Chances are you’ve spent a lot of your working life dreaming about retirement. You’ve been diligent in putting a financial plan in place so that you’d be able to retire in comfort. But, have you thought about what your day-to-day life will look like once you retire?
Retirement is a huge lifestyle change – your time is suddenly your own, instead of being dictated by the demands of your career. As much as you’ve been looking forward to it, the sudden end to your old routine can be really disruptive to your life.
How do you plan for a happy, fulfilling retirement? The key is to take stock of your interests and passions and find activities that you’ll enjoy and that will keep you active and socially engaged. Start developing them before you retire, and you’ll have the makings of a much easier transition. Here are a few ideas:
- Volunteering: This is a great way to put your energy and experience into a cause that has meaning for you. It also allows you to develop new friendships. So, what type of volunteer work interests you? Find charities that do this type of work, and get to know what they’re looking for in a volunteer. The more relevant your skills are, the more valuable you’ll be.
- Hobbies: After you retire, you’ll be able to devote time to hobbies that may have taken a backseat to work and family obligations. If you don’t have any hobbies, your pre-retirement years are the time to develop them. Having one or two hobbies already in place will make the transition to retirement that much easier.
- Travel: A lot of people look forward to retirement as the time when they’ll finally get to travel and see new parts of the country, or the world. Have you thought through exactly where you want to go, and when? If you haven’t done so, try writing down a list of destinations as a step toward building travel into your retirement plans.
- Part-Time Work: Retirement doesn’t have to mean leaving the workforce completely and permanently. Working part-time or starting a small business is becoming a common activity for retirees. You’ll stay connected to other people in your community, stay busy, and have an extra income stream. Think about what kind of work you’d like to do during retirement, and if the work requires skills or knowledge you don’t currently have, take some time now to develop the tools you’ll need.