My best friend was recently forced into an early retirement. While she was within a year of wanting to retire anyway, it came as a bit of shock when her job position was eliminated and she was faced with trying to occupy the hours in the day.
Fortunately, she and her husband had planned for their retirement financially, so she did not need to find another job to supplement their income. However, not much thought had previously been given to what she would do to keep herself occupied during retirement. With retirement thrust upon her so unexpectedly, she felt unprepared, lost, useless and a little depressed.
Each individual faces a unique set of circumstances that dictates how and when they will retire. Some people plan for an early retirement, while others feel they will never be able to retire due to financial constraints or health issues.
If you are one of the lucky few who are reasonably well set financially, have good health and little-to-no guardian responsibilities, then you need to embrace retirement as a new phase of life with unlimited possibilities. Develop the attitude that you are indeed lucky!
So much of our lives is spent doing the things we have to do – going to school, learning a trade or skill, earning a living, raising children and caring for the elderly or infirm. We should be shouting from the roof tops when and if we reach retirement with a little money in the bank, healthy and free to choose the rest of our life.
Numerous lists can be found on the Internet for things to do when you are retired. I’ve listed a few of the most popular choices below for your consideration if you are about to retire, new to retirement, depressed that you have nothing to do or are bored with what you are doing.
Go on day trips, cruises, foreign travel or visit each of the contiguous states.
Master a foreign language, grasp computer skills, learn new hobbies or additional ideas for current hobbies.
Too numerous to mention all, but some choices are: drawing, painting, ceramics, sculpture, playing the piano or other musical instrument, singing, knitting, crocheting, needlepoint, quilting, scrapbooking, photography, gardening, cooking, woodworking, genealogy, crafting.
Clean / Declutter
Instead of spring cleaning, do a ‘retirement’ cleaning and organize, simplify and declutter your house.
There are diverse groups of organizations that need volunteers to help with their cause and program activities. You could select a cause that is important to you or go to one of many sites on the internet that will match your skills to organizations needing volunteers.
Finally, there is time to write that book you always wanted to do, or to set up and manage a blog, write articles to be published in magazines or elsewhere, poems or your memoirs.
Join meet-up groups that are geared to certain interests or populations. Clubs centered around books, chess, astronomy, or gem and mineral exploration are great opportunities, and so are dating sites.
Spend more time with family, grandchildren or great-grandchildren. For the older grandchildren, you could attend school and sporting activities, take them to special events, zoos, museums, sports games.
You can offer to babysit the younger grandchildren. Help with their education by reading to them, drilling them on upcoming quizzes, help with special projects and tutor where needed.
Participate in whatever sport that interests you, such as fishing, hiking, running, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, surfing or scuba diving.
Join a sports league to play regularly such sports as bowling, tennis, pickle ball, softball or soccer.
Help schools by tutoring children in reading or math. Teach English to foreign speaking individuals. Help an adult learn to read or if you have special skills developed during your career, mentor young people starting out in the same field.
Meditate, learn yoga, and get involved in your church activities.
Help ward off the diseases that come with old age and sitting by walking, exercising or going to a gym. Many insurance companies offer free gym membership under the Silver Sneakers program.
If you’re not sure whether your insurance company offers Silver Sneakers, you can either call the supplemental insurance company or go to silversneakers.com to find out if you qualify for a free gym membership.
For some occasional quiet time, sit down with a good book. You can read for enjoyment or to learn something new.
Even if you don’t need the money, sometimes having a little extra spending cash in your pocket lets you buy something you normally wouldn’t. Check some of the internet job sites for companies looking for someone to work a few hours a week.
Run for a political office in your community or become an activist for a cause you care about.
Go to plays or concerts, watch movies, attend the theatre or special events hosted by your or nearby cities.
Challenge yourself by playing games against others on the internet. This blog site, Sixty and Me, has numerous games to choose from to play for enjoyment or to keep the mind fresh.
Create a Bucket List
Write down a list of things you’ve always wanted to do, but never could because of time, money, courage or whatever. Set a goal to do, and cross off one thing on the list once a month.
Start a Business
I saved this one for last because starting a business is what I did when faced with the question of “What do I do now that I’m retired?” It was not something I thought about prior to retirement, but I had an idea of a product that I thought would help people and I now had the time to develop it.
Think about what you might be able to offer to the public – a service or a product and research whether it’s something that would sell. Starting a business on the internet is easier than ever and has very little start-up cost associated with it.
Prepare to Say Goodbye
For my business venture, I created a flash drive to store your personal and financial information for your loved ones in the event of your death or incapacitation. You can find more information on the product at MyAffairsInOrder.net.