If you are reading this newsletter, you already know what we advocate for a happy retirement: planning and more planning. But did you know that one of the five principles to a happy and successful retirement is staying connected to like-minded people who give you energy, as well as those who receive energy from you? And … this doesn’t start when you’re 65 or older! It starts now, at age 50 and 40 and 30… .

‘Staying connected’ has a whole new meaning today than it did 15 years ago. Since the dawn of this millennium, we have been riding the wave of the Information Revolution; technology is and continues to be the power behind this movement, which shows no signs of slowing down.

If you haven’t learnt how to use a computer or a smart phone yet, you risk possible technological isolation. This means not enjoying the benefits of being connected to others via the internet, email, your cell phone or Skype. Over and above the hugely popular social media sites such as facebook and Twitter there are literally hundreds of social media platforms, from cooking to travel, sport and business, which allow us to all stay connected nowadays.

Staying connected through technology can also work in tandem with other important principles behind a happy retirement. There are so many rich resources available online, from podcasts on news, current events and culture, to free open learning courses on FutureLearn, which offers a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop. So whether you are interested in Literature of the English Country House or Maritime Archaeology, or are an avid online Scrabble player with partners scattered around the globe, there’s plenty available online to keep busy whilst learning new things.

Personally, I am not great with technology and I come from a family that never really adopted it either. Today, my parents are 80 years of age and live in Ireland. Unlike most of our clients who are reading this electronic newsletter, they cannot use a computer and as a result, do not use the internet or e- mail and have an old style cell phone definitely not one that would be termed a smart phone today. If they had chosen to be part of these new technologies, they could have access to e-mail and enjoy sharing photos online, catching up with their grandchildren via Skype and much more. In truth, living in this technology age allows us many platforms to bring families and friends closer together if all people embrace it.

There are so many developments either available now or imminently that can make a person’s life much easier, help them feel more energised and connected to others. Some that we like are:

  • Uber – If you find yourself without a car or perhaps unable to drive this doesn’t mean you need to sit at home. You don’t even need a car. You simply get the Uber app on your phone and arrange your transportation, available 24/7.
  • Skype – Get connected and enjoy talking to and seeing kids, grandchildren or friends far away.
  • Instagram – View your kids’ photos and hope your grandchildren don’t share anything too outrageous!
  • Online Shopping – A hassle free online ordering facility from Pick ‘n Pay or Woolworths – delivered straight to your home. Alternatively, you can order an Uber car to collect you and drop you at the shops. When waiting in the queue to pay, you can order another one to take you home, which will conveniently be there ready and waiting when you get outside.
  • Chariot Health – Opt for personalised medical care from a GP who will come to your home and treat you there.

    No matter our age, it’s wonderful to get connected and allow technology to enrich and energise one’s life. It’s an exciting journey and we encourage you to join the technology ride.

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