We all feel differently about retirement. Common emotions can range from excitement and relief to uncertainty and fear, but one thing is certain: no matter how ready we think we are, we’re probably not completely prepared for what’s in store.
As with any great life change, easing into retirement comes with growing pains. Making the switch from a full structured schedule to endless free time can go from exciting to daunting in a matter of weeks, or even days. You’ve worked hard your whole life, and now you get to reap the benefits, but it can be difficult to adjust and easy to slip into a pattern of complacency.
An active retirement can mean different things to different people. Images of wind surfing and hiking Mount Kilimanjaro may be enticing to some, while others might prefer walking those 18 holes, reading, or playing tennis. Whatever active means to you, it’s important to keep living!
Here are 10 tips to help you think about what remaining active means to you.
Join a club.
Pick your poison because there’s a club for everyone. Love to read? Join a neighborhood book club. Fancy a little outdoor time? Maybe there’s a hiking group in the area you could get involved in. And if you can’t find a club that sounds interesting, start your own!
We often hear friends and family complain that they wish they could volunteer more often but just can’t find the time. Fill your days volunteering for an organization that is meaningful to you. Spend a night per week at a local shelter preparing food. Volunteer to help run a community garden. Tutor local school children. Giving back is rewarding for everyone involved.
Enroll in college courses.
Was there a course in college that you always dreamed of taking but just never had time in your schedule for? Now is the time. Did you know that all U.S. states offer free or reduced tuition to older would-be students who wish to audit a course? Be it pottery or Japanese, continue your education on the cheap!
Develop an exercise regimen.
Whether or not working out is your thing, it’s crucial to incorporate physical activity into your day-to-day. Take a walk around the nearby park. Join a water aerobics class. Try Zumba from the comfort of your living room. Your health is your greatest wealth!
Experiment with cooking.
It can be easy to fall into a rut in the kitchen when you work full time. Long hours can lead to frequent takeout, microwave dinners, or even skipping meals altogether. With extra time to utilize, why not take a cooking class, or even just attempt a tasty looking recipe at home?
Keep your mind sharp by writing something everyday. Become penpals with a friend who lives far away. Keep a gratitude journal and write for 5 minutes each morning. Jot down short stories. It doesn’t matter what you write, just that you do it!
Take time to meditate.
Benefits of meditating include less stress, increased patience, and a reduction in negative emotions, among others. Consistency is key with meditation. Even if you just spend 15 minutes a day relaxing your mind, the effects can be life-altering.
Take the time each day to get outdoors, even if it’s just a walk to the grocery store. Spending time outside in the fresh air is both grounding and revitalizing.
Set a goal for yourself, depending on your speed and interest level. Whether it’s a book a week or a book a month, reading improves your vocabulary and comprehension, helps you stay alert, and has been shown to reduce stress and help with sleep.
Find a job.
No, not a full time job, but if you’re the antsy type, putting your skills to use could provide opportunities for mentorship to others, as well as personal growth for you. Sometimes the sense of purpose that comes from employment just can’t be replaced.
At Triada Advisors, we know that financial planning gets you to and through retirement from a financial perspective, but life is more than money and we’re here to help you live your best life. Follow us on Facebook and share with us how you’re creating the active retirement of your dreams.