Retirement offers unique opportunities and challenges. Without a typical 40-hour workweek, the structure of your life will change drastically and you’ll have more time to pursue the things you’ve always dreamed of doing.
See the list below for seven fun ideas for how to spend your newfound time.
1. See Family
Our families are often the number one reason we work. Our earnings support them and help launch them into their futures. But children and loved ones need quality time as well as financial support.
When you work full-time, you have to consider the balance between your work and home life carefully. Is your family getting enough of your time and attention? What does enough mean for you?
These questions remain vital in retirement, but you no longer have to face the problem of being too busy with work. Without the responsibility of work, you can give more of your time to the most important things. Spending quality time with grandchildren or loved ones is one of the very best ways to spend your retirement.
2. Start a Business
Yes, you read that right. Now that the pressure is off to make a living, you can pursue the thing that’s excited and interested you for years. Have a business idea you were afraid to try before? Weigh the cost, and go for it.
People love to create and collaborate, and they’ll find different ways to do that throughout their lives. Just because you’ve retired from one job doesn’t mean you have to swear off work itself. Retirement is a great time to start your own business.
3. Mentor Younger Friends
Look around at the people you know, and consider giving some of your time to them. American culture segregates by age almost from the time people are born, even giving different names to people born in different sets of years.
But age segregation is arbitrary. Humans are human, regardless of age or birth year, and the younger people you know are dealing with struggles you’ve already experienced. Befriend them – they’ll bring excitement and vitality into your life, and you can offer them wisdom for navigating the next phase of their lives.
4. Remember Your Dreams
Have you spent your working years dreaming of traveling on the ocean? Have you always wanted to own a vintage car? Take stock of the dreams you once thought were unrealistic, and see if they fit your new lifestyle. After retirement, you could:
- Purchase a beach house
- Restore a vintage car
- Buy a yacht
- Collect vintage glass
- Write a book
- Start a school
Some dreams are too farfetched. But many of your life-long dreams are achievable. Revisit them in retirement and keep adding new ones to the list.
Are there places you’ve always wanted to see? You can certainly travel while working, and many do. But traveling is easier after retirement, when you have more free time and financial stability.
Plan an excursion to Europe, take an RV thousands of miles across the country, or spend more time taking short trips and getting to know your area. Traveling can be costly, so make sure to think ahead and build travel expenses into your retirement goals.
If current travel restrictions make your dream trip impossible, plan one for the future. In the meantime, go somewhere special that’s nearer to home.
6. Read Books
Books are like magic carpets for our minds. They take us to new places, change our perspectives, and give us empathy for ourselves and others.
Hopefully, you’ve already incorporated a healthy amount of reading into your life – it’s incredibly good for you and your career. But if your work schedule doesn’t allow it, retirement is the perfect time to read more.
With more time on your hands, you can start frequenting a library, go to book sales and book stores, and even join a book club. Set goals and create a reading nook for yourself. Reading will open exciting new doors for you in every phase of life.
7. Learn a New Skill
For some reason, the term “retirement” often carries with it the feeling of an ending. Nothing could be further from the truth!
While retirement will change the rhythms in your life, it will also open up new possibilities. You may stop working the job you originally went to school for, but that doesn’t preclude going back to school or learning more. For instance, with more time, you could:
- Learn a second language
- Go back to school
- Pick up gardening
- Study herbalism
- Play a musical instrument
Is there something you’ve always wanted to learn? Retirement offers amazing opportunities for you to continue to invest in yourself by learning new things.
Time Is Money
Enjoying retirement later is all about investing your time well now. Put in the work, but don’t forget to live life in the meantime.
The relationships and skills you develop now are the ones that will follow you into your season of retirement. Use this list to think about where you’d like to be in a few years, and start taking small steps toward that vision now. You’ll thank yourself later!
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