Over the last several years at work, chances are good you’ve done a host of retirement planning. You’ve probably made a budget, figured out which accounts to draw from and when, maybe even downsized your home so as to save on utilities – but have you looked up some tips for a happy retirement? You want to enjoy those years when your time is free to fill up as you choose, right? After you’ve done all the planning and your last day at the office, you’ve got to sit back and have some fun. Here are a few ideas to help you get started as you make the transition.
Create a workout regimen
It’s no secret that the best way to get the most out of your golden years is to keep yourself fit and healthy. This goes far beyond just keeping your ticker tuned up and beating strong, more research emerges all the time pointing to exercise as a means to stave off the effects of conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease. Many health clubs and community centers offer classes geared specifically to retirees that test your balance and help build muscle, so do some asking around for the best ones.
Dig into a hobby
It’s a subtle truth, but sometimes it’s tough to fill all the hours your job used to take up. You probably used to squeeze in some time on the weekends for woodworking or gardening, maybe playing a game of bridge or bowling occasionally with friends. Well, now you have the opportunity to do them all you want, so consider becoming a bit more serious about having fun with your interests. Have you had a project in mind for a while to beautify your home or yard? Why not learn how to do it yourself (and consult with some experts) so you can have the satisfaction of putting your knowledge and love to good use?
Get involved with a cause
There are probably dozens of organizations in your area that are begging for volunteers with your experience at this very moment – and not just because you’re a willing body they can put into a soup line. A growing number of not-for-profit groups are turning to retirees for help with everything from marketing to fundraising to program design, hoping to capitalize on their expertise without having to shell out the big bucks for a public relations firm. Find a cause that fixes a need you see in your community or elsewhere in the world, then see how you might be able to contribute.
Make new friends
Perhaps more than anything other than exercise, your ability to form and maintain fresh relationships is a key to your longevity. Intentionally seek out ways to engage with people from different backgrounds in conversation over lunch or a cup of coffee. It doesn’t have to lead to a life-long friendship worthy of the movies, but it will expose you to a variety of ideas, something that is key to brain function going forward. And, as you connect with people from all over, you might find other activities to fill your time with – salsa dancing or Australian rules football, anyone?