After working hard at the same job for years, you’ve saved up enough money and hit the age where you can finally retire. Congratulations! Retirement can be an exciting time full of new journeys, personal growth and, of course, some well-deserved R&R.
Although adequate savings and a responsible budget are essential for a happy post-work life, money isn’t everything. In fact, studies suggest many people have trouble adjusting to retirement, and some may even become depressed.
Now that you’re out of the office, though, there’s a variety of rewarding things you can do with all that extra time to help keep you active, social and happy:
Focus on Family
Did a busy work schedule ever make you miss a school play or karate class when your kids were younger? You can’t change the past, but retirement is the perfect opportunity to focus on spending more quality time with your children and other family members. If you have grandchildren, offer to babysit them; your children will appreciate the help, you’ll enjoy watching your grandkids grow up, and the little ones will keep you on your toes.
If you’ve dreamed of seeing the Eiffel Tower in Paris or the Colosseum in Rome, now might be the time. Of course, such trips can be expensive and physically demanding, so consult your financial adviser and doctor to ensure major travel is right for you. If health issues arise later in retirement, a local day trip could satisfy your wanderlust.
Try signing up for a yoga class or joining groups of retirees for jogging, biking or swimming. In addition to the clear mental and physical upsides to exercise, you also might be able to make new friends. To guarantee daily walks and companionship, consider getting a dog, as well.
Maybe you enjoyed gardening or painting but didn’t get to really hone your skills while working. Or, maybe you’ve always wanted to learn how to ballroom dance, write poetry or speak a new language. In retirement, go for it. Practicing a hobby or continually learning can help keep your mind sharp and make you feel accomplished. You can even take courses at a local community college, many of which allow senior citizens to audit classes for free or offer major discounts.
Get a Part-Time Job
Wait, isn’t the whole point of retiring to stop working? Well, maybe. But getting a less-intensive, part-time job does have several benefits for retirees. Regardless of whether you need the extra cash, a part-time job can help you stay active and social. It can also provide a sense of purpose and routine found in work, which some people miss after retiring.
Doing good for others makes you feel good. Like a part-time job, volunteering can provide you with a sense of purpose, but there’s also the bonus of giving back to your community. Search for volunteer opportunities at schools, nonprofits, houses of worship or animal shelters.
No matter what you choose to do with your time, the important thing is that you have a happy and fulfilling retirement. You’ve earned it.