This is probably the last thing you want to think about at this stage of your life. It is never too early to think about the end of your career and your retirement.  And it is precisely at this stage of your life that you should begin preparation. You are working hard on building your career and you don’t want to get to your retirement and with regrets and unfinished business.

A great deal of talk about retirement is about the financial planning required for a carefree retirement, and MyWealth investments will assist you with this.

What we are talking about today is how to live your life now, so that your habits and interests will allow you to leaded a useful and productive life as you get older and eventually retire.

Right across the world people are living longer. The notion of stopping work at 60 or 65 is outdated. It is highly likely that you will live into your eighties and nineties. If you were to retire at sixty, how would you keep yourself focused into your nineties? Will you have saved enough to last you for 30 years of retirement?

Now you might say that this is all very well, you are still young, and you will worry about that later in life. Yes, it’s true that retirement does seem very far away, but there are things you can do now that will improve your current quality of life and also set you up for a vibrant and dynamic retirement.

1. Be Creative

Creative pursuits are a wonderful way of keeping the mind active and learning new things. It’s good to embrace a creative pursuit other than that which you do at work. Something for you to do in your own time, that gives you personal growth and satisfaction.

The obvious ones are playing a musical instrument, taking up pottery, drawing and sketching, or writing poetry. And there are a hundred other ways of being creative. A creative pastime need not be expensive, but it should be something that you find personally fulfilling. Think back to your childhood, remember the activities that gave you the most enjoyment. Start there and you will be on the path to finding your own creative contribution.

2. Maintain your health

This is an obvious one. The healthier you are, the longer you will live and the better your quality of life will be. See our article on running your way to health.

As a younger person, you have bound to be active. In addition to getting exercise, it is helpful to evaluate the long term, cumulative effects of some of your habits. Consumption of alcohol. Smoking. Sedentary work. Poor eating choices.

All these lay down consistent patterns in your life and are difficult to reverse in later years. Now is the time to build healthy habits.

3. Maintain your self esteem

Self-esteem is something you affirm throughout your entire life. It’s the self-talk loop in your head. It can lift you up, or it can say: Don’t do this. Too much risk. I can’t do that. I’m not good enough. Challenge your negative self-beliefs, review your good characteristics. It is your good characteristics that determine your human value, not the negative comments from others. Disengage from negative relationships. This can be tough because it can mean saying goodbye to people who have been in your life for a long time. But you are playing the long game here. Break it off now before it breaks you. Learn to say no. Say no when people cross your boundaries or make you feel uncomfortable. You are unique. You are special . learn to regard yourself in that way.

Grow4. Find value in things outside work

Work tends to be all consuming. We spend hours in the workplace working diligently and when we get home, we want to relax and watch mindless videos. We are exhausted. On our weekends we just want to relax, be with friends, so that we can have the energy to face the next week. But if you look at your long game, and you add up all these wasted hours; is this really what you want from life?

Find a situation outside your work or home life where you can make your special contribution. It might be joining a service club, or assisting a charitable organisation. You might do magic tricks at children’s birthday parties. It might be hobby or a side hustle. This is not about following the crowd, or the line of least resistance. It’s about building a unique facet of your life. That’s stands you apart from work or family. Something of value. It expands your social circle and enhances your social impact.

5. Embrace spirituality

Prayer, mediation, self-reflection and mindfulness can slow the mind and make you aware of the Bigger Part. Your spiritual side needs maintenance and growth. Set aside special time to be with yourself. Reflect and ponder. Spirituality needs discipline. It needs regular practice. Try meditation (use an app). Try free writing first thing every morning for 10 minutes. Write down whatever is in you mind. Write a daily gratitude list before bedtime. It may feel like nothing is changing in your life for a while, and then suddenly it dawns on you and you are an entirely different person! Spirituality is part of the long game . It likes ritual and regularity.

6. Do something worthwhile

What is that one, singular achievement that you most want? Get an MBA? Climb Mount Kilimanjaro? Learn a new language? Compete in a marathon? Lose 40kg?

Find that one individual, defining act that has deep meaning for you. Go after it resolutely and make it yours. It will set you apart from the mindless 9 to 5 rat race. It will mark you as a remarkable human being. Find it. Do it. Make it yours. It will define the new you.

7. Love your self

You are a special human being with unique skills and insights. The world needs someone like you. Life is full of pain, and hardship and disappointment. But it is also wonderful and awesome. You are the right person to live your life. Your life and no one else’s. Your pain, anger, and shame will heal. By growing older with grace you discover the truth and the loving actions that bring you peace, joy, and a deep sense of intrinsic worth.

Over time, you will discover that loving yourself improves everything in your life—your relationships, your health and well-being, your ability to manifest your dreams, and your self-esteem. Loving and connecting with yourself is the key to being able to love and connect with others and create loving relationships. Loving yourself is the key to creating a passionate, fulfilled, and joyful life.

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