January 17: 7 WAYS TO MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR TIME IN RETIREMENT
One of retirement’s greatest gifts is freedom. Whether it’s no longer having to report to the office or being able to travel the world on your schedule or finally moving into a more maintenance-free community, that new-found freedom can be experienced in many different ways. But none are more evidently felt than the abundance of time now at your disposal.
For those adjusting to life without a clock to punch or lawn to mow, the struggle to know exactly how to maximize this newfound freedom can be overwhelming. How do you make sure you aren’t letting the best years of your life disappear into a dull routine? More importantly, what are the best ways to maximize this new payout of time? Here are seven suggestions to get you started.
Concentrate on Milestones, not maintenance
No matter how efficient you are at managing your schedule, there will always be maintenance-type activities to occupy a portion of your time each day. Things like sleeping, eating, doctor visits, chores, etc. While these are all necessary things to get done, they don’t add much significance to your life. As you search for ways to maximize your time, focus on milestones that will give you the greatest sense of purpose and accomplishment. Things like family, relationships, education, adventure, community, and hobbies. These milestones will be the things that carry the most meaning, while everything else fades into the background.
Choose your adventure
It’s very easy—even for the most adventurous of us—to be creatures of habit and routine. Whether you’ve stopped working, or you find your days less occupied than they once were, repetitive or uneventful daily events have an uncanny ability to completely take over our entire day if we let them. Instead, try filling your unscheduled time with something new. Retirement is the chance to be adventurous and tackle the items, places, and hobbies that have accumulated on your bucket list. Being open to new adventures doesn’t mean you have to say yes to things you don’t want to do. But be sure not to let indifference or the fear of stepping out of your comfort zone be a reason to say no.
Craft a new you
For many, retirement isn’t just the end of a working or professional life, it can also mean the loss of an identity decades in the making. After all, when someone would ask what you do, you had an answer. Now that you’ve stepped away from the daily work force, what will you say? Stating you’re retired may be accurate, but it certainly doesn’t tell much about you. Instead, create a new identity for yourself. If you’ve taken up art, you’re an artist. If you plan to travel, you’re an explorer. If you’ve dusted off the old instrument, you’re a musician. Creating a new role for yourself not only provides a sense of value and personal identity but it will also inspire further conversation as you make new acquaintances along the way.
Nurture a network of friends
Friends and acquaintances come and go throughout life. When you leave a job or move, you may leave many of those friends behind. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t new friendship opportunities on the horizon. It’s up to you to be the curator of quality people in your life. Take advantage of opportunities to meet new friends and share what you have in common whenever you can. It’s also important to seek out people who are positive, supportive, and share the same qualities and values you hold dear. Having good people around you not only makes life better, it makes you better, too.
Continue to learn and grow
After you leave work, you might breathe a sigh of relief at the thought of no longer be weighed down with the stress of responsibility or the pressure to keep up with industry information. But that doesn’t mean you should completely shut off your brain. One of the best ways to make retirement enjoyable and meaningful is to engage in opportunities to further expand learning and personal growth. Indulging your curious side will help you stay mentally stimulated, as well as assist in keeping life interesting. It’s also a great way to make new acquaintances and form new relationships over shared interests.
Give a little to gain a lot
Volunteering or lending a hand of service is one of the most fulfilling ways to spend your time, especially in this stage of life when you have more of it to offer. It may seem counterintuitive but giving your time to others in the act of service can actually make you feel like you have more time. In fact, studies have found that people who give their time not only feel like they have more of it to give, they also feel more capable, confident, and useful in accomplishing future endeavors, whether for themselves or for others.
Enjoy each day
Perhaps one of the best things you can do in retirement is maintain a positive outlook on life. Despite our best intentions, life (and retirement) doesn’t always go as planned. You may realize there are some things you won’t be able to do, or things you may never get a chance to do. But that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying each day as it comes along. Retirement means the freedom to pursue your desires each and every day. So, make sure you do something you enjoy. And above all else, make sure you find joy in everything you do.
To learn how a Life Plan Community can help you make the most of your retirement, call 866-559-7264 to speak with one of our retirement counselors today. Or visit www.summitvista.com for more information.