We spend most of our lives dreaming of the day when life won’t be dictated by alarm clocks & commute times. But what happens when you get there and you feel that you are missing something else? While traditional retirement planning covers financial essentials staying engaged and having a meaningful retirement is good for your health and happiness.
Here are a few ideas to help protect your retirement years from being tarnished by boredom:
- Develop a plan and for a meaningful life: Find what’s going to inspire you to get out of bed each morning in the decades ahead? In many cases, second careers and new hobbies show there can be as many purposes as there are people. People who have pursuits outside of their professional life tend to fare better in retirement.If you are still working full time, don’t wait until you retire to explore new pursuits. Test-drive volunteer opportunities in your community before retirement to plant seeds for future. The decision to work part-time may be a necessity for some; others may simply enjoy it as a chance to stay sharp and to bring in some extra cash. Often retirement brings the chance to start your own small business or even a new career (perhaps consulting, real estate or teaching English as a second language), or the opportunity to help younger family members with their businesses.
- Celebrate a new beginning: Take this new chapter in your life as a positive opportunity to redefine and reinvent who you are and what you do. This should be seen not only as a milestone in your life but as a true turning point for your future directions. Navigate these uncharted waters with passion and excitement. Joining a group where the focus is on something you already know about and like can be extremely rewarding. Your experience and skills will be of value to others in the group, and you can learn from them too. It doesn’t matter what your hobby is— golf, fishing, quilting or cooking—seek out others who share your passion and you’ll reap the rewards.
- Keep a youthful attitude and don’t become the classic “Grumpy Old Person”. Stay energetic and work to maintain a positive attitude. As the saying goes, “You’re only as old as you feel.” Start a blog, or even plan to write a memoir. Get involved with volunteering opportunities. Always remember, if you act and look old, then you are old. If you act and look young, then you are young.
- Become the artist you always wanted to be
Art can feed the spirit. If painting, is your thing, you might find it useful to sample a variety of classes, materials, and approaches before settling on one. There are plenty of inexpensive workshops that offer classes to beginners. Community colleges classes and arts and crafts stores have classes, too. Also, after you’ve learned a new craft you may want to open a store on Etsy and sell your wares at the huge online arts and crafts marketplace.
- Volunteer at a library or museum: When you give time to an institution like a public library or local museum you really are making a gift to your whole community. It’s also a great way to meet people and make new friends. Volunteers let them enrich their offerings and stretch meager budgets.
- Reach out to an old friend: Friendship is a part of life and these days there are so many ways to reconnect with people from the past. Get on the internet to find old pals. Some will respond, others will not. No matter. Reach out to them on Social Media.