We all know the idyllic picture of retirement living: sitting on a porch swing overlooking the sun setting behind a placid lake, going out for a quick nine holes of golf while there’s still morning dew on the grass, reading a good novel in the shade of a tree. While taking time to relax and enjoy quiet moments is a wonderful feeling, it can be hard for active, working adults to get used to the abundance of free time and solitude that comes with retirement. Staying active after retirement helps to keep your mind and body healthy well into your golden years. Here’s a few ideas to get you started:
1. Stay fit with a senior fitness group. Walking, swimming, and yoga are all great activities that get your body moving as you age, but sometimes getting motivated to work out is almost impossible. Joining a local club or fitness group for seniors introduces you to other aging adults who can inspire (and sometimes cajole) you into getting some exercise. You might be surprised at how much you challenge yourself working out with others, and how time flies.
2. Learn a new hobby or skill. After retirement is the perfect time to pick up a new skill. Learning something new engages the mind, keeping you engaged and your memory sharp. Try learning a new language with online learning tools, pick up some computing or programming, or try your hand at gardening, both indoors and outdoors.
3. Pick up some part-time work. While working after retirement may not sound like much fun, there are plenty of part-time job opportunities that play to your strengths. Look for opportunities to teach workshops in your field of expertise, pet-sit or baby-sit, or find a service job that interests you, such as a sporting goods or craft store. Plus, the extra money from paychecks can help significantly with retirement costs, or go towards that trip that you’ve always wanted to take.
4. Passionate about a cause? Volunteer! Volunteering can be challenging before retirement, when work, friends, children, and other commitments soak up every minute of the day. Post-retirement, volunteering for a cause you’re passionate about can connect you with like-minded people and help you feel the same direction and drive you might have felt in your career.
5. Devote time to old interests. Whether you enjoy sports, art, music, literature, or any other hobby, retirement is the perfect time to dive deep into your interests. Challenge yourself on favorite past-times! Make a king-sized quilt, write a novel, or build a canoe; do anything you’ve wanted to do in the past but thought you didn’t have the time, energy, or skill to accomplish it. Or, rediscover something you enjoyed in the past. If you learned an instrument as a child, for example, this is the perfect time to dust it off.
Engaging in active retirement living can fill your golden years with joy and fun. Keep an eye out for activities for seniors in the community, such as those offered by local assisted living communities, for opportunities to get going and socialize in addition to pursuing personal interests. But while it’s important to keep busy after retirement, don’t forget to enjoy the quiet moments, too.