“Travel is the most popular activity in retirement but most of us can’t afford to travel 365 days of the year,” Ann says. “So, what else are you going to get up to? After three months, the novelty of retirement can wear off. I have heard of husbands following their wives around the house and even give cooking advice.”
Another major problem at the beginning of retirement is loss of identity. When you lose your working identity, you can drift away from that network of friends and acquaintances as well.
“It is surprising the number of people that tune out when you tell them you are retired,” Ann says. “I think the seniors in our society get a bad rap and need to be more valued and respected in our society.”
Ann’s tip for planning your time is to try out what you think you might be doing in retirement and join groups that interest you.
“This will give you a start on new networks of friends that will be there for you when you finish work,” she says. For example, if your passion is travelling, look for some groups with likeminded individuals in it, such as the Travel at 60 group.
Ann has some great tips for saving money while travelling as well. Instead of choosing short getaways, she says consider longer stays.
“Rent an apartment or unit and stay in one place for a few weeks or more,” Ann says. “You will get the benefit of a slower pace, get to know an area in more detail and a give yourself a chance to interact with the locals more.”
Travelling during the off-season will nearly always save you money than if you were to travel during peak season, whether it’s on flights, attractions or accommodation.
Major savings can be found with last-minute deals as well if you can leave on short notice.
One particular travel trend that may not be for everyone is flash packing, and it could save you money without having to skimp on clean hotels and little luxuries.
“The term refers to a more affluent breed of backpacker who travels on a similar trail to the backpacker but does it with more cash in their pocket,” Ann says. “They can afford to pay for more luxuries on the road.”
Here are some more of Ann's top tips for heading abroad.
- Tell someone how to contact you in case of emergency;
- If you are away from your home for a while, think of the security of your house and what you can do to make it appear as someone is at home. You don’t want the house burgled while you are away, so have the mail collected and leave some lights on;
- Take copies of your documents like your passport and bank cards with you in case you get robbed while away. It is easier then to have them replaced when you are away.
- Have good-quality travel insurance including medical insurance. My daughter, Zoe, did a backpacking trip through Asia a few years ago and purchased travel insurance online. It turned out it had a maximum claim per item of $300 – that did not replace her stolen iPhone.