Often quite radical change. Some saying about omelettes and eggs springs to mind which seems to be quite pertinent. As another quite famous person once said, ‘if it doesn’t challenge you, it can’t change you’.

Three universal truths nobody will ever tell you

The first universal truth, which constantly surrounds us, is that no matter what – nobody is coming to save us. Often at the start of retirement or the lead up ot it, some cogent and deliberating personalities will realize that we’re on our own. Whatever happens in order for us to spark that revolution, it is down us as individuals to make it so. It is quite refreshing when you realize that you are actually the captain of you own ship. Whatever circumstances make up the convoluted process that will eventually create your ideal, you are to be the one on whose shoulders all responsibility will rest upon, and you wouldn’t want it any other way.

‘Life is suffering’ according the first Buddhist Noble Truth. Embedded in the teachings of many stoic philosophers is the notion of suffering in order to gain strength. According to Senecca, ‘He who is not every day conquering some fear has not learned the secret to life’. The second universal truth unveils the wisdom of accepting voluntarily that life is suffering, which allows you to become transcended. It is intensely liberating when you accept and understand that one of the fundamental realities of life, is suffering. In other words, when you take people and you expose them to harsh circumstances that they usually avoid, they get stronger.

When you change the way you view most things, whatever it is you are looking at will change. This is the third universal truth which is also quite liberating. Choosing your outlook on a certain situation or set of circumstances will ultimately color how you respond when faced with decisions of varying magnitude, and how you will elect to conduct your future dealings. Given your new found ability to alter perspectives regarding the precedence surrounding whatever you warrant worthy of note, your viewpoint becomes the one of priority at a time you deem necessary.

Your own unguarded thoughts

When reinventing yourself it is prudent to keep a close check on where your thoughts lead you. Another famous quote that is worth repeating often is, ‘Nothing can harm you more than your own unguarded thoughts.’ This simple and powerful phrase reminds us that to negatively ponder on what can go wrong, feeds our subconscious mind to the extent of possibly actualizing a self-fulfilling prophecy. Much of our daily reality results from what we carelessly think about. It is a sad fact that 99% of the thoughts we had today are exactly the same as the ones we had yesterday. Another sad fact is it is almost impossible to change that fact without extreme care and diligence.

It is chiefly our emotions that let us down and what we need to try and control. The careful study of neural plasticity, at the moment, appears to be the only way of combating this phenomenon. It is currently thought that 95% of who we are, by the time we reach 35, are a set of learned and memorized emotions. Becoming aware of this fact is the first step towards doing something about it.

50 Statements to read often and constantly be aware of

1: As of immediate effect, always put your physical health as priority #1
2: Good mental health is what you must constantly strive to attain
3: Nobody feels as old as they actually are. It’s the worlds worst kept secret
4: Be kind to everyone, we are all fighting our own battles
5: Pizza and ice cream will make you tired the next day
6: You are only old when your dreams are replaced by regrets
7: Don’t be reckless with people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours
8: It’s better to be at the bottom of a ladder you want to climb than half way up one you don’t
9: Dance often
10: Everybody is winging it
11: If you always obey all the rules, you often miss out on all the fun
12: Accept every invitation. Say yes more. Say hi to the world as often as you can.
13: Go to one place every year where you’ve never been
14: Drink at least 1 litre of water every day
15: Get out of your comfort zone. That’s where all the magic happens
16: Never speak ill of someone not present to defend themselves
17: Be Impeccable with your word. If you say you will do something – do it
18: It’s nice to be important. But it’s more important to be nice
19: How you do something is how you do everything
20: Have at least one meal that you are a ninja at creating
21: Learn something new every day. And write it down because you won’t remember it otherwise
22: Not how long, but how well you have lived is what really counts
23: Regularly tell those you love how you feel, they deserve to know
24: Meditate often
25: Never go to sleep angry
26: Laughter really can be the best medicine
27: Don’t try and change what is out of your control
28: Try to only engage in meaningful pursuits
29: Do something at least once a month that frightens you
30: Everybody is always somebody’s fool
31: Don’t judge, unless you really do poses all the facts
32: You never fail, you just find lots of ways that thinks don’t work first time
33: If I can’t run my day, my day runs me
34: The only way to predict the future is to invent it
35: We too often don’t live our dreams because we’re too busy living our fears
36: Lifting up yourself requires you to first lift up someone else
37: You are never too old
38: Those who don’t make mistakes never try anything new
39: The person who insists it can’t be done should never interrupt the person who’s doing it
40: You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough
41: The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision
42: Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent
43: For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of contentment
44: You become old when you stop learning, no matter what your age
45: An educated mind is able to entertain a thought without needing to accept it
46: My curiosity is the only special talent I believe I poses
47: If you constantly judge people, you never have time to know and love them
48: All that we are is the result of what we have previously thought
49: Stay hungry, stay compassionate, stay focussed, stay foolish
50: The older I get, the more I realize how little I actually do know


Planning for your retirement isn’t something that just happens like everything else in your life has so far. This unprecedented time in your life should be regarded as a new journey that you are in control of and are willing to think deeply about. I hope this article has spurred you towards contemplating a new direction to head towards. I would like to see you attaining new heights in your quest for a new you.


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Kevin Roache