Life After Retirement: Finding Fulfillment
- 1. What Is Retirement?
- 1. What Is Retirement?
- 2. What to Do With All That Time after Retirement?
- 3. Overcoming the Fear of Retirement
- 4. Activities to Renew Your Youthfulness
- 5. Ask Yourself Some Real Life after Retirement Questions
- 6. Important Discussions
- 7. What to Expect in Your First Year of Life after Retirement?
- 8. The Joy of Gardening
- 9. Home Improvements
- 10. Mindfulness
- 11. Life after Retirement – Celebrating You
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We spend our whole lives awaiting retirement, we put in the hours at work to get that pension ready, but sometimes we struggle to know what to do with life after retirement. It can be a challenging transition from being a part of the rat race to suddenly having a lot of free time.
Most of us plan for retirement in terms of our finances, we get our pension ready, where we plan to live, and all the financial details sorted. But, once retirement arrives, the big question is always what to do after retirement with all the time you have.
What Is Retirement?
To put it simply, retirement is when you no longer have to go to work and can instead receive your pension as payment, gaining free time. It’s another transition, a time when your life shifts its focus again.
The word retirement means something has lost its usefulness, which is a terrible word for what is a new exciting chapter of your life. Although at the beginning it might feel like you’re losing an aspect of your identity, you’re actually gaining time to do things you truly love to do.
What to Do with All That Time after Retirement?
The phrase time is money will no longer apply to you. Instead, time will be whatever you choose it to be. You could spend your time teaching the wisdom you’ve learnt over the years, spend it with family, or create a schedule filled with doing what you love.
Instead of letting the retirement blues take hold of you for too long, here are some examples of what to do after retirement.
No, life after retirement doesn’t mean you need to join a knitting class if you don’t want to. But there are wonderful activities out there that you now have time for! Start going to a gym, swimming classes, make time for the theatre or going to the cinema, painting, pottery, hiking, cycling, you name it. Whatever you’re interested in learning or doing.
For those who love learning, don’t feel like retirement is when you stop learning. It isn’t, there might be a subject that always fascinated you, and now you have the finances and time to pursue it! Even just reading about it if you don’t feel ready or able to commit to classes.
Sharing our stories and helping others is incredibly fulfilling. Teaching the younger generation about your industry, about a skill you have, or even just telling the grandkids if you have them. Depending on your skills you can take quick online courses on how to teach and then get straight to it.
Time to learn how to do video calls if you don’t know how already, and spend quality time with the family. You’ll be able to keep in touch no matter where they are in the world and see everybody growing up.
Also, if you don’t have any family, then start to develop new friendships – making new friends at a certain age can seem daunting. However, you can make friends in classes, local café, and even with neighbours.
Travelling Life After Retirement
If you’re financially able to, travelling is a great way to spend time. Although, sometimes we can feel in a rut; exploring different cultures, food, and climates can shake up that routine. Some of us missed out on the opportunity to see the world, and retirement is the perfect time.
Starting Your Projects Maybe there’s a project you wanted to work on, but time wasn’t on your side. Anything from writing your own book to creating sculptures, whatever it is, you can now turn your attention to it entirely.
Overcoming the Fear of Retirement
The fear of life after retirement is due to many factors like financial worries, the fear of becoming obsolete, and the fear of becoming older. In America 56% of peopleare worried that they won’t be financially secure in retirement, according to a 2021 Retirement Insecurity survey. But, these fears are as irrational as the fear of going to college, the fear of becoming 30, and the fear of trying new things. Certainly, a big shift can be challenging, but it’s not the end of anything but a new beginning.
Financial worries tend to creep up at around 45 or 50, and progressively get worse as we get closer. We start to look back and think of all the things we could have done to be more financially secure. Likewise remember, you can do part-time work after you retire to keep adding to that pension.
“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” – Mark Twain.
Retirement is a time of renewed youthfulness, and you get to do what you want again. Financial stress can be resolved if you plan ahead of time, and you realise that it can be improved throughout retirement. There is no need to fear this transition; plan for it, and enjoy it.
Activities to Renew Your Youthfulness
Let’s look at some ways to make the most of this transition, with activities you can do that bring joy and that sense of accomplishment that a job provides. If you still feel you don’t know what to do after retirement, here are our tips.
There are tons of organisations out there that help people or animals. Helping out once a week can provide you with the gratitude of helping others while keeping active. It can boost our mood too! Whether it’s a charity, helping people emotionally through counselling, or career coaching, helping others is super rewarding.
Exercise is a great way to improve our happiness. It can seem daunting for those who never had the time to take care of their body before, but there are plenty of classes to take part in for seniors. Try yoga, tai chi, swimming, cycling, hiking, even just a few moments walking outside each day is a huge mood booster.
We don’t believe that dating is reserved for one age. There are plenty of apps you can download that are for senior dating, or you can go to speed dating bars or meet people at clubs. You never know, you may fall in love again.
Also, if you’re already in a relationship – try shaking up the routine and trying different dating activities and places together.
Ask Yourself Some Real Life after Retirement Questions
It’s time to dig deep and ask yourself what you truly want. A time to look inwards to reflect on the life you’ve had, and the next stage that you want to create. To help guide you in these questions, we’ve compiled a list for you to go over. Write them down and try to answer each one honestly.
- Describe a perfect day before retirement?
- What can you do to create that same feeling?
- What did you love to do as a child?
- Who are the important people in your life? How can you connect with them more or seek similar people?
- What do you regret in your life? What can you do to change that?
- If life at retirement feels scary, dull, or useless, why does it?
- What in your life do you need to get in order?
- If you had no financial worry, what would you be doing? How can you do that now?
- What activities bring you joy?
- Outline the steps can you make to bring about more happiness day-to-day?
- What have you learnt throughout your life that could help others?
- How did you feel through other significant transitions in your life?
- How does that compare to now?
- Do you feel lonely? What can you do to transform that loneliness?
- Are you honestly ready to retire?
Maybe it’s time to have the talk with your grown-up children, the adult discussion about documentation, finances, and how you’ve put everything in order for them.
This isn’t an easy discussion, most of us prefer to ignore the realities and stick to easier topics. But it can help give you ease of mind to go over this. It can also help to write it all down if you prefer and give them the letter.
It might also be beneficial to plan it out with your spouse first, and talk about how you can go over it without upsetting anyone.
What to Expect in Your First Year of Life after Retirement?
The initial transition of life after retirement can be quite emotional for some, especially those who loved their career or felt defined by that structure. It’s important to take care of yourself during this time and remember that it’s a new beginning full of new opportunities.
Try not to be too hard on yourself, it’s normal to feel a little lost afterwards. Just take it day by day, what small adjustments will help improve your happiness?
Finding Ways to Fill Time
Some continue to work, others find hobbies, become bloggers, or seek things that make them feel productive. This is perfectly normal to feel the need to fill the time, but remember that time is yours now – consider what it is you really want to spend your time on.
Make choices that you couldn’t make before. For example, if you always wanted to try out a different career and still feel the need to work then you can try a different part-time job.
At the end of the year, you’ll be fully rooted in retirement life, or renewed living as we prefer to call it. You’ll find all the wonderful benefits and joy of no longer having to work, and enjoy each day more and more.
Once you discover what you really want to be spending time on, is when you’ll find yourself happier than you ever were before.
The Joy of Gardening
For nature lovers, gardening is a relaxing and fun project. Watching the seeds we plant grow while enjoying the sunshine in summer is a great way to spend a day.
You can find tips online on how to grow certain vegetables and flowers, pass the day planting or potting if you live in an flat. Moreover, having plants is like having a low maintenance pet, and if you’re not a plant person then maybe it’s worth getting a cat or a dog to keep you company.
A pet comes with the bonus of making us feel needed and can reduce any stress from the transition.
If you are settled in your own home, why stop the home improvements at retirement? There’s always more to do around the house. Life after retirement can be spent focusing on redecorating.
Furthermore, whether you want to redesign a room, add fresh paint, get new furniture, or put in a shower instead of that dreaded bathtub leg-over moment. Designing your space is a great way to boost your mood, make your living more comfortable and have some fun.
If you’ve never tried meditation or mindfulness practices, now’s the perfect time to become attuned with yourself. Meditation has been proven to help ease anxiety and to ease stress.
Firstly, a simple way to meditate is to sit on your sofa or lay in bed and focus on your breathing. Secondly, no need to breathe deeper or any kind of way, but to just focus on the inhale and exhale. Thirdly, every time your mind wanders, notice that, and gently bring your attention back to the breath.
Notice your thoughts without judgement, and listen to them.
Life after Retirement – Celebrating You
Take any regrets and put them aside, celebrate the wonders that life has brought you. The experiences you’ve had, and the wonderful people you’ve met. Look over your career and look at the strength you had in your achievements, and in life.
Now is a time of transformation, you’re no longer defined by your career, but by the wonderful person you’ve become. You’re defined by the wisdom you’ve attained over the years, and who you are right now.
Celebrate yourself, rediscover what new purpose you can find after retirement. Grasp this next chapter of your life, and enjoy them to their fullest too!