Retirement Planning and Tips
Retirement can be a time of relaxation, but it can also be a time of uncertainty, as one makes the transition from the world of work to the world of leisure. If you are retired or will retire soon, you can learn here about various tips and government services that will help you to make a smooth transition to retirement and enjoy your new life to the full.
Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF) Benefits
One of the first things you will want to know is how to withdraw the MPF benefits that you have accrued during your working life. In general, you can access and withdraw your benefits upon retiring at the age of 65. Early withdrawal is allowed under specific circumstances, including early retirement at the age of 60 and permanent departure from Hong Kong. If you are eligible to withdraw your accrued benefits now, you can present a copy of your identity card and a completed Claim Form for Payment of Accrued Benefits to your scheme trustee. If your last employer has made a long service or severance payment to you before you resign and retire, then he or she could apply to the MPF trustee to withdraw an appropriate amount of your benefits to offset it.More on withdrawing MPF accrued benefitsMore on employer offsetting of long service or severance paymentClaim Form for Payment of Accrued Benefits (Form MPF(S)-W)
You may consider part-time employment after retirement. The Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Ordinance provides that for any employee aged 18 to aged below 65 and employed for a period of not less than 60 days irrespective of whether he is employed as a full-time or part-time employee, his employer must enrol him in an MPF Scheme. Also, do note that employees, be they designated as full-time or part-time employees, and irrespective of their working hours, are entitled to the benefits under the Employment Ordinance.
Leading an active life is the best way to make a smooth transition to retirement. Volunteer work will help to keep you meaningfully occupied and you can contribute to society at the same time. The Agency for Volunteer Service offers many opportunities for those who want to help and assigns volunteers based on their skills and expertise.More on the Agency for Volunteer Service
The Volunteer Movement also has many openings and you can enrol online.More on the Volunteer MovementOnline application form for volunteer service
Leisure, Cultural and Educational Activities
Hong Kong offers a wide variety of leisure and cultural activities through which you can further enrich your retirement life. Many of them are aimed at senior citizens. With better use of spare time to participate in health-enhancing leisure activities such as sport, cultural events or educational activities, you can have a rewarding retirement life with new defined meanings.More on leisure and cultural activities for the elderly
Maintaining a healthy body and a healthy mind into the retirement years is also important. Some people become depressed when they are no longer part of the hustle and bustle of the working world. There are also physiological changes associated with aging that bring new worries, anxieties and the feeling of helplessness. The best way to combat these problems is to keep yourself informed, to develop a positive attitude and acquire positive coping skills.
The following are a few tips for you:
- Start your planning early
Retirement is a process which requires advanced planning and gradual psychological adjustment. Reviewing your needs and goals in terms of living standard, health care, finance, family life and other pursuits in life help you adjust to your retirement life. You may learn about preparation for retirement from books and share your expectations and worries with your spouse, family and friends.
- Focus on the gains from retirement
While retirement may mean that you will no longer have a stable income and a career identity, there is a positive side to it. You will gradually assume a new identity as a member of social organisations and enjoy the leisure time by yourself or with your family.
- Strengthen marital life
Cherish the opportunity to be together with your spouse more often. Communicate positively to enhance the quality of your relationship. Show understanding and respect to the changing needs of each other before and after retirement.
- Engage in social activities
Strengthen existing friendships. Make new friends and extend your social network by joining interest groups, clubs or centres for the elderly. Take initiatives to develop and maintain quality relationships. Never isolate yourself.
- Develop a healthy lifestyle
Good health is the basis of one’s endeavours in life. Always include regular exercise, adequate rest and balanced diet in your daily living. To maximise health benefits, quit smoking and avoid heavy drinking. The earlier you adopt a healthy lifestyle, the better.
To sum up, remember the following to ensure a healthy outlook for retirement:
- Prepare yourself for retirement beforehand
- Participate in community activities
- Continue to contribute to your home and to society
- Engage the support of your family