You've worked hard and handled your responsibilities and now you're ready to retire. Congratulations! How do you envision spending your newly found freedom? We've compiled a list that is sure to give you some great ideas on designing your retirement life, whether you're feeling adventurous, want to reconnect with your passions, or desire some quiet time.
With no limits on your vacation time, you can satisfy your wanderlust to your heart's content. Score some last-minute flight deals, book that cruise you've always wanted to go on, or rent a motor home and tour the country. Want a more long-term adventure? Consider living abroad for a while. Do a web search for the best places to retire in the world to find some great locales where your retirement budget can go far.
Learning something new is not only enjoyable, but it also keeps the brain agile. Have you always wanted to finish your degree or get a graduate degree? For less structure or time commitment, consider signing up for continuing education classes through your local university. Many colleges have programs or discounts for retirees. Some craft and cookware stores offer classes using their products. You'll have the time freedom to learn more about things you're interested in, like cooking exotic cuisine, water coloring, history, dancing, mastering another language, SCUBA diving, writing, gardening, or playing a musical instrument. Whatever you're curious about, there are teachers out there for it.
Indulge in Your Hobby
Without time limitations, you'll be free to truly engross yourself in your hobby. Do you like model building, winemaking, pottery, baking, sailing, needlepoint? The possibilities are only limited by your chosen passions. If you've always wanted to get into a specific hobby but never had the time to learn about it, take classes like the previous suggestion. There are many how-to videos online on websites like YouTube or Udemy, so you might not even have to take traditional classes to get started.
There is a constant need for volunteers for local organizations. Volunteering gives people a sense of purpose and contributes to the greater good. Are there specific charities near and dear to your heart that you'd like to support with your time? Ideas include Meals on Wheels, Habitat for Humanity, and animal rescues. Volunteering isn't limited to charitable organizations; places like libraries, hospices, churches, museums, and veterans' homes could use your time as well.
There is finally time to get that book idea down on paper, start a blog on a subject you're knowledgeable about, or make a little side money publishing articles. Does everyone comment about how you should make your own cookbook? Or are you a theater lover who has a great storyline for a play? Alternatively, you don't have to write for the masses, you can just write for yourself by starting a journal. If writing is your passion, explore it.
Join a Club
Make new friends, have fun, and expand your knowledge by joining a club centered around a subject you're interested in. Check with your library or local seniors' center to see what types of groups are active in your area. If you can't find one in your particular interest, consider starting your own.
Spend Time With Family
If your career meant you didn't spend as much time with your family as you would've preferred, now is your chance to get that quality time. If you have younger children in your life like grandchildren or grandnieces/nephews, you'll have the time to babysit, attend their school or sporting events or take them to zoos, museums, or sports games.
Foster a Rescue Animal
If you're a big animal lover, consider fostering one or more rescue animals. Not only are you giving an animal a stable and loving home while they wait to be adopted, you'll enjoy the benefits of animal companionship.
Go Into Public Service
Become dedicated to improving your community through public service. That could mean running for political office, becoming an activist for a cause you're passionate about, volunteering on election campaigns, attending town hall meetings, or becoming a poll worker.
Engage in Spiritual or Physical Activities
Keeping your body and mind healthy and happy will mean a longer and much more fulfilling life. Even if you're not the sporty type, you can stay physically fit through low-impact activities like swimming, biking, yoga, or tai chi. To feel more at peace, meditate or get involved with church activities.
These are just some of the many possibilities you have available to you in retirement to keep you active, engaged, and fulfilled. May your retirement be everything you want it to be - you've earned it!