If you’re thinking about retiring soon, you’re not alone. Many Americans are busy getting ready for this new phase of life. But while some feel excited about all the new opportunities that await, others become anxious. Concerns range from not having enough money to not finding a sense of purpose to being downright bored. Some even wonder if there’s really fruitful life after retirement.
The good news is that no matter who you are, you do have options. In fact, today’s retirees have more options than any other generation in history. Being bored should be the least of your worries!
What Will I Do When I’m Retired?
Without the constraints of a full-time job, lots of retirees feel overwhelmed by all that free time stretching before them. It may feel great to relax and do nothing at first. But if the novelty of “doing nothing” wears off and the reality of no longer working the majority of your days sinks in, you may find yourself asking, “What’s next?” or “Is there life after retirement?”
Life After Retirement is Whatever You Want it to Be
Just like the rest of your life, staying happy or fulfilled in retirement is all about who you are and what you want to achieve. Do you want to try new things? Contrary to what a lot of folks think about aging and life after retirement, now’s the time to explore your world.
Lots of people feel a sense of renewal and a newfound passion for things they’d never even tried before when they were too busy working. For example, how about digital photography? You can find classes galore in most communities. It’s also a great time to discover all the wonderful benefits of yoga if you haven’t already. It can help with so many issues that older Americans struggle with: flexibility, socialization, relaxation, stress relief, and more.
How about continuing what you were already doing? You finally have the time to let a favorite hobby evolve into a full-time pastime. And as far as your career is concerned, you don’t have to give it up altogether just because you’re retiring. Many people continue using their skills and expertise but within a new context like mentoring or writing. This is also a great way to meet new people in your community and to stay socially engaged.
If you’re feeling adventuresome, it’s a great time to explore. Travel, classes, clubs, volunteering, and a whole world of opportunity are all out there. You just have to find what suits your lifestyle and your vision of how you want your retirement to be.
Tips on Getting the Most Out of Retirement
Is there life after retirement? The answer is clearly yes – and you can make it whatever life you want it to be – but a successful retirement boils down to whether you are fulfilling your personal goals and dreams. You may therefore want to ask yourself some questions to help lay out a good strategy. There’s opportunity, for sure. You just need to figure out how to seize it!
To help you get the most out of your retirement, here’s a list of tips. They’re designed to help you start forming a plan for how you’ll spend the next few decades.
Tip #1: Set Aside Some Time for Self-Reflection
Despite what a lot of financial planners may tell you, retirement is about much more than crunching numbers. People seek fulfillment, happiness, and purpose along with the financial means to pursue their goals. The more questions you can pose to yourself now, the more prepared you’ll be to make some good decisions when the time comes.
For example, have you asked yourself how you’d change your life if you had to live it all over again? Your answer could be the key to setting some priorities during retirement. Here are a few more to try:
- Looking back on your life so far, when were you the happiest? Why?
- Who are the people who mean the most to you?
- How important is socializing to you? Are you afraid of becoming isolated?
- What are your plans for when you can no longer drive or need help with daily living?
Tip #2: Set Your Goals but be Flexible
Nobody can predict how their retirement will go. You may well ask, “is there life after retirement?” but the best you can do is make plans and hope for the best. One key to staying happy is to be flexible with your goals. Maybe you want to see more of your grandchildren, but be open to how families have changed these days. You might imagine Sunday dinners together, but a more realistic option might be getting together at a local restaurant or making a play date.
Tip #3: Decide Where You Want to Be
Relocating is a big topic of discussion for people who are about to retire. Many consider downsizing to a more manageable home or to a retirement community or independent living facility for a carefree lifestyle. It’s also a chance to move to another state where taxes might be more favorable to retirees. Or you could move closer to family members who presently live too far for easy visiting.
With that in mind, here are a few more questions to ask yourself:
- Is it important to live close to the ones you love?
- Do you want to move to be closer to family/friends?
- Is there a place you’ve always wanted to live but couldn’t because of work or other obligations?
Tip #4: Learn How to Live Large, No Matter How Much Money You Have
As with every phase of life, your lifestyle during retirement is largely determined by financial considerations. You may have planned on traveling extensively, but may not have the savings to support a five-star luxury experience. That doesn’t mean you can’t still make your dreams happen.
The simple solution is to not stay at expensive hotels. But there are other great opportunities as well. For example, have you heard of Airb&b? Or, instead of staying in hotels at all, have you looked into a house swap? This is just one of many ways retirees are getting creative and financing travel.
A Final Word: Enjoy Your Freedom!
Life after retirement is what you want it to be, and no two ways about it are alike. While everyone has their own formula for happiness, there’s a common thread that runs through every person’s experience. It’s the freedom to do what you want to do. Spend half the year traveling, or more time with your grandkids, or finally learning how to build your own furniture, or becoming a painter, or any other infinite number of possibilities.
You can do all of this and more as a resident of one of our retirement communities. From classes to social activities to fitness programs and family-inclusive events, it’s all there, waiting for you to explore. Come see what it’s all about — schedule a visit or call us for more info today.