Much of our lives are spent following a pattern and trying to hit societal milestones. We spend our childhoods and teenage years at school before getting into work, finding a partner, and possibly raising a family. Throughout all these stages of life, we are focused on earning money to pay our bills, provide for our loved ones, and, hopefully, save for our retirement.
While the journey is fascinating, unpredictable, and wonderful in many ways, this can mean that we have relatively little time for fun and relaxation.
When retirement comes, the freedom can come as a bit of a shock. The amount of money that you have to live on and enjoy yourself with will depend on how much financial planning you have done. However, even if you do not have a lot of disposable income, there are still plenty of ways to ensure your retirement is fun and rewarding.
If you are already retired or are getting close to retirement, your mental health and emotional wellbeing need to have goals and structure in place, as well as plenty of opportunities to have fun. To help you make the most of your newly found freedom, here are 14 ways to have more fun in retirement.
1. Travel locally and/or internationally
Now is the time to explore places that you have always dreamed of exploring, whether that is visiting new cities, landscapes, or tourist sites in your country or heading off on a world tour discovering new cultures.
2. Move into a new community
If you have lived in the same place for a long time, it might be time for a change. Many retired people choose to move either to live closer to family, for health or mobility reasons or simply because they want a fresh start in a new community.
Independent or assisted living communities by Frontier Management like Gran Vida Carpinteria in California are ideal for older people looking to live independently with a fun and social lifestyle, but with the peace of mind that support is there if they need it.
3. Take as many classes as you can
Many people reach retirement and realize how little of the world they have experienced and how much there is still to learn. If you are hungry for knowledge and new skills, make a list of courses you can take and hobbies to try. You could try learning a language, playing a musical instrument, painting, pottery, needlecraft, photography, cooking, or anything else that takes your fancy.
4. Volunteer for a cause you are passionate about
A little research will show that there are many charities and organizations in your local area that are looking for volunteers to help their cause. Find an organization or project that you are passionate about and suits your skill set and start giving back.
5. Express yourself through the arts
Are you someone who has a half-finished novel in the drawer or plenty of great ideas but nothing on paper? Use your time to write fiction or non-fiction books, short stories, poems, articles, or blogs and see if you can get yourself published.
6. Make new friends
Having friends and acquaintances is important for retired people, as often retiring from work can mean that we have a lot fewer opportunities to socialize. This can lead to feelings of loneliness, lower self-esteem, and other mental health issues. There are lots of ways to meet new people, including joining a group with shared interests such as books, hiking, chess, card games, or birdwatching.
7. Spend more time with your grandchildren
A fantastic way to spend your time is to get closer to your grandchildren and possibly your great-grandchildren. Take them out on day trips to the park, zoo, or beach, attend the theater, play games, and sports, and tell them all about your life. This quality time could profoundly impact them, and the memories of you will stay with them forever.
8. Try a new sport
It is essential to stay physically fit as you age, but that does not mean you need to join a gym or jog round in circles every morning. There are plenty of fun ways to exercise and make new people, including watersports, horse riding, scuba diving, golf, hiking through nature, swimming, and much more. You might find that you have a secret talent and start to compete in tournaments and leagues.
9. Teach children or mentor adults
Ask your local school if they need any volunteers to support children with their math or reading or check out some language schools that might need help teaching English to non-English speakers. Alternatively, you could put the skills you picked up during your career to good use, mentoring someone who is just starting out in a similar field.
10. Embrace spirituality
If you have spent much of your life rushing around and have had more than your fair share of stress, it may be time to embrace a slower and more spiritual approach to life. Consider trying meditation, mindfulness, yoga, Pilates, or even becoming more involved with your religious community. Another option is to have a yoga vacation in any affordable yoga retreat, where you can relax and enjoy your time with nature. Take advantage of the clean air and the relaxing atmosphere of the retreat.
11. Get a part-time job
Whether you need the income for living expenses or you are more interested in the routine and social aspects, holding a part-time job can be a great way to shake up your retirement and keep busy. Plus, you will have more cash to tick off items on your bucket list.
12. Get involved in the community
What better way to devote your time than by making a difference in the lives of people in your community? If you are passionate about a specific issue or cause in your local area, you could become an activist or even run for political office.
13. Fill your event calendar
Whether you go alone, with a romantic partner, friend, or as part of a group, filling your calendar with events such as trips to the movies, parties, attending the theatre, comedy shows, concerts, or gigs.
14. Start Your Own Business
Do you have an idea for a product or service which could fill a gap in the market? Starting your own business could be an exciting and rewarding way to spend your retirement, whether you need the income or not. It is relatively straightforward to get an online business up and running, but it is important to do your research beforehand. Click here for more on starting an online business.