Many of us prepare for retirement, but have you ever asked yourself how do you spend your retired life? It is an important question to answer so that you can get the most out of your retirement. This article will help you with several ideas on how you can spend your retired life. Let’s start!
1) Give Yourself Time To Adjust To Retirement
Retirement is a lifechanging event. And when you just got retired, you probably have a lot of spare time you aren’t used to. After working for like 30 or 40 years, and having a similar daily schedule for all those years, things change when you retire.
So it is important to give yourself the time to adjust to retirement. Allowing yourself to get used to this new phase in life helps you to spend your retired life in the best way possible.
Of course, we all prepare for retirement financially. But it is also important to mentally prepare for retirement. Knowing that your daily schedule changes, and preparing for this change, will make the transition process into retirement a lot easier.
This transition period is often described as a process that almost everyone gets through once they’re retired. There are five widely known phases that complete this period;
- Honeymoon Stage:
The stage where you just got retired and everything is new and fun, just like with newlyweds.
- Disenchantment Stage:
People also refer to this stage as the worrying stage. It is the period where reality kicks in, and you start asking yourself questions like ‘is this really it?’
You will get into this stage when you ask yourself questions about retirement means and how you want to spend your retired life. You basically start to re-invent yourself, and the things you want to do as a retiree.
During this period, you just live your life as a retiree. You love what you’re doing and how you spend your retired life. Often you don’t even notice you entered this stage, because you’re enjoying your retired life.
When you’re still adjusting into retirement, I recommend reading my helpful step-by-step guide, How Do I Adjust To Retirement.
2) Find A New Hobby
A great way to spend your retired life is with hobbies. And you know what the fun is? You can choose literally every hobby you like. As long as you have fun doing it!
Still, many retirees struggle to find a hobby in retirement. Often because during their careers, they didn’t have enough time for a hobby. When you recognize this, maybe it is time to start exploring and learning more about yourself. So you can find a hobby you like to spend your time on in your retired life.
To give you some inspiration you can start a Garden Tower Project or start knitting with Knitcrate: a box with new knitting projects and material send to your door monthly. Another cool thing to do in retirement is to create a Legacybox and digitalize all your (old) media to reminisce on the good old times. And if you like a nice cold beer you can make your own beer with a Beer Making Kit from the Brooklyn Brew Shop. You just have to start somewhere and finding your retirement hobby becomes a lot easier.
Know Your Passion
Finding the right hobby is all about knowing the things you’re passionate about. To learn this (again) about yourself, you can start with answering questions like;
- What’s something I never get bored of doing?
- What are the things I liked doing in my childhood?
- What is a stress reliever for me?
- What topic can I read 500 books about, and not get bored?
The answers to these questions help you to learn more about yourself and the things you love to spend time on. When you want to know more about how to find your passion, I recommend reading my helpful article 14 Tips How To Find Your Passion In Retirement.
Trying Different Hobbies
Like I said, the most important thing about a hobby is that you have fun doing it. And now that you have a lot more time to spend as a retiree, you can try out different hobbies to figure out what you like most.
Popular hobbies among retirees are;
If you don’t have experience with gardening, don’t worry! It is great to be outside, and the basics of gardening are straightforward. Just allow yourself to learn, and don’t stress yourself. A great way to learn more about gardening is by following the online Masterclass of Ron Finley. Check it out here!
Many retirees love to spend time in their retired life by writing down their life lessons and family stories—better known as writing their memoirs. It can become a unique family document for your children and grandchildren.
When you get in the flow, you might easily spend many hours writing and forget about time. Many people describe flow as a perfect feeling where they become one with the things they’re doing.
It is possible, of course, that you’re not an experienced writer, and can use some help to start. The easiest way to do this is by following an online Masterclass.
I can also recommend using the online tool Grammarly. It is a complete grammar checker, which is very helpful when you start writing your memoirs, and all other things. I always use it when writing my articles! Check out the latest prices on their website.
Many retirees love knitting. It is a great hobby where you can create all kinds of clothes, rugs or other things you like. When you’re looking for fun patterns and useful equipment, make sure to check out Knitcrate.
If you want more information about fun hobbies you can do in retirement, make sure to read my article, 30 Best Hobbies In Retirement.
3) Keep Learning
I love learning new things myself, and I always recommend people to keep learning as well. You probably know that saying You’re never too old to learn. And it’s true! Learning new things helps you to stay curious, you’ll keep a sharper mind. It helps with staying mentally young, and you’re often connected with friends, family, and within your community.
According to this article on Harvard Health Publishing, learning new things is related to healthy aging, and having a better memory.
To prepare yourself for life long learning, and thus spending a portion of your retired life on learning new things, it is important to stay curious. When you’re interested in new things, development, technologies, etcetera, it is probably much easier to find topics you want to learn about.
Go Back To College
Did you know that many colleges offer discounted and often free programs for seniors in the United States? A great opportunity for you as a retiree to keep learning and going back to school! If that is something you want to do, of course.
You can follow shorter-term programs or choose a complete study you want to accomplish. It’s all up to you. Here’s a list of colleges that offer programs for seniors.
Get Annual Membership To Masterclass
I already mentioned Masterclass a few times in this article. It is a unique online platform with over 80 different classes and more than 1000 lessons in all kinds of categories.
The teachers of these classes are the most famous and successful people in the world, in their field.
With Masterclass, you can learn more about cooking by following a cooking class of Gordon Ramsey. Another great cooking class is learning more about Texas Style BBQ, a course that’s given by Aaron Franklin. It is actually one of the most popular courses on the Masterclass platform.
Serena Williams teaches about Tennis, and if you’re more into gardening, you can follow a course by Ron Finley. These are just a few examples. Ready to learn from the best in the world? Get yourself an annual membership to Masterclass Today.
4) Get Social
Having enough social interactions is one of the most essential things in life. Social interactions avoid loneliness, something many retirees feel during their retirement.
Various social interactions are also related to many health benefits. You might think it is easy to stay social in retirement. However, if you’re struggling, don’t worry. You’re not the only one.
For many retirees, a large part of their social life and, thus, their interactions revolve around their work. Since you stopped working, you probably lost many social interactions as well. Luckily there are many things you can do about it.
One of the most important things is that you make time to spend on social interactions when you’re retired. It is often easy to only spend time with your family, spouse, and friends. However, it can be a good idea to expand your social circle with new contacts.
There are many things you can do to stay social in retirement. For example, you can join a book club or a chess club. You can start volunteering (later more on that). You can become a life or career coach, and share your (professional) knowledge with younger people.
Social interactions will last longer and have more impact, if you do the things you like, with like-minded people. I share much more helpful tips about social interactions in retirement, in my article How To Stay Social In Retirement?
5) Finish Things On Your Retirement Bucket list
When you ever made a list of things you want to do in life, you probably also have a bucket list, right? All the things you want to do when you kick the bucket.
Finish the things on your bucket list is a great way to spend your retired life. You have enough time to do everything you like, so why not making some fun spending this time!
You don’t have to do everything that’s on your bucket list right away. Take some time, so you can enjoy all the things you’re doing. You probably have enough time to complete the things you want to do.
If you don’t have a bucket list, retirement is a great time to start making one. Creating a bucket list is not only a fun process to do, but it also helps you to figure out what you want to do in your retired life.
A bucket list is a simple list that contains all the things you still want to do. It can be as simple as ‘visit all the states in the United States,’ ‘Travel to Europe’ or ‘learn to drive a motorcycle.’ You name it, as long as it is something you want to do, it’s fine!
When you’re looking for ideas to create your bucket list, make sure to read my article, 101+ Ideas For Your Retirement Bucket List.
Volunteering is a great activity to spend time on during your retired life. Many retirees decide to start with volunteering because it gives them a feeling of fulfillment and has other side benefits.
When you start to volunteer, you’re basically doing an activity or task where you help others. This can be as easy as doing the grocery shopping for your elderly neighbor or helping out in the local community center.
There are all kinds of volunteer jobs you can do, depending on your interests and the needs in your community. To find a volunteer job that you like, I recommend visiting Volunteer.gov to find different volunteering opportunities in every state in the United States.
Retirees volunteer because helping others gives them a good feeling about themselves. It is a proven method if we help others, we often feel better about ourselves. It creates happiness, which, in the end, gives a feeling of fulfillment—something we all looking for to get in our lives.
Volunteering is also a great activity to stay active in your retirement. You often need to go to a place to do the job. You’ll meet new people when you volunteer, so it is also great for socializing and expanding your social circle.
Like I said, volunteering comes with many benefits!
When you think about volunteering, it is important to ask yourself what you want to get out of it. Are you ready to commit yourself to a weekly or monthly task? When you commit to a certain volunteering job, other people are counting on you. It is something you need to take into consideration before you decide to apply for a volunteering job.
I feel it’s good for everyone to help out others. If you want to know more about volunteering during your retirement, I recommend reading my article, Why Do Retirees Volunteer?
7) Stay Active
It is important to stay active in life. An active lifestyle often can help to have a healthy lifestyle, which can you can benefit from when aging.
Being aware of this is even more important when you’re retiring. Many retirees are losing specific, often work-related activities once they’re retired. So it is essential to keep this in mind and make sure that you stay active once you’re retired.
However, it can be challenging to find new activities to spend your time on in your retired life. You’ll get several ideas while reading this article. Still, I can also recommend reading my article How Can I Stay Active In Retirement?
There are basically three categories when you talk about staying active in retirement. Staying mentally, socially, and physically active. Often these three mingle with each other, which is totally fine. But it is helpful to understand the difference between these categories.
Staying Mentally Active
For many retirees, it is something they are most aware of, sometimes even a bit scared. A question retirees often themselves is How Do I Keep My Brain Active In Retirement? It is also the title of a helpful article I wrote where I answer that question even more thoroughly.
To stay mentally active in retirement, you need to replace the challenging activities you had at work. Replace these activities with new activities you can spend time on during your retired life.
I already mentioned ideas for hobbies in retirement, like solving puzzles or playing chess with friends. Keep learning new things, like following a Masterclass, is also a great activity to stay mentally active.
Social interactions are also known as an important activity to stay mentally active.
Staying Socially Active
When we interact with other people, our brain is always at work. It has to react to what the other person is saying and doing. That’s why social interactions are beneficial for staying mentally active. According to this article on Harvard Health Publishing, social interactions are related to many health benefits for healthy aging.
Activities like volunteering are a perfect example to stay socially active in retirement. Staying socially active is key to spending your retired life happily. You can read more about it in my article How Can I Stay Social In Retirement?
Staying Physically Active
Exercising gives you energy, and it’s important for your health. Especially when you get older. According to the CDC, physical activity is related to healthy aging. It can help to avoid health problems that come with age. They even have complete schedules and recommendations about physical activity and exercise for seniors on their website.
Most sports you can do are fun, it is a great activity to spend your time on during retirement. One of the best things about exercising is that it is often a social activity as well. Most people meet up with friends to go exercising, or they join a group for sports.
It’s the perfect way to stay active in retirement!
8) Go Travel
Traveling is a unique activity to do during your retirement. It is actually a dream of many people. Traveling is something that ranks in the top 10 on almost everyone’s bucket list.
I would recommend everyone to go out there and see more of the world or your own country. Traveling enriches you as a person when you learn more about different cultures and backgrounds and see how beautiful the world actually is.
When you’ve read other articles from me before, you might already know that I’m a fulltime traveler myself, so I’m a bit opinionated about this. Still, when you’re traveling for just a few weeks, a short trip, or, just like me, travel around the world with your family for the largest part of the year, it is all good.
What I love most about traveling is the feeling of freedom you get when you’re on the road. Knowing that you can go everywhere you like, and do whatever you feel like is just amazing. The people you meet along the way, the social interactions, learning about the different cultures and traditions.
Traveling is just so much more than relaxing and doing nothing. Doing nothing and relaxing sounds more like a short holiday to me, something you do when you’re still working like 40 hours a week, when you’re retired you have time to get much more out of it.
Traveling is something that truly fits into an active retirement lifestyle. It doesn’t matter if you go abroad or visit all the states within the United States. Or go on a cruise or travel around with an RV. As long as you do the things that you like the most.
When you’re looking for some inspiration about traveling in retirement, I recommend reading one of these articles;
- The 25 Best Retirement Road Trips Ideas
- How To Travel The World When You’re Retired
- 20 Amazing Vacations and Trips For 60-Year-Olds.
9) Plan Time To Do Nothing
So, we already talked about how to adjust to retirement. It is important to allow yourself the time to get used to this new life as a retiree. It is very helpful to adjust to this new lifestyle by allowing yourself to do nothing.
Perhaps it sounds a bit weird. We just talked about the importance of having an active lifestyle in retirement. And now I tell you that you need to spend some time in your retired life by allowing yourself to do nothing. Let me explain this shortly.
As you know, retirement is a lifechanging event. Many things in your life will be different once you’re retired. A lot of these changes happen almost directly, from one day to another. And you need to adjust to this.
When you plan moments every week where you don’t have to do anything. Where you just can relax, process all the new experiences, you basically give yourself space to adjust to this new lifestyle. And more importantly, when you have time to relax, you can often come up with new ideas of how you spend your retired life.
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10) Remodel Your Home
You’re likely to spend more time at home when you’re retired, so why not remodel that place where you spend the most time? Maybe there still some chores or projects you wanted to do for years but never had the time doing. Or perhaps you have a lot of old stuff you want to get rid of. Now is the time to do so!
You can organize a garage sale if you have tons of stuff you don’t use anymore—a great way to earn some extra money and get in touch with people in your neighborhood.
When you’re serious about remodeling your home and looking into new interior design, I recommend following the Masterclass Kelly Wearstler teaches interior design;
11) Spend More Time With Family
It may sound obvious, but it’s a great chance to spend more time with your family in your retired life.
Maybe you’ve some family members that live further away, and you didn’t see for a while. Retirement is an excellent opportunity to get on the road, and plan a visit!
Sometimes people are a bit reluctant when visiting family they didn’t see for a long time. But it’s actually never too late. Just pick up the phone, ask if you can come by, and you’ll probably have a great time together!
When you have grandchildren, you probably want to spend a lot more time with them as well. Many retirees think about moving closer to their children and grandchildren to spend more time with them. However, this is something you need to think through.
When they grow older, they probably spend less time at home and less time with their grandparents. You have to find other things to do to fill in your days. So if you want to live closer to your grandchildren, maybe you should go for a temporary move. This way, you always have your own freedom, and you can spend your retired life the way you want to.
I hope you have more inspiration about how to spend your retired life after reading this article. I recommend reading some of the other articles I’ve written if you’re looking for more inspiration and helpful tips.
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