Author: John Higgins

Mindfulness - Photo by Esther Wilhelmsson via Unsplash

The “M” Word in Retirement

The most important factor to living a happy retirement starts with the letter “M.” And it’s not “Money.” Yet at the commencement of all our retirement planning courses the money factor sits large on the minds of attendees. In fact, as we prepare for starting the course I have more than once been approached by the first comer into the lecture room and asked “Are you the Pensions Man?”

You shouldn’t ignore money. It is important. It may be the one thing that preserves the “living” part of “living a contented retirement.” But it is not the most important thing to think about when planning for a life in retirement. While money helps pay for many important matters, the idea …

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Healthy Living

Healthy Ireland and Life Expectancy

The Healthy Ireland policy document entitled Framework for Improved Health and Wellbeing 2013 -2015 is the government’s plan to improve the health and wellbeing of the nation. So how are we faring mid-way through the lifetime of the plan?

The mid-term report entitled Health in Ireland: Key Trends (2017) revealed that 70% of men and 57% of women are overweight or obese. This also reflects the lack of a personal physical exercise regime whereby only 46% of men and 62% of women are termed “physically active”. All of this reflects significantly on our birth to death life expectancy ratio.

Between 2007 and 2017 the following increases in Life Expectancy are recorded:…

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Emotional Preparation for Retirement Life: Identity Issues

Perhaps no other stage of life triggers such intense feelings of excitement and liberation, on the one hand, but, on the other, fear and anxiety. Retirement for many entails a leap of faith after decades of routine. You’re not simply at work Friday, doing your job, and retired Monday, dancing for joy. Retirement is a major transition that unfolds over many years, as we move from the life we know, into the life we will get to know.

Most people don’t realise that psychological and emotional readiness is as important as all the concerns about financial issues in retirement. I have personally witnessed attendees on arrival for a course to ask me “are you the pension’s man”; in other words: …

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Healthy Living: Know your numbers

As we prepare for retirement, we need to reflect on our current lifestyle behaviours.

A change to how we live our life can reduce our chances of developing:

Diabetes Cancer Heart Disease Lung Disease Other forms of ill-health.

Tips on Lifestyle Behaviours

Sit less and move more: Be conscious of the length of time you spend sitting. Get up and stand and stretch. Design a physical activity pattern that suits your condition and work on taking 30 minutes exercise at least 5 times a week. Take a look at this website: getirelandactive.ie Don’t smoke and if you do then try and quit smoking which is the best thing you can do to improve your health. To find out more about…
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Developing Our Spiritual Health

During our retirement courses we consider all aspects of our health including Physical Health (keeping active and eating healthily); our Mental Health (including emotional issues/stress management and resilience) and thirdly the importance of developing our Spiritual Health. In today’s world with all that has happened as regards religious practices many people neglect what is essential to maintaining our Spiritual Health.

So what is Spiritual Health if it is not all about religious practice? Here we intertwine spiritual health with the singular “Spirituality”. Basically, spirituality connects us to a purpose in life that is larger than ourselves. For some this may still be traditional religious practice. Regardless of the methods we us to achieve it, spirituality dictates how we see the …

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Reform of the State Pension

A Roadmap for Pensions Reform 2018 – 2023: Reform of the State Pension

In Autumn 2018, the Department of Social Protection launched the Roadmap for Pensions Reform which contained 6 main strands of which Strands 1 is the most important for those nearing retirement age.

Adequacy

The reform sets a proposed target for payment of the State Pension to a level at approximately 34/35% of average earnings. It is proposed to link further increases to changes in the Consumer Price Index and to wage levels in order to ensure that the value of the State Pension is maintained.

Sustainability

The State Pension is premised on the principle of social rather than personal insurance and operates on a Pay as You …

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Why bother having an Enduring Power of Attorney?

What is an Enduring Power of Attorney?

Having an Enduring Power of Attorney (EDU) in place is becoming more important now that we are all living longer and as a consequence the incidences of dementia and/or Alzheimer’s Disease is becoming more common. Both spouses and/or single people should have an EDU.

How to make an EDU

Get to a Solicitor. Ask the Solicitor what fees may attach to this service. The Solicitor will then take you through the four step process.

Step 1: You are asked to nominate a person to whom you wish to give the EDU and the Solicitor will then take you through a list of powers which you wish to evolve to the nominee.

Step 2: …

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Importance of Making and Updating Our Wills

Surveys show that most of us are less than careful when it comes to ensuring that we take care of those who will be left behind when we pass on to the next life.

Many people are reluctant to make a Will. If you fail to make a Will then your descendants will pay a large share of your estate in surplus tax as a result of you dying intestate and settling your financial affairs will take a lot longer. A Will helps identify your resources and ensures that your property passes to the people of your choice and helps avoid family issues..When you have made your Will you should review it approximately every five to seven years.

How to …

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Nutrition is an important part of healthy living post-retirement

Healthy Eating in Retirement

[This is a guest post by Consultant Dietitian Gillian McConnell]

Many factors are important for a healthy retirement – staying physically active, maintaining close relationships and pursuing personal goals. However, one factor is vital to make the others all possible: a healthy diet. Without considering healthy eating, you cannot fully benefit from a rewarding and engaging retirement, and increase your risk of a range of health issues.

Challenges to good nutrition:

As people age, the amount of calories they need to consume each day reduces as the amount of good quality nutrients they need increases. This makes it difficult to ensure they’re getting all the vitamins and minerals they need each day, since you’re typically eating less. That’s …

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Why Employers Should Provide Retirement Planning for Employees?

Work practices in developed countries have changed significantly in the past two decades, with many workers now changing jobs every 7 to 10 years. As regards the current cohort of the population in the 50 plus age sector, the average working life of these individuals whom we now meet on our retirement courses ranges from 42 to 50 years of working life-service. In many cases this involves at least 2/3 of this time or an average of 30 years will be provided as working service by most employees.

The question for employers here is whether they have a social and moral obligation to repay that loyalty to their organisation by helping those approaching retirement to prepare for such an important …

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