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Get ready for retirement the positive way

How we feel about change can depend on a lot of things, from how much control we have to the timing involved. But when you know a change is coming, like retirement, what steps can you take to prepare and feel positive about the future?

Whether you’ve worked your whole life or just part of it, retirement is a big transition. Many things just won’t be the same and it’s not unusual to feel uncertain about how you’ll cope with your new lifestyle and financial situation.

Prepare for a positive outcome with our 3 tips for change

1. Develop a positive mindset

Staying positive about change has a lot to do with how you generally think about life’s everyday problems and challenges. Having an optimistic frame of mind really matters when it comes to coping with change.

When you’re in the habit of thinking happy thoughts, the part of your brain controlling emotions and behaviours - called the pre-frontal cortex (PFC) - will flourish. On a diet of positive thinking, your PFC can grow new synapses, staying resilient and ready to adapt to new circumstances1. When you’re scared about the future, it can slow down your cerebellum, where your brain processes new information. So your anxiety can get in the way of your natural ability to respond to change in problem solving mode.2

2. Take small steps

Money can be a source of anxiety when it comes to retirement. The fear that we don’t have enough money can stop us from taking action. Things may seem too hard or complex. It’s easy to get overwhelmed. Having a clear idea of where you are going and how you’ll get there can make big difference to your outlook. The key to getting started on your retirement plan is to be realistic about what you can get done.

Divide a task into a number of smaller tasks so that you can get some small wins straight away and give yourself more time to get through the complex things. Setting achievable goals may help you avoid stress. We all need a little nudge now and then to get us moving so decide on a reward for completing items on your list. It can be as simple as giving yourself half an hour for a cup of tea once you’re done.

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3. Seek out support

It’s important to accept what you can’t control. With some changes, we really can’t make a difference to the outcome. If this is the case, you can still choose to be comfortable with what’s going on and see it as a way to learn and grow rather than a struggle or a setback. Talking through concerns with friends or family is a great way to reflect on your future. You’ll often get a new perspective on your situation and discover you actually have the resources to handle change, whether it’s expected or not.

So what next?

Getting expert advice can make a big difference to how prepared you are for retirement - both emotionally and financially. By discussing your lifestyle goals with a StatePlus planner you’ll have a much better understanding of the super and income you’ll need to make retirement a positive change in your life.

To get started, download our free Retirement guide or call us on 1800 620 305

Related articles for you

1, 2 Psychology Today, Happy Brain, Happy Life by Susan Reynolds and Terese Aubele PhD

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