Written by MindMate Staff
Retirement is the time of our lives that we all look forward to most! Work is behind us and our golden years are laid out before us. Retirement is like a blank canvas which we can fill with all the things we love the most but perhaps never got to fully enjoy under the pressures of working life.
However, despite all the optimism and excitement that comes with the prospect of retirement, it often fails to live up to expectations and some people find that they simply end up stuck in their same old routine. Whether it’s money, time, illness, or other responsibilities, there are many things which can ultimately curtail our dreams of enjoying a free and frivolous retirement, but all of these factors are usually just a result of a failure to effectively forward-plan.
To make the most of your later-years, it's important to prioritise, to understand what you want to achieve, or create or experience and also to consider the practicalities of doing so. With enough forethought and preparation, your retirement really can be all you want it to be and more.
Many people start by making a ‘bucket-list’ of things they want to commit to doing or achieving once they finally finish working, and that can be a great place to start. Making a list enables you to consider your strongest desires, prioritise and begin to think about how you would go about ticking them off. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
One of the most popular retirement ambitions is to explore the world and so it should be - there’s so much to see! Not to mention travel also enables you to learn about different cultures, yourself and others. Cruises and tour package-holidays are two of the most senior-friendly ways to take in a variety of different places in one convenient trip.
2.Focus on family
By the time you retire, chances are you’ll have Grandchildren and you’ll be eager to spend quality time with them as they grow up. Retirement offers you the perfect opportunity to fully focus on the most important thing in life - family!
3. Do some home improvements
Somethings just get put off and ignored during your working years simply because there isn’t enough time in the day, or the weekend, and home improvements are often the first things to be sacrificed. But now that you’re retired, there’s no longer an excuse not to build that new extension, or have that dream pool installed, or give your garden the makeover you’ve always wanted.
4. Volunteer your time
Often, retirees feel a great sense of duty to use their time to give back to the community which has served them well. Charities and community organisations are always going to appreciate volunteers, and investing some of your time in good causes is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling things you can do with your retirement.
5. Take a trip down memory lane
Retirement is also a time for nostalgia, as you finally have time to stop and reflect on your life and dwell on happy memories from years gone by. Why not revisit that special place you once lived, or recreate your honeymoon vacation, or even reconnect with old friends!?
6. Adopt a pet
The benefits of owning a pet are unlimited. They’re a source of comfort, joy and friendship as well as helping you to stay active and social. While your working schedule might not have been accommodating to pet ownership, you’re now at a time in your life where you have the time to fully invest in a new companion!
7. Renew your wedding vows
A slightly different suggestion, but a surprising number of couples opt to use their free time and energy, gained from retirement, to organise a show of commitment to their partner. This is a great way to reaffirm a longtime romance and begin your next chapter of retirement together!
8. Learn a language
Learning a language takes great time and perseverance, and so it's not something that is possible for most people to do during their working life. However retirement offers great opportunity for travelling and learning, and picking up a second language cna be a great way to get more out of your international experiences.
9. Take some classes
Whether it’s art or music, pottery or yoga, taking classes are a great way to learn, try new things and meet new people. As you get older, finding new ways to challenge your brain and keep it active becomes increasingly important and exposing it to new experiences and staying socially active are some of the best ways to do it.
10. Invest in Your hobbies
Whether it’s golf or gardening, reading or running, walking or weaving. Whatever your passions in life, retirement provides the opportunity to pursue what you enjoy with greater freedom than you’ve ever known before. So have fun and make the most of it, because this is what you’ve been waiting for all your working life!