Retirement really is an incredible time in your life, a chance to finally kick back and think about yourself. No more having to answer to your boss or deal with annoying work colleagues, no more commute or burning the candle at both ends to get things done. It’s a chance to relax, reap the rewards of your hard work and in a way, be totally selfish. You can indulge yourself with all of the activities you enjoy, you can spend your money however you want and treat every day like a mini holiday. Here are five ideas for how you can spend your time, and really make the most of this period in your life.
Find an enjoyable source of income
Retiring means giving up the work you were previously doing- no one wants to spend their later years being worked to the bone. However, just because you’re no longer doing a 9-5 doesn’t mean you can’t still earn money, you’ll just want to do it in an enjoyable way. There are lots of ways to earn from the comfort of your home these days, whether it be by blogging, setting up a Youtube channel, freelancing, starting a home business or getting signals help with trading advice and looking into trading, stocks and shares. These are all fun, flexible ways to boost your income without having to leave the house or answer to a boss. Finding ways to monetize hobbies, whether it be selling cakes you’ve baked, offering music tuition classes online or writing articles, there are loads of options so find something that suits you and go with it. It can help to keep you productive and give you something to do, while earning cash which you could save or spend however you like. Unless you’ve been very lucky or saved particularly hard throughout your life, you might feel the pinch when it comes to retirement and you’re no longer earning, particularly if you’re on a state pension. So finding ways of generating a little cash, even if it’s just a bit of pocket money can be beneficial especially if you have fun in the process.
Look after your health
It’s never too late to look after your health, in fact, in your retirement years it’s more important than ever. Unfortunately, the nature of the human body means it’s prone to ‘wearing out’ and you’ll naturally experience more health issues in your later years than when you’re young. It could be sight and hearing problems, joints wearing out, dental problems, even various forms of cancer which become more prevalent later in life. Look after yourself by eating a healthy diet and exercising, avoid drinking too much or smoking, find ways to relax and keep up to date with all of your health appointments. This includes annual GP visits, cancer screenings, opticians, dentists and hearing appointments. Don’t bury your head in the sand when it comes to your health, if you notice any problems have them looked at as soon as you can. This can allow you to get the right treatment and could prolong your life giving you years more to enjoy. Living a healthy lifestyle should feel far from restrictions or even ‘punishment’. It should be enjoyable- eating delicious home cooked foods, going for long walks in the sunshine with your dog, meditating, getting enough sleep. Of course, it doesn’t mean ‘giving up’ the things you enjoy- have that glass of wine at the weekend and enjoy the chocolate cake every now and again after dinner. It’s all about balance.
Write a bucket list
We all have a bucket list of things we want to do in the back of our minds somewhere. But until you sit and properly think about things and write everything down, it’s likely to just stay a pipe dream. Once you’ve retired and no longer have to worry about work, think about what you’d really like to do in the next few years. Do you want to learn a new skill, write a book, travel to specific places or make amends with old friends? Perhaps you’ve always wanted to learn an academic subject or gain a qualification, at this stage in your life it’s not about improving a resume for work purposes but just for your own knowledge and enjoyment. Write everything down, and then work out ways that you can go about achieving each goal. In life, we’re all living on borrowed time and none of us know when it’s going to run out. But after retirement, we can all become more aware of the fact that we simply don’t have all the time in the world. So if you want to do something, seize the day and do it, make plans and arrangements and enjoy these years of freedom that you have.
Take up new hobbies
Hobbies are important for people of all ages, they help to keep you productive, build new skills, allow you to meet like minded people and give you something fun to do. When you work full time and have commitments such as looking after children, having hobbies is right at the bottom of the priority list. But after retiring with time on your hands, it’s an opportunity to really indulge in your hobbies. If you like being outdoors you could join a sports team with others your age, get into gardening or go walking, cycling or rambling. If you’re creative you could paint, craft, sew or bake. You could write, read all of the books on your list and generally indulge yourself with the things you enjoy and have fun. After all, you’ve spent years working hard to bring up your kids, you’ve slaved away in the workplace and spent a huge proportion of your life doing things that you probably didn’t want to do. So now it’s time to reap the rewards and genuinely have fun.
Socializing is something that all of us should aim to do more. Maintaining close bonds with others enables us to feel part of something more, to stay connected and enjoy the company of the people we care about. You could look into setting up regular meets with friends and family, from dinner parties to cocktail parties and barbeques when the weather is warm. You could arrange trips and invite your loved ones, or days out. Everyone is busy and has their own lives and so it’s not always possible to see people as much as we’d like, but arranging something with plenty of notice allows people to get themselves sorted and it’s always worthwhile. If you’d like to socialize more with people your own age, hobbies are a great way to connect and you could always look into groups on social media. If you’re single, you could even look into dating apps which are tailored for retirement age people- finding love and companionship is always going to be rewarding! If you’re not already, getting familiar with social media is one of the best things you can do as it allows you to stay connected and in the loop with others, and keep in contact with them in a very flexible way. Not everyone is going to want to or have the time to take long phone or video calls, but you can send a quick message or catch up on recent photos and updates on social media at any time. Of course, it doesn’t replace proper meetups but can be a good way to stay in touch in between the times you’re seeing people.
How do you fill your days and enjoy yourself during retirement? If you’re planning on retiring soon, what are you most looking forward to?