Make sure your golden years are fulfilling chapters of your life. Here’s how.
Thinking about retirement can cause mixed feelings. Some people long for it. Others worry they’ll end up with too much time on their hands or have health problems. But, there are lots of ways to find fulfillment in retirement. Here are some of the best of them.
Have a plan
Most of us think that planning for retirement means financially. What about socially? What will your daily routine be like? Will you still wake up at 6:30, or will you sleep until 9:00? Will you sit in a chair and watch game shows, or will you meet some friends for a cup of coffee and a walk in the park? Will you continue your education, travel, volunteer, work part time? Believe it or not, the best time to start your planning is now.
Prepare a list
Make a list of things you’ve always wanted to do. If you’d like to finally write that novel, do you need to take a writing class first? If you’ve always dreamed of opening your own catering company, will you need some courses on how to run a business? Learn how to make your lifelong dream come true.
Remain socially active
If you don’t have a circle of friends now, it may not happen in retirement, either. Finding and cultivating relationships is a lifelong process that takes time and commitment. If you hope to have friendships, it’s important to start developing them sooner rather than later. That way, they’ll be there when you need them most.
Stay physically active
Whether you work out, dance, walk the dog, tend to the garden, or play golf, make sure you stay active. Being active now will help you remain active as you age. Getting yourself into the groove later will be much more difficult – and your health may suffer in the meantime.
Volunteering not only gives you a sense of purpose, but also brings you into contact with others who share your interests. Find some spare time now to volunteer. Once you retire, you’ll be able to dedicate even more time to that cause, and you’ll have the comfort of being in a familiar environment.
Get a pet
Walking, grooming, and playing with pets keep seniors active. Pet ownership may even have potential health benefits, such as lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
If you’re nearing retirement age, you may worry that future health problems may prevent you from caring for a pet. Although buying a new puppy might not be the best choice, consider adopting an older pet. Another option is fostering homeless animals. This allows you to care for a dog or cat until a home is found for it.
Continuing to work
Finally, reaching retirement age doesn’t mean you need to stop working. For financial or social reasons, you may not want to stop working. If that’s the case, you might consider finding less demanding work or switching to a part-time position. Of course, take a close look at your finances before making any major decisions. It may be best to consult with an estate planner to develop a long-term financial strategy. This will help ensure you have funds on hand when you need them.