How to enjoy retirement on your own terms.
Many people think of retirement as an ending. And while it is true that for many of us retirement marks the end of our working life, we like to think of it as an exciting new beginning.
Think about it. For the first time, you’ll be completely in charge of your time. No parents, teachers, bosses or even kids will control what you do and when you do it. For some, this is a refreshing and well-earned change. For others, however, it can be a scary transition.
Making the most of retirement comes down to one thing: You’re in charge of your time. So think about what you’re passionate about, because maybe for the first time in your life, you will have the time to truly enjoy life on your own terms.
Here are a few questions many people ask when contemplating life after retirement:
What if I’m not ready to stop working?
A lot of people hear the term “retirement life” and automatically picture a life of leisure. But for others, making the most of retirement includes continuing to work in some capacity. Here are a couple of ways to enjoy retirement without completely giving up on work.
- Start a second career. Whether you’re interested in starting a whole new career, consulting or even joining a board or two, working a few hours during the week can help keep you active and remain social during your retirement. No matter what you decide to do, remember that just being around others and being needed can both add to our personal happiness.
- Become a volunteer. If you aren’t interested in a second career but are still wondering what to do when you retire, perhaps a volunteer position is for you. Not only will you enjoy the same level of activity and socializing that you’d find with a part-time job, but volunteering comes with the added benefit of knowing that you’re helping others, which often leads to an increase in both physical and emotional well-being.
What if I’m not ready to slow down?
People who can’t imagine how to enjoy retirement often suffer from the misconception that retirement means slowing down. For many of us, this is true. But as stated earlier, the key to a happy and successful retirement is knowing that you’re in charge. If you don’t want to slow down, you don’t have to.
- Enjoy a more active social life. Most of us have at least a couple of people in our lives we count as close friends. Retirement is the perfect time to reconnect with these friends and to make new ones. And this is the one time in your life when you should never be bored. There is no shortage of retirement activities. Get out there and have fun.
- Focus on your health. There are a ton of healthy things to do during retirement, too. In fact, just walking on a regular basis has been shown to increase happiness as well as physical health. Join a walking club or take regular classes (another great excuse to spend time with friends). And while you’re at it, now is a great time to be more cognizant of your diet.
- Be open to adventure. Retirement is an adventure! It’s the ultimate unknown. Take this time to break out of your shell, interrupt your routine and really experience life. Think of this time in your life as an opportunity to retire your comfort zone.
What if I don’t want to settle?
- Enjoy each day as a gift. Most of us are too busy living that we don’t have time for a life. As children, we counted the days until we were out of school and on our own. As adults, we marked our lives by the major events — relationships, kids, promotions. When we retire, we no longer have a “next thing” to worry about. We can finally pause and just enjoy each moment.
- Reinvent yourself. Similarly, retirement allows us to step back from the identities and labels society has given us. As you start a new life and explore new adventures, perhaps it’s time to express yourself in new ways and to enjoy this new you.
Timber Ridge provides an elevated view of senior living.
Our maintenance-free senior independent living community is designed for making the most of retirement. You won’t find our unique combination of an all-inclusive lifestyle, superior hospitality and beautiful location anywhere else. If you’re looking for a different perspective on senior living, elevate your lifestyle and outlook at Timber Ridge. You’ve earned it.