Can I Afford to Have Fun in my Retirement?

The one time you truly deserve to “let your hair down” and fill each day with fun is when your working life is finally behind you.

Who doesn’t daydream about retirement? In fact, you may have been working on your “bucket list” for decades!

All those exotic places you want to travel to are finally in your reach. You will no longer be a slave to an alarm clock; your days are your own and you have limitless free time. This is when you can finally take up a new hobby, pursue long-held interests and even pack in an adventure or two!

Fun Comes at a Price

Beguiling though that sounds, is the reality going to be retirement on a tight budget?

Could your days be spent coupon cutting instead of skydiving, and opening tins of soup rather than trying fancy restaurants?

A lot depends on answering the question “can I afford to have fun in my retirement” well ahead of time.

If you haven’t given this much thought, you are not alone. Many Australians have ambitious plans for retirement, without considering the way they can fund all that fun!

How Much Do you Need for a Fun Retirement?

Having enough to “survive” on when you stop working is a long way from filling your days with entertainment, activities and travel.

Let’s be honest. A lifetime of worrying about paying the bills doesn’t just stop when you have more leisure time!

How much is “enough” for a comfortable retirement and to pay for fun extras is different for everyone.

However, the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) released a report in June 2017 suggesting that if you are aged around 65, you will need an average budget of $43,695 for individuals and $60,063 for couples.

That’s for those who are in reasonable health and own their property.

This could well cover you for many of the normal leisure and entertainment preferences and ambitions you may have. Though clearly, if you dream of exotic travel or moving to a hotter climate, that can bump up your target figures considerably.

Fun for One, Fun for All

Retirement fun is largely a state of mind, of course. With proper retirement planning advice, even those on a limited budget can pursue their own personal path to happiness. Part of the challenge is deciding what you actually want – and how that can become realistic.

After all, exploring the Amazon rain forest or buying a retirement villa on the Gold Coast of Australia is not for everyone. For some, retirement bliss means having no plans or appointments!

After a hectic working life with lots of business travel, your idea of fun might be hours spent in an armchair with a stack of books and your favourite alcoholic drink.

Or walking for miles with your woofer. Remember all those shows and concerts you wished you had time for? Retirement could finally free you up to visit the theatre whenever you want.

Even if your ideal situation is simple and stress-free, getting retirement planning advice means you have the level of financial security you need.

Money in the bank and a steady flow of cash to spend gives you peace of mind while you relax in your chair, wander around with your four-legged friend or take in a show.

It’s a myth that you can survive on a great deal less in retirement. Not least as you now have more time on your hands and chance to get out and about. Even having sufficient cash for leisurely grocery shopping or car trips can make a big difference to retirement fun!

Spread the Joy

Something else to keep in mind: after many years of cramming most of your best times into far-too-short weekends or annual holidays, retirement means you don’t have to do it all at once!

Modern healthcare means as long as you eat well and exercise regularly, there’s a good chance you will have many active golden years to enjoy. Rather than dashing around trying to cram in as much as possible, you can spread your fun and available money over many months.

This also means spreading the yield from investments makes sense. Having one lump sum paying out when you retire is great for those who want to buy a 12-month cruise around the world, but others could find that large amount of cash too tempting to blow through too quickly.

This can be an important point for grandparents who want money to share retirement fun with youngsters. Having regular yields to look forward to can make regular outings, breaks and treats a reality for many years. And of course, it can ensure you have some left for inheritance pots, too.

This means planning ahead to create an income to keep the fun times rolling, or reinvesting retirement yields in short or medium term opportunities to make every penny count.

Invest for the Best of Times, with Extra Challenges

For some retirees, fun in all forms will depend on your state of health and fitness. Not least as people often work much longer these days to be sure their retirement income will sustain them.

But why shouldn’t you still travel, learn new things and challenge yourself, even when you need specialist help and equipment?

Having "enough" cash can mean getting a boost to meet special challenges too.

Stretching Resources for More Retirement Fun

Good retirement planning advice makes sure you have the cash for everyday stuff, those special plans and to keep the fun times coming even when your physical abilities are limited.

When you finally do put work behind you and wake up to deliciously unfettered days full of endless opportunities, there are still things you can do to make sure lack of cash doesn’t strangle your fun.

Firstly, retirement planning advice can be vital after the event, as well as in advance! Stretching your more limited income further is sometimes best left to the professionals.

Also, don’t hesitate to take advantage of discounts for seniors and special deals. In fact, now you have more time, things like making meals from scratch, visiting places “out of season” and researching discounts can be much easier. You also now have time for picnics, long baths and board games with your buddies!

Fun doesn’t have to cost much. But being careful with your cash and getting sensible retirement planning advice can certainly put the “fun” in your available “funds”.