Most people look forward to the day when they can say, ‘I will never again have to get up in the morning for something I haven’t chosen to do. I will spend today and tomorrow doing whatever I feel like.’ But for many, after a few months, the reality of filling all that time can become a problem. What was once a precious and scarce resource becomes a burdensome glut.
Get a Job
It may sound like the last thing you want, but it suits a lot of people to get part-time work in retirement. If you find you are struggling to maintain your lifestyle on a reduced income, it makes a lot of sense. More than that, it fills the space where work used to provide a structure to your week. Sometimes it is nice to be relieved of the responsibility of deciding what to do in the morning.
You may have work skills that you still want to use, and contribute to the field that you are experienced in. Or you may want to do something completely different, something that requires relatively little skill, or a skill that you can learn.
Plan the Future
Retirement is not a life without responsibilities, just different responsibilities. You need to know that you are not going to present a problem to your loved ones as your retirement progresses through the years.
So talk with them about the realities, from what sort of infirmity care would be appropriate if the time comes, to what sort of funeral or cremation services you prefer. It may seem morbid, but once it is done, you can set that aside and get on with the business of living.
Volunteering is a bit like a job, in that it does require you to make a commitment, of time and of reliability.
There are innumerable organizations looking for volunteers in all sorts of charitable fields—with the sick, the homeless, the aged; with animals or the environment; with political and civic groups. There will be opportunities to use the skills you have, and opportunities to learn new skills.
Extend Your Hobbies
Hobbies can stretch your mind and exercise your body. They will keep you healthier mentally and physically in the years ahead.
If you have a passion that you have never had enough time for, then retirement is your golden opportunity. If you just have a few ideas floating around in the back of your mind, then now is the time to start exploring.
You may be limited by finance, but with careful preparation you will find the right way to dive in.
A Great Time of Life
Surveys often show that the retirement years can be the most contented stage of life. You can live at your own pace, doing the things that are important to you, and spend more time with the people who matter to you. Far from being a void to be filled, time becomes a rich treasure to be mined.
Linda Webb is recently retired from a long career as a resident assistant at an elder care facility. It’s come as a bit of a shock to suddenly find herself with so much spare time on her hands! She’s filling some of it by writing articles.
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