Retirement is something that you look forward to throughout your entire working life. On those days when you really don’t want to go into work, and you’re picturing yourself on a lovely white sandy beach, you may have been telling yourself, ‘when I retire, I can do whatever I want to do.’ However, when retirement actually comes around, you may feel at a bit of a loss.
You have so much time (and with it, so much freedom) and you don’t really remember ever having this much flexibility to do whatever it is that you want to do. Instead of viewing this as a scary prospect – and perhaps worrying about loneliness – however, there are many ways to make the most of your retirement, and we’ve noted them down here for those who want to enjoy all that retired life has to offer.
Take up an interesting hobby
Retirement is the perfect time to take up a new hobby, not least because you have a lot of time now, and you may not really know what to do with it all. Whatever it is that you always wanted to do when you were too busy, or too tired from working, you should look into doing now that you’ve said goodbye to full-time employment.
Whilst you may be worried about taking on new things when you’re a bit older, there will be a lot of retired people just like you, who are looking to do something fun and meet new people in the process. From swing dancing to knitting clubs, whatever you want to do there will be a lot of other individuals out there who just love it, too, so see what hobbies you could take up!
Travel to some exciting countries
When you’re working, and potentially raising a family, there are a lot of things that you say that you will do, but more often than not, your existing commitments are too difficult to manage alongside funding (and actually going on) that trip that you’ve always dreamed of. When you have to book the time off work, it can be a difficult process.
However, now that you’re retired, the world is your oyster! Perhaps you’ve always wanted to visit the floating markets in Vietnam, or the Taj Mahal, or maybe you’ve just always thought about booking a lovely villa somewhere in Europe so that you can relax in a beach bar and watch the world go by. Now that you have the time, get out there and do it!
Learn some useful skills
When you were just putting your foot on the career ladder as a young 20-something year old, you were always learning new and helpful skills to advance yourself in life, and in your job role. However, learning new skills is useful in later life, too, and it is never too late to try and educate yourself on something new.
From first aid techniques like those recommended by Silver Ridge, to cooking classes that can teach you how to get to grips with a different cuisine that you’ve never tried to master before, there are many ways to top up your skills, whilst also enjoying learning and finding that you’ve acquired some interesting experience. Look out for classes, so that you can expand your knowledge!
Redesign the space in your home
The home is the heart of everything family-orientated, and when your loved ones come over to visit you (or perhaps when your friends come) you want to ensure that it is as comfortable as possible, and expresses the unique nature of your personality. When you’re working, it can be hard to find the time to spend on your home, but in retirement, this is a lot easier.
Whatever you’ve always wanted to do in your home, from painting your bedroom to sewing some of your own artistic cushion covers, there is no time like retirement to put some new touches on a space, so redesign them and create an environment where you and your guests can feel at ease, in the home that you’ve always dreamed of.
Try out some fine dining experiences
As a general rule, everybody should experience fine dining at least once in their lives. When you’re working, you may not have the time to travel around visiting different restaurants (and to pick out a dress for the occasion) but as a retiree, you have a little bit more freedom to practice your etiquette and make sure that you look the part.
There are plenty of different types of cuisines out there to try, and there is something about the environment in one of these high-end restaurants that you just have to experience. If you’re already a fan of upmarket dining, it is a perfect time to go to that restaurant you’ve never made it to before, so book a table!
Take up a new form of exercise
The mistake that a lot of people who have retired make is not taking up enough exercise. Sure, you should be relaxing now (as you’ve totally earned it) but try to always make time in your day to keep active, even if you’re going for a walk around your local area. You don’t have to take on something extreme for it to be worthwhile!
Keeping healthy and exercising can help you to avoid health issues, and this isn’t just limited to physical wellness, either. Walking can help you to meet new people, it improves your mental health, and it strengthens your sense of independence, so don’t underestimate the power that a simple walk can have.
Spend time with those that you love
Something that few of us realize until we’re older is that we didn’t really have much time to spend with our families and friends, and everybody was so caught up in their commitments that you all tended to drift apart a little. This is natural, but retirement is a great time to reform those relationships and spend time with your loved ones.
Not only can you offer to help out with your grandkids (which will certainly keep you young) but you can also ensure that you call your friends more often, and check-in with how they are doing. If you’re all of retirement age, this can help you to avoid loneliness and isolation and will make you feel a lot happier in yourselves.
Is there a charity that is particularly close to your heart, or perhaps one that has helped you and your family directly? Now is a great time to give back to those who have helped you, and your community, by volunteering somewhere, even if you only commit to it for a few hours a week, and there are many options out there.
Not only can you help out charities and other organizations, but you can also volunteer at the school that your grandkids go to, for example, or as somebody who visits older people who are suffering from loneliness. Whatever it is that you’re passionate about, there will be some way to help, so look into what you can do to give back to your community.
Take up gardening
Gardening is one of those things that always feels rewarding, especially when you successfully look after a plant, and you aren’t one of those people who always brings on its demise by complete accident. Gardening is good for your physical and mental health, and it can really help you to appreciate the joys of nature, which is just good for the soul.
On top of this, you could grow fruit and vegetables, so that you can actually get something back for all of your hard work. Why not try to grow some food, and use the results in a recipe when you cook a meal for your friends or family members? People will love coming to your dinner party, knowing that a lot of love and time went into your ingredients.
OK, we’re pretty biased, but blogging is a great way to spend some of your free time when you’re retired. You can set up a blog for free, and there is no limit to the topics that you can write about. It is a great way to vent all of your feelings online and find people who care about the same things that you do.
The best way to do this is to think about some general subjects that you’re going to write about and come up with a catchy name to garner some interest in your page. Then, all you have to do is put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and write some interesting posts, about the places you’ve visited, and the things that you’ve enjoyed doing!
If you want to make the most out of your retirement, there are many things that you can do, from taking up a new hobby, to redesigning your home, to volunteering in your local community. The opportunities really are endless, and retirement is the beginning of a new and exciting chapter in your life.
The main thing to remember is that this is your time, so you should do whatever it is that you really enjoy. You’ve worked hard to get to this point, so you deserve to have a great time during every second of it, in whichever way you want to! Have fun!