Photo: A great travel memory for Alan, 14th hole at Wolf Creek Golf Course, Nevada, USA.
With Victoria once again in lockdown, it's a timely reminder that retreating to our homes to battle COVID-19 has been a community-wide effort, but keeping our sense of purpose and connection has brought new challenges for us all.
Clients often tell us that the joy of retirement is the extra time you have to help others in the community, catch-up with friends and family, travel or play golf. With most of these activities off the table during Coronavirus restrictions, they’ve had to adapt to new technology and virtual experiences.
For many retirees, relying heavily on technology to socialise has been a new experience, and for some it will provide more options to continue active participation in the things they love for years to come.
FMD clients, Alan & Patricia Stevens are a case in point. They take their 10-year practice of Pilates seriously and find it a great way to stay fit and healthy. When their local Pilates studio closed during stage three restrictions, they were worried they would no longer be able to participate in their beloved pastime. Luckily their coach quickly pivoted to online classes and the Stevens’ have been able to keep up their twice-weekly ritual throughout the pandemic.
“It’s a bit different," says Alan. “The living room is our new studio; we push back the furniture and there are foam rollers and hoops everywhere. We’ve had to adapt, but we’re just pleased we can still do Pilates because it’s so important to keep moving.”
It’s not just fitness that they have been able to keep up during the restrictions. According to Alan, online video tools like Zoom have been a game-changer.
“I’m an active member of the Beaumaris Probus Club and we’ve been able to keep that going too. The management committee moved all our meetings to Zoom and we stepped up our efforts to keep in touch with each of our 120 members, so everyone has personal contact and support during this difficult time.” says Alan. “We’ve had virtual wine tastings for the wine club and I recently did a presentation about our Mekong River cruise for the travel club. We may not be able to go anywhere right now, but it helps to start thinking about where you’d like to go when travel restrictions are eventually lifted. Most people hadn’t used virtual meeting tools before, but despite a few teething problems, they have been overwhelmingly positive about it,” says Alan.
A keen photographer, Alan says his local photography club also embraced online communication. “It’s a great culture and I feel lucky to be a part of it. There are these award-winning professional photographers who are willing to teach members of the club new skills and share their knowledge.” Alan used his extra time at home to put together a photo-book of recent golf trips as a gift for three of the guys he regularly plays with. “I thought it was something happy to reflect on during all this doom and gloom.”
Alan admits he and Patricia are missing dinners with friends and their weekly trip to Vic Market more than anything. They’ve been replaced by trying out new recipes from the paper and dining at home – Alan cites a really good Malaysian Fish Curry and Middle Eastern Meatballs as recent highlights.
After a golf trip to New Zealand was cancelled when travel restrictions came into effect, Alan is grateful to finally be allowed back on the local golf course, for what he and his mates have dubbed “a round of carpark golf” where you play a round and head back to the carpark to go home. A soft drink and party pie with the guys in clubhouse afterwards will have to wait a while yet.
General advice disclaimer: This article has been prepared by FMD Financial and is intended to be a general overview of the subject matter. The information in this article is not intended to be comprehensive and should not be relied upon as such. In preparing this article we have not taken into account the individual objectives or circumstances of any person. Legal, financial and other professional advice should be sought prior to applying the information contained on this article to particular circumstances. FMD Financial, its officers and employees will not be liable for any loss or damage sustained by any person acting in reliance on the information contained on this article. FMD Group Pty Ltd ABN 99 103 115 591 trading as FMD Financial is a Corporate Authorised Representative of FMD Advisory Services Pty Ltd AFSL 232977. The FMD advisers are Authorised Representatives of FMD Advisory Services Pty Ltd AFSL 232977.