Congratulations on reaching retirement! Now that you’re saying goodbye to your 9 to 5 routine, what will you do with the years ahead? Once your retirement party is over and you’ve cleaned out that junk drawer, you may be wondering what to do next.
This could be the most satisfying stage in your life when you’re able to tap into a lifetime of knowledge and experience.
Start with these 10 ideas for enriching retirement activities.
To thrive in retirement, you’ll need habits that will protect your health and wellbeing.
- Practice self-care. You can slow down the aging process. Eat a balanced diet, manage stress, and work out regularly. Current guidelines recommend at least 150 minutes of exercise a week for seniors.
- See your doctor. If you’re living with chronic conditions, follow your doctor’s recommendations for treatment and lifestyle habits. Ask about screenings and other preventive services appropriate for your age and background.
- Manage your money. Remember that you’re living on a fixed income. Work with a financial planner or monitor your spending and investments yourself.
- Limit distractions. It’s easy to stay up late watching TV and browsing online when you don’t have to get up for work. Put a limit on activities that tend to drain your time without providing much in the way of rewards.
- Set goals. If your career and family obligations are mostly behind you, it’s time to find a new purpose. Are there projects you’ve been putting off? Do you have ideas about the legacy you want to create?
Think about the things you love and the things you excel at. Design a life based on your personal priorities and strengths.
- Travel. You can explore new places even on a limited budget. Visit unfamiliar neighborhoods or nearby historic sites. Take advantage of senior discounts and other deals.
- Volunteer. Give back to your community. Put your expertise to work by becoming a board member at a local nonprofit. Contact charities that interest you and ask for information about volunteer opportunities.
- Get a job. Maybe you’ve been dreaming of an encore career. Research your options and use your current network to help you make the transition.
- Go to school. You might need additional qualifications for your new role, or you may want to learn about a subject for personal reasons. Visit the continuing education department at a nearby university or take courses online.
- Read. Study on your own. Make a list of fiction and nonfiction titles you want to read.
- Write a book. Share your insights with others. You may find a publisher for your memoirs or you can make them available online.
- Start a garden. Cultivating plants is one of many rewarding hobbies. Build a greenhouse or register for a plot at a community garden.
- Play an instrument. Do you love music? Pick up where you left off with your childhood piano lessons. If you’re already a virtuoso, invite others to join you in organizing an amateur chamber music ensemble.
- Practice your faith. Spiritual matters may seem more important to you now. Meditate daily or go on a retreat. Find a new faith community or get more involved in your current place of worship.
- Deepen your relationships. Staying connected with others can keep you healthier and happier as you age. Spend more time with your grandchildren and other family members. Schedule standing dates with old friends and reach out to new ones.
Make the most of your new freedom when you retire. Take care of your wellbeing so you can keep learning and growing during your golden years.