I thought I would start the new financial year by looking at something a little different.
Today access to information is at an unprecedented level. Never before in the history of mankind have we been able to freely access as much information as we can today – all brought about by technology and the internet – love it or hate it.
However, with the ability for anyone to be able to publish anything they like, some care needs to be exercised to avoid ‘fake news’.
How can we ensure the information we access is reliable?
Firstly, when accessing information, it is critically important to verify the publisher of the information. Does it come from a reliable source, or is it produced by someone with unknown/questionable credentials? To verify information, it is useful to cross-check the veracity of the information from other unrelated sources.
The second thing to check is when the original information was published. There is little point in looking at information that is out of date. This is particularly important when looking at sites that include reviews of travel destinations, accommodation, local attractions and the like. So much can happen over the course of time.
Having said all that, I wanted to mention a couple of websites that you might find interesting, particularly when considering pre and post-retirement-related topics:
This is a relatively new initiative developed by the Australian Government aimed at retirees. It contains some useful information on topics like finance, jobs and skills, staying connected, health and aged care.
It has links to another of other services provided by the Government.
This Australian hosted website provides information about longevity – how long we will live – and includes a calculator to help users estimate their own life expectancy, and how we might be able to vary our outcome by changing health and lifestyle habits that otherwise influence longevity.
The New York Times bestselling author, Dan Buettner is best known for the research he originally conducted for National Geographic magazine into the secrets of the world’s longest living people. His ‘blue zones’ are those places where there are a disproportionate number of centenarians amongst the population.
His original work revolved around five areas in the world but subsequent research has resulted in the ‘discovery’ of additional blue zones.
The website contains a lot of useful information about how we can all live longer and healthier lives by making some changes to the way we live.
And, you can sign up for the Blue Zones newsletter.
The Retirement Standard produced by the Association of Superannuation Funds of Australia (ASFA) is regularly referred to in our blog.
Every three months ASFA researches the costs of a modest and a comfortable lifestyle in retirement. The current cost of a comfortable lifestyle for a home-owning couple without any debt, and aged between 65 and 85, is $1,159 per week ($60,264 per annum).
The budgets provide a very detailed breakdown of living costs, spread over a number of categories, thereby enabling users to modify and ‘tailor’ the budget to reflect their own particular circumstances.
- University of the Third Age (U3A)
With its origins in France in the early 1970’s, U3A has become a worldwide phenomenon with branches all over the world and is particularly active throughout Australia.
It provides an opportunity for people to meet and learn a new skill, or perhaps to teach something to others.
The value of learning is well known for its health benefits and, as they say, we are never too old to learn.
Just Google U3A to find a link to your local campus. Or you can hook up to do a course online through U3A Online if you wish.
Best of all – there are no exams!
- Avoid Retirement and Stay Alive, David Bogan and Keith Davies
This is not a website but a book (for those that like ‘old technology’).
Written by David Bogan and Keith Davies, this book shatters the myth about retirement. Its subtitle is ‘Why you should never retire and how not to’.
The book presents some very interesting arguments that support the premise that we should aim never to retire and cites many examples of cases where people have embraced the concept of ongoing work and the health and longevity benefits that can result.
For those contemplating retirement, and even those who have already retired, it is certainly worth a read. The book can be purchased online from retailers like Dymocks and a Kindle version is available from Amazon.
I hope you find this list or resources interesting. There is a lot of good ideas out there and this is simply a very short list of some of the material I access from time to time as part of my own reading and when researching retirement related topics.
Importantly, this blog is not intended as an endorsement or recommendation of any of the products or services offered by to promoters of those sites or the book.
Feel free to share your thoughts or your own preferred resources by adding a comment to the ‘comments box’.2