Retirement is something we all work for, and when the day finally comes, we’re prepared with visions of sandy beaches, endless free time, and plenty of family trips during which we plan to spoil those precious grandkids. Unfortunately, the reality isn’t always as pretty. Many find that retirement isn’t the “golden age” they were expecting, and can find it hard to make the transition from the working world to free agent. If you’re looking to make your retirement happier and more fulfilling, keep these tips in mind and make this stage of your life the best yet.
Discuss Retirement Plans with Your Partner
Before you can put your retirement plans into action, it’s essential to talk with your partner about their expectations. Whether you’re retiring together or they still have a few years to go, understanding each other’s wants and desires for this period of life is essential to keeping your marriage healthy and your life happy. You’ve likely never spent this much time together, and for some couples, it can be a bit of a shock. It’s important to talk frankly about how much time you’ll need for yourself, and how much time you can expect to be with your partner. This might seem strange after decades of marriage, but it’s an essential step that can make your transition smoother.
Keep up the Work Flow
Going from a 40 to 50 hour work week to having nothing planned for your day can actually be quite discouraging, and for some, lead to a loss of direction in life. This can lend itself to stress, unhappiness, and depression, so it’s important to consider whether taking up a part-time job might be the right route for you after leaving your full-time position. Not only will you have a reason to get up and dressed in the morning, but you’ll also be able to supplement that retirement account and have more spending money for all those fun retirement vacations you’ve got on the docket. Staying busy with a part-time position can also help your health. The Journal of Occupation Health Psychology published a study in 2009 that purported retirees with part-time jobs enjoyed a reduced risk of health issues including high blood pressure and heart disease.
Some choose to find a small role in the field they’ve worked in prior, but others find it refreshing and necessary to try something completely new. It’s up to you to pick and choose; consider trying a temp agency so you can try new things every few months and figure out the best fit for you. Not looking to head back into an office setting? If you’re technology savvy, check out Upwork for some great freelancing opportunities.
Pick Up Some New Hobbies
It’s important to keep busy after retiring, regardless of whether or not you decide to take on a part-time job. With oodles of free time now within your grasp, consider pursuing passions you’ve never had the opportunity to before. Are you into games or want to try your hand at gambling? Learn to play 75 ball bingo, take up an online canasta course, or book a trip with a local group to visit the slots at a nearby casino. Ready to try a new skill? Consider taking a photography course and using your family as the perfect practice subject. You’ll keep busy and have gorgeous mementos to adorn your home. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to pick up the paint brush and create a masterpiece. It’s never too late to learn, and local paint or drawing classes could be just the thing to spark your creativity and keep your mind sharp.
Take a Vacation
So you don’t work anymore, and your vacation time is endless. It’s time to pack those bags and hit the road. There’s an entire world out there to see, and no responsibilities holding you back. Whether you rent an RV and check out parts of the United States you’ve never experienced or save up for a flight to Bali to get your “Eat, Pray, Love” on, it’s always rewarding to visit a new place and experience a new culture. Take a look at BudgetAir.com and plan your next destination—being excited for future plans is one of the best ways to stay happy and upbeat.
There’s a lot more that goes into retirement happiness than just the right finances. Make sure your retirement is fulfilling and rewarding by implementing these tips into your life; you won’t regret it.