Contrary to popular belief, retirement is one of the most exciting stages in life. Gone are the responsibilities, troubles, and burden on your shoulders. Embracing your newfound freedom gives you the option to revamp yourself and live your life with a whole new meaning. Therefore, if you’re aiming for a happy and purposeful retirement, preparing for it is crucial.
Know what you want.
Planning how you’ll spend your old days may come as a surprise. Unfortunately, the older generation could remain clueless to the possibilities to make their days worthwhile, especially if they spent most of their youth working and providing for their family. However, it’s not too late.
Living longer gives you the privilege to see the world as it changes. See how people evolve and how we adapt to various innovations. In addition, this gives you time to get to know who you are and remember what you want to do.
It could be a place you’ve wanted to go to or an adventure you’ve always wanted to try with your loved ones. Maybe there’s a hobby that you want to revisit or simply spend more time with the people you care about. For whatever reason, the choice is for you to make and not anyone else.
However, while this is an ideal time to relax and let go of your worries, it is crucial to remain practical. Live within your means and energy. Of course, you would want to have a happy and comfortable retirement so take time to list down how you want to spend it and assess which ones you can carry out.
Don’t cut your ties to the world.
Joining the grey brigade does not mean you should spend it alone. Instead, take time to meet old faces, create new friendships, or bond with people with the same interest. Participating in a community will allow you to live a better quality and meaningful life.
Now more than ever, maintaining a social connection with people who genuinely support you in every way possible is a must. Isolating yourself from the world is linked with severe health conditions, including heart failure, anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues that may even result in committing suicide. So, start rebuilding your relationships with your kids, grandchildren, and relatives, as this can benefit both ends.
For one, children can learn valuable lessons and feel more secure when surrounded by their older caregivers. On the other hand, older adults feel less stressed and improve their mental sharpness and social functions. Of course, you can always rely on technology if you live far or can’t travel due to health and safety protocols.
Moreover, you may start looking for activities you can do with your friends and spouse, move into a familiar neighborhood, or look for assisted living facilities that can provide you with safety and security.
Find a new purpose.
Going on adventures is the ideal life people strive for. It frees you from societal pressure, stress, and worries about succeeding in your chosen career. However, abruptly doing this may shock your body since the sudden lack of things to do can leave you feeling empty.
This is understandable as we’ve spent most of our lives doing something. From finishing school to chasing dreams to building a family, every life stage gave us something we needed to accomplish. In a way, this has introduced us to various human emotions that have given us purpose and kept us going.
Therefore, it would be best to approach this life gradually. This is especially true for seniors who do not have age-associated conditions that may affect mobility and overall health. Consider doing volunteer work, including feeding the poor, tutoring in schools, becoming a museum guide, helping in your community garden, and visiting animal shelters.
You can do this for at least one or two hours daily to slowly give yourself time to understand your current life situation. You may also look for side jobs that require fewer hours but are equally profitable. It could be through selling your artwork, organic produce, woodwork, sewing, and even tapping on the gig economy.
You may use the proceeds to cover your basic needs without hurting your pension benefits and retirement funds. This can be useful, especially with the ongoing inflation that may affect long-term care and medical costs.
Most importantly, retirement is not the end. If any, it is the start of new and exciting beginnings that you can pursue with all the time you have in your hands. It means you’ve served your purpose, and it’s time you start taking care of yourself. Therefore, embrace it and make it count.