If you’ve been at your job for a long time, have reached your golden years or are just ready for a change, you may be ready for retirement. However, do you worry that you’ll be bored or not able to handle the adjustment well?
This is a common fear among those that are struggling to leave the work force and enter this new phase in their life. From staying healthy and fit to being mentally prepared, we’ve put together 20 tips that will help you learn to manage all of this new freedom that you have and be happy with it.
1. Create A Budget
If you are constantly worrying about money, you won’t be able to fully enjoy your retirement. This is why it’s a good idea to create a thorough budget. Even though you may no longer have a mortgage to pay, you may be surprised to find that you still have a lot of expenses everything single month.
When creating a budget, you need to make sure that you include both fixed expenses and those that can fluctuate.
Fixed expenses often include:
- Phone Bills
- Car Insurance
- Cable Bills
Fluctuating expenses include:
- Electric Bills
Don’t forget about budgeting for entertainment as well. Because you have a lot more time on your hands now, you probably will be spending a lot of money on eating out or doing recreational activities with your friends or spouse than you did in the past. You can learn on how to grow your retirement savings here.
2. Find Constructive Ways To Fill Your Time
A lot of people struggle during retirement because they aren’t used to having so much down time. You can keep this from happening by finding constructive ways to fill your time. You can do things like volunteering at a local animal shelter, taking up a new hobby or trying a class to learn a new skill.
Don’t worry if you have to try a bunch of different things before you find the right fit. It may take a little while before you find something that you really enjoy doing, but at least you may be able to make some new friends along the way.
Don’t know what to do as a new retiree? Here are 150 ideas that should get you started.
3. Focus On Your Health
You’ve worked hard all of your life, and now is the time to really enjoy just living life on your own terms. However, this can be difficult to do if you aren’t in the best of health. Because of this, you need to focus on your health, and make the time to exercise every day.
Even going for a walk around your neighborhood or for a swim at the beach can help you live a healthier lifestyle. Don’t forget about keeping up with your annual checkups as well. This is a great time to talk to your doctor about any unusual symptoms that you are having.
You want this time of your life to be filled with a lot of happiness, and you don’t want to spend your days having to lie around on the couch just because you didn’t prioritize your health.
4. Stick To A Routine
Do you worry that you will become bored in retirement? You can keep this from happening by sticking to a routine. While you may enjoy having the freedom of not having a strict schedule, you will probably soon find that you crave having some sort of structure.
Even though you now have the freedom to sleep all day or do whatever you want most of the time, it doesn’t mean that it will be good for your mental health. By having some sort of routine, you will feel like your days have some sort of purpose to them.
5. Keep Your Mind Sharp
It’s not uncommon for many people to see some sort of cognitive decline as they age. You can keep this from happening by keeping your mind sharp. Do crossword puzzles each day, learn how to play a new instrument or read thought-provoking books. Reading some funny quotes about getting older should get you started!
6. Stay Connected With Your Loved Ones
Retirement can be difficult if you isolate yourself. Unfortunately, a lot of retirees don’t contact their loved ones as often as they should simply because they don’t want to bother them.
Did you know that your loved ones would probably love having some sort of distraction from their daily life? Because of this, you should make it a point to stay connected with your loved ones in any way possible.
If you don’t want to call them, you can always send them a card or email just to let them know that you are thinking about them and would love to catch up when they have time.
7. Explore Your Community
When you spent your days working, you probably didn’t have a lot of time to explore your city. There’s a good chance that your community has a lot of activities that you can take part in that you weren't even aware of.
If you aren't sure where to start, head over to your local library or community center to find out what things they recommend doing for retirees in your area. Try to make it a point to get out of the house at least several times a week and go to a place that you’ve never been to before.
8. Travel More
If you are like most people, you probably didn't have a lot of time to travel in the past because you spent most of your time working or taking care of your family. You can find a lot of happiness during your retirement just by traveling more.
Even if you don’t have a lot of money to spend, you can use this as a challenge to visit places as frugally as possible.
You can travel frugally by:
- Staying With Someone You Know
- Booking A Hotel That Offers Free Breakfast
- Utilizing Public Transportation
- Traveling During Less Popular Times
- Taking Advantage Of Free Activities At Your Destination
Keep in mind that you probably don’t have to spend a lot of money in order to have a good time at the destinations that you are going to. Because of this, you should still try to travel often even if you have limited funds to do so.
9. Make To-do-lists Part Of Your Daily Life
A lot of people enjoy working because they feel a sense of accomplishment from completing their tasks each day. You can bring this sense of accomplishment with you as part of your retired life by making to-do-lists each day.
You don’t just have to include large tasks that need to get done. Even small things, like watering the plants or taking out the trash, can give you the sense of accomplishment that you’ve been craving since you left your job to retire.
10. Do A Physically Challenging Activity Once A Week
You can get an immense sense of satisfaction by powering through personal roadblocks and doing a physically challenging activity at least once a week. Even if you aren’t in that great of shape, you can still build your stamina and work up to doing harder things.
You could do activities like trying to swim a certain number of laps or running a mile or two without stopping. If you stick with it, you may find that your health improves, and you may also have more energy than you had even when you were 10 years younger.
11. Try Yoga Or Meditation
For those who are struggling with trying to slow down, they may find that yoga or meditation is helpful. Both of these activities encourage the participants to slow down and connect with their inner self because they often tap into a part of the brain that a lot of people aren’t used to.
Participants tend to walk away with a sense of calm and a new appreciation for life.
One of the best parts about these types of activities is that you don’t even need to leave the house to participate in them. You can take virtual classes and watch videos online. This will allow you to do yoga or meditation virtually any time that you want to.
12. Spend Time Outdoors Regularly
If you find that you feel down a lot during retirement, spending time outdoors regularly can do a lot of good. Many people do find that being outdoors allows them to feel connected with nature and worry less about what’s going on in their lives.
Even sitting outside drinking a cup of coffee each morning can put you in a good mood as you are about to start your day. If you are a fairly creative person, you should consider setting up an easel to paint outside or hanging up a hammock to lay in while you write poetry.
13. Start A New Project
Do you worry about retirement because you are afraid of being bored? You can easily keep this from happening by getting involved in a project. If you’re like most people, you probably have all sorts of projects that you’ve been putting off because of lack of time.
Fortunately, you probably have a lot more time to tackle all of these projects now. However, don’t try to take on too much at once. This could cause you to get burnt out, and you won’t end up finishing anything that you started.
Focus on just one or two projects at a time. Prioritize what’s the most important to you and try to complete this project first. You could even take a part-time job in a field you really like, click here to see 30 post-retirement part-time job ideas.
14. Learn How To Cook Healthy Meals
It can be all too tempting to stop at a fast food restaurant when you are looking for a quick bite to eat. Because you no longer have kids at home, you probably don’t want to have to deal with cooking an entire meal when it’s just for you or your significant other.
Fortunately, there are some healthy meals that you can make with smaller portion sizes.
Eating healthy can help you avoid common illness and disorders that often affect those in their golden years.
- High Cholesterol
If you aren’t sure where to start, talk to a nutritionist. They can give you a lot of pointers and even help you come up with some healthy meals that you will enjoy.
15. Get A Pet
Did you know that you may be struggling to find happiness during your retirement because you don't have people to take care of?
This is actually fairly common since you no longer have coworkers to supervise, and your kids probably moved out a long time ago. With an empty house, it’s no wonder that you probably are struggling to feel a sense of purpose!
You can get past this by bringing a new pet into your home. They will provide you with the companionship that you are craving in your retirement. Many retirees find that cats or small dogs make for the perfect pets for them to spend their golden years with.
16. Downsize Your Belongings
Because you are spending more time at home, you may find that you are feeling down or depressed because of your environment. This often happens when a household is filled with clutter or objects that are no longer of use. Retirement is the perfect time to downsize.
Get rid of items that you don’t need. Start with all of those trinkets that you’ve collected over the years and move on to your work wardrobe that you no longer need.
If you don’t want to throw away these items, you can donate them to charity, give them to friends and family members or have a yard sale.
17. Connect With Others Who Are In The Same Stage Of Their Life
Are you feeling alone and as if no one knows what you are going through? This could be caused by the fact that you don’t have anyone in your life that is currently in retirement. This is why it’s a great idea to connect with other seniors.
Look to see if there is a senior center in your city that has activities that you can take part in. You can also join a class that’s just for seniors or hop on social media to try to connect with other retirees in your area.
18. Get Support From As Many People As Possible
If you are really having a difficult time being happy with this new stage in your life, it might be time to get support. A lot of retirees attend therapy on a regular basis. This will allow you to talk to an impartial person who is there for you to give you support or offer creative solutions to your problems.
If you don’t feel comfortable talking to someone in person or just aren’t able to get out of the house, there are therapists that you can talk to over the phone or online. You could also reach out to a trusted friend to get the support that you need during this time.
19. Do Something Good For Others
Quite a few people get a lot of joy out of doing something good for others. This is why you see a lot of retirees volunteer at their local soup kitchen or homeless shelter. However, you don’t have to volunteer for any type of organization in order to do something good for those around you.
You can do things like babysitting a neighbor's child so their parents can go to work or bringing a meal to a sick friend. Even if these simple gestures don’t seem like a big deal, they will bring a lot of joy to the people on the receiving end, and that’s something you can feel good about!
20. Accept This New Stage In Your Life
If you don’t accept the new stage of life you are in, then you will have a difficult time finding happiness in retirement. You can’t look back at the past and wish you were younger.
You’ve worked hard for much of your life, and it’s time to enjoy having more freedom.
When you start to feel as if you are struggling to accept where you are at, you need to think about all of the things that you are able to do now that you were never able to do before.
While most people look forward to retirement, it can come with some difficulties. Fortunately, there are all sorts of things that you can do in order to make this one of the happiest times of your life!