After you retire, what will you do with all of your new-found time?

Are you concerned that you’ll be bored?

I’m always bewildered when I hear people say that they think retirement will be boring.  I’ve heard many people say they don’t want to retire and they would rather keep working, because they have no idea what they would do with all that leisure time.

Calendar

This is totally foreign to me.  I never seem to find enough time to do everything I want to do.

In my Retirement Visualization Guide, I ask you to list things you really enjoy doing, things you have enjoyed doing in the past, and new things you want to try.  If you have undertaken this exercise, chances are that there are more things you just haven’t thought of - yet.

The list below will stimulate you to come up with some more possibilities for activities you might pursue after you retire.  It is by no means a complete list, but it should provide some good starting points for brainstorming and possibility thinking.

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It’s December in Phoenix.  Our daily high temperatures reach into the upper 70s, and our nighttime lows are in the lower 50s.  The days shift between sunny and partly cloudy;  it rains only occasionally.

The freeway traffic is heavier, the restaurants are more crowded, and the grocery check-out lines are longer.  Why?  The snowbirds are here!

Retire Fabulously Snowbirds Crowded Freeway Heavy Traffic Retirement
Snowbirds add millions of dollars to the local economy, but also clog the freeways, restaurants, and check-out lines.

Snowbirds are people who migrate from colder regions of the United States and Canada to sunny spots in Florida, Arizona, and other Sunbelt states every year.

But to the millions of people who migrate every year, it offers the best of both worlds – an opportunity to maintain ties to your family, friends, and the familiarity of the place you’ve called home for much of your life, as well as an escape from cold, wintery weather and a change of scenery.

Why is seasonal migration so popular among retirees?  What are the drawbacks and the costs?  What do you need to plan for, and what challenges must be confronted?

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The Old Home

Are you planning to move after you retire?  While top ten lists of retirement havens are a staple of today’s list-happy internet, there are still many people who plan to retire right where they are.

My most recent reader survey indicates that over 60% of respondents are considering moving or have already moved.  Only 15% say they aren’t planning to move, and the rest are unsure.

(By the way, the survey is still open.  It’s only 7-8 multiple-choice questions and it should take you only 3-5 minutes to complete it.  You can participate here.  Thanks!)

On the other hand, a recent article on CNN Money claims that 63% of Baby Boomers plan to stay in their own homes when they retire.  In the October, 2014 issue of Consumer Reports, 65% of retirees surveyed had not moved.

Of course, you can find statistics to prove anything.  Regardless of what some percentage of people is planning to do, what really matters is what you want and what makes the most sensible choice for you. ...continue reading

Where's Your Ideal Place to Live

I would greatly appreciate just a couple minutes of your time for a very brief survey about what would make an ideal place to live for you.

I'm looking for people of all ages, single or coupled, LGBT or straight, working or retired - everybody!

Here's the link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/WP2TCK2

Your inputs will enable me to give you useful content, both on this web site and in my upcoming books.

Thank you!

Please feel welcome to share and forward this survey.

 

(c) 2014 Dave Hughes.  All rights reserved.

Photo credits:
Palm Beach Island: Kim Seng
Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain: Pedro Szekely

Mountain cabin at Echo Lake: Junaid Dawud
La Playa de Las Canteras, Gran Canaria, Spain: El Coleccionista de Instantes
All photos from Flickr.com, some rights reserved.

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Man at overlook

I have been retired for nine months now.  In some ways, it seems as though the time has flown by.  In other ways, it seems like my life has been like this for a long time and work is now a distant memory.

When greeted by friends, I’m often asked, “So how’s retirement?”  My stock answer is “Great!”  And overall, it really is.

I’ve long been amused by this definition of the word “affirmation:” An affirmation is when you lie to yourself repeatedly until you actually believe the statement to be true.  Therefore, whenever I answer an inquiry about how my retirement is going, when I answer “great!” I am reaffirming to myself that it actually is.

In fact, during retirement I’ve had happy, blissful days and I’ve had depressing, frustrating days – much the same as when you’re living any other phase of your life.

Here are seven things I have learned about being retired and about transitioning from work to retirement, followed by three key takeaways for you.

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Will working be part of your retirement?

Perhaps your answer is not just “no!” but a resounding, “HELL no!!!”

It may seem like an oxymoron to see “working” in the same sentence as “retirement.”  By definition, isn’t retirement what you do after you stop working?

Not necessarily.  Retirement comes in many shapes and sizes, and encompasses a wide range of possibilities.  Ultimately, it means whatever you want it to mean.

Working during retirement

You may find yourself working in one way or another after you retire. 

I’ve seen statistics that claim that as much as 72% of all people (in the U.S.) are expecting that they will work after they retire, in one form or another.

This could be driven by financial necessity, the need to feel productive or relieve boredom, or the desire to do something you’re totally passionate about.  Hopefully, your decision to work will be part of the retirement lifestyle you choose as opposed to being forced to work.

For whatever reason, if you anticipate that working in some manner will be part of your retirement, here are several factors to keep in mind.  Then, I’ll share a dozen possibilities for work that are well-suited for retirees.

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Where do you ultimately want to live during the active, independent years of your retirement?

Aside from choosing a city, state, and country that best suits your needs, there’s another dimension to this question.

Friendship Village

Do you want to live in a senior community or stay in the community at large? 

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Road into horizon with Start stenciled-cropped

If you’re still five, ten, or even twenty years away from retiring, why worry about it now?

You’re busy, and you’ve got your career to worry about. If you’re a parent and you still have kids at home, it’s all you can do to keep track of all their activities and needs. And you’ve got a to-do list a mile long. What’s the big hurry?

If you’re stuck in a job that’s unpleasant, stressful and not particularly fulfilling, you are probably thinking of retirement more in terms of being able to permanently escape from the hell of your day-to-day work, rather than as a period of your life when you can enjoy more leisure and spend your time doing things that are more enjoyable and fulfilling to you.

You may be thinking of retirement more in terms of what you will be retiring from, rather than what you’ll be retiring to.

This is a recipe for boredom and unhappiness. Being able to eliminate that which is causing you pain and suffering is good, but if you don’t have something meaningful to take its place, you’ll just be replacing one form of suffering with another – and one that doesn’t pay nearly as well.

I believe it’s important to take time every now and then to dream about all the possibilities that lie ahead for you after you stop working a full-time career, and start formulating some plan for what you’re going to do with all the time you’ll have available after you stop working.

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Daily PlannerI recently received a comment from a reader who wrote, “Most people look forward to not having a schedule when they retire. I like structure, I take comfort in schedules. That is my concern about retiring.”

The issue of how tightly I want (or need) to schedule my time has been something I’ve been wrestling with since I’ve been retired. It’s also a topic that Jeff and I have different opinions on.

There is not a “one size fits all” answer to this question. It all has to do with what kinds of activities you wish to fill your day with, and what goals you have for how you want your retirement to play out. A lot also depends upon your personality type.

The short answer is: If you will enjoy your life more with a schedule, have one! (Share on Twitter)

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For many years, Spain has enjoyed a reputation as a fantastic vacation destination. It’s warm climate, sunny Mediterranean beaches, history, art, and culture, as well as its friendly, easy-going, relaxed atmosphere, have delighted travelers for years.

More recently, Spain has emerged as a top-tier retirement choice. Let’s look at why. (Share on Twitter)

The Weather

If warm weather is your preference, you’ll find most of Spain to your liking, especially along the Mediterranean coast.

MalagaMalaga at Night

All along the Mediterranean coast, summers are hot but not oppressive. Malaga (a coastal city in the south) records average highs of 30oC (86oF) in summer. Temperatures rarely dip below freezing in Barcelona (at the north end of the coast), coastal cities farther south never experience freezing temperatures, and it never snows. ...continue reading