For Gold, Peace, and Freedom


Retirement: It’s Not All About Finances

February 13th, 2010

retirement-things-to-do.jpgMost people planning for retirement know the drill as far as money is concerned. Many retirees, however, are unprepared for the social and psychological impact of this lifestyle change. Overnight, their circle of friends narrows, and they wonder how to fill the hours previously taken up by a career.

Of course, many retirees already have “hobbies” or other interests they’ve postponed until retirement. But unless they’ve had a chance to give these alternate activities a trial run, they may end up being disappointed. Stamp collecting turns out to be far less gratifying as a full-time pursuit.

Here are some tips for retaining a sense of meaning, purpose and pleasure in the post-employment years.

  • Cultivate those non-work interests ahead of time and line up special interest groups that focus on the things you like to do. Whether it’s crafting, building model railroads, writing short stories, or dog training — with a little research, you’ll find a group that specializes in it. The Internet is a valuable tool, as is your local library. The AARP (aarp.org on the Web) has a wealth of information about groups and activities centered around retirees. If you’re a book lover, many book stores host reading groups.
  • Consider volunteering. Put your talent, skills, and experience to work on behalf of others. Not only does it instill a sense of purpose, but it also generates a good feeling like no other, to know you’ve helped make the world a better place. Local newspapers often have a section on volunteer opportunities, or you can visit the VolunteerMatch web site (VolunteerMatch.org on the Web) and enter your location and interests to find an organization that fits your criteria.
  • Cultivate patience and flexibility. The right activity might not be evident at first. Be open to possibilities you might not have previously considered.
  • Experiment. If the activity or interest you thought you wanted to pursue disappoints, try something else.
  • Now that you have more free time, incorporate exercise into your daily routine. The axiom, “use it or lose it” has never been more appropriate. Although a gym membership is one way to keep physically fit, there are some other low-cost alternatives, such as your local YMCA or YWCA. In addition to well-equipped gymnasiums, most offer classes in aerobics, swimming, dancing, yoga, tai chi, and a lot more. Join one or more classes and expand your circle of friends. You can also find walking groups such as the Sierra Club that organize group walks or hikes for free.
  • Use those senior discounts! It never hurts to ASK. You’d be amazed at the savings you can accumulate by simply requesting a senior discount at movie theaters, health clubs, and more.

You worked hard to get to retirement. Make the most of those years, not only by doing the things you promised yourself you’d accomplish, but also by learning new skills and making new friends.

This article on what to do after retirement was supplied to us by “BKSchroeder” from Constant Content.

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