Retirement is a beautiful time in your life. You’ve done the daily grind, you’ve lived a life, raised kids, and had some adventures. It’s time to settle down for your golden years, reflect on your choices, and have some carefree fun. If you’re having trouble figuring out what to do with your free time, here’s a short list of ideas to get you started!
1. Get a part time job
Idle hands are the devil’s playthings as the old saying goes. Sediment lifestyles are poisonous to the mind and the body and if you’re having trouble finding a reason to get off your chair and move around then maybe a part-time job can help. Something that’s low pressure where you can interact with other people, make a couple of bucks, and get out of your house for a bit. It can also contribute to your income along with your 401k and pension if you have those things and a little extra money is never a bad thing.
2. Spend some time and money on your hobbies
When you’re young, life is just so busy. We have to work, we have a social life to maintain, and sometimes we just want to take some time to ourselves. Once you’re retired, the fast living has come to an end and you have a lot more free time. Why not restore that classic car you’ve always wanted? You could write that novel you’ve always wanted to write. If you’re an aficionado of BBQ, you can get a smoker and work on that perfect rib rub. The world is your oyster and the things you enjoy have been neglected long enough.
3. Exercise more often
It’s important to exercise all of your life. However, it’s especially important once you’re older. Even though you don’t have to work anymore, you still have a myriad of diseases headed your way that are associated with being old. Heart disease is more prevalent than ever. Obesity and diabetes are pretty big deals too. Getting some exercise can extend your life, make you feel better, and help stave off the woes of growing older. Your metabolism isn’t getting any faster so you should probably do something about it so you can enjoy your golden years even more.
4. Do that long overdo work on your house
Does your roof leak? Does your insulation need replaced? Do you not want to pay anyone to do it? Well I happen to know a certain someone with a lot of free time and not much to do. That person is you. Now that you’re retired, you can turn your house into the castle you’ve always wanted it to be. Replace the counter tops, put that full service bar in your basement, and make that sun room a beautiful place for your grand kids to play. Plant a garden, work on your lawn, and get rid of that dying tree in your yard. You don’t need that tree in your life anyway. You have time to perfect your house so why not do that?
5. Or you could always move
If your current house isn’t worth all the trouble, then why not move to the place you want to be? Some people like living in the city with stores and entertainment a mere few blocks away. Others prefer the country with huge yards, clear skies, and a quiet neighborhood. Whatever your tastes are, you should make good on them. These are your golden years and you should spend it where you want. Then once you move, head one space up on this list and you suddenly have something else to do!
6. Start a business
You’ve spent the last 20 to 40 years being a part of a business. We’re sure you’ve picked up some insider info on how it all works. You could always take that experience and start your own business. It’ll give you something to do and think about and you could even be providing jobs for other people someday. If you’re looking for some good ideas, check out number two on this list. You have hobbies and interests that could easily be turned into a business idea. Then you’ll get paid for doing something you love. That’s not a bad way to spend your later years.
7. Get back in touch with your family and friends
Being a highly motivated worker with a spouse and kids is a lot of work. You very likely have loved ones that you haven’t spent much time with over the years. Retirement is a great time to give them a call and go get some coffee to catch up. There may be people that you didn’t have time for as a worker but could be very positive parts of your life now that you don’t work anymore. You have second cousins and distant family that you may have never met. Isn’t it time to change that?
There are very few things that give you the warm, fuzzy feeling of helping your fellow human beings. No matter where you live, we’re sure there are people nearby who need help. You can volunteer at the local soup kitchen or homeless shelter. You can volunteer to clean up parks and local landmarks. Churches and schools in your area always have something they could use a couple of extra hands on. If you’re super adventurous, you could even go help out overseas somewhere. The world still needs you. You just need to find out where it needs you!
9. Teach others your wisdom
You’ve lived quite the life. You’ve seen things and done things. You worked hard and managed to make it all the way to retirement. Chances are there is a field or area of expertise that you could easily teach. Some schools and universities are looking for teachers. You can hold seminars at your local library or even teach a class at the local learning annex. There are several generations of younger people that could use a lesson or two from someone with your experience.
10. Get smarter
If teaching isn’t your thing, why not be taught? You’ve got a lot of time which means you could go back to school and get that degree you’ve always wanted. Or if you have a degree, you could always go for the next level in that degree or even start a second degree. It’s probably been two or three decades since you’ve been in school. Things have changed since then and becoming educated is never a bad idea.
Many parents in your neighborhood would love a night out — and if you still like having kids around and enjoy spending time with them, babysitting might be for you. If you need to make some extra money, this could be the perfect way to enjoy a child’s company and have a job at the same time.
This is something a lot of retired people do anyway but it’s still a great idea. There are a lot of ways to travel. You can buy a motor home and go on a road trip, buy some plane tickets to an exotic place you want to go, or even go camping. You deserve a vacation and now you have the time, money, and motivation to do so. Do you know what goes well with oysters? Pina Coladas and beaches, that’s what.
13. Make sure you’re really okay
It’s about time you took a visit to your doctor and got a little more than your monthly check up. You should have your heart looked at, your body scanned, and some more in depth tests done. You’ve just worked for 20 or 30 years at a stressful job. Your diet probably hasn’t been all that great and you may have been a smoker for a while. These things take an unimaginable toll on the human body. Go see your doctor and make sure you’re going to actually enjoy your retirement. Visit your dentist and take care of those chompers. Make sure you don’t need glasses. You don’t need to call off of work and get a doctor’s note anymore so take advantage of the opportunity!
14. Give up the grudge
You’ve likely made some friends over the years and it’s equally likely that you’ve made some enemies. You may have some loved ones that you haven’t spoken to in years because of a disagreement. Now that you have some free time, isn’t it time to figure out what those disagreements are and figure out how to fix them? These have the potential to be the calmest, happiest times of your life. Why let old grudges wreck that?
15. Be more social
Just because you don’t work doesn’t mean you can’t go places and do things every day. You could join a club like a book club or fishing club, throw some dinner parties, and other social activities. Go out there and meet people. It’s the perfect time to do so. A lot of retirees can end up old and alone because their social lives were their jobs. You can easily avoid this by finding things to do with other people. If there aren’t groups in your area, start one!
If there is one thing people don’t do enough of anymore, it’s relax. It’s your first day of retirement. You just finished working 20 to 30 years. You’ve raised kids. You’ve been to concerts, parties, amusement parks, and planned family vacations. You’ve had friends and family pass away which means mourning and funerals. It’s been busy and stressful. Now the kids are out of the house and you don’t work anymore. Sit down, put on a favorite movie, and just stop for a day or two. You have the rest of your life to do everything on this list but the first thing you should do is sit down, take a deep breathe, and understand that the hard part is over. You’re free. Enjoy yourself.
Featured photo credit: Stonewood Financial via stonewoodfinancial.com