When you retire, a wide array of new possibilities becomes available to you. You have the opportunity to create a life that’s determined by your interests, desires and priorities, unencumbered by the constraint of having to earn a living.
Yet many people don’t take advantage of the possibilities that retirement offers. They just continue with their daily routine, minus the job.
Here are nine suggestions for how to get the most out of your retirement years. Most of them cost little or no money; they just require some effort, new habits and positive attitude adjustment.
As you get older, doesn’t it seem as though time passes faster and faster? That’s the perception most of us have, although intellectually we know that time passes at exactly the same speed.
But perception counts for a lot. And based on that perception, twenty years of retirement will seem to pass much more quickly than the first twenty years of your life or any twenty-year period of your working career.
Why does time seem to pass at an ever-accelerating rate?
Your retirement presents you with the opportunity to truly live your life on your own terms. You are no longer bound by the constraints of your job. You are now free to do the things you have wanted to do for years, limited only by your available resources and your mobility. It would be unfortunate to reach the end of your retirement journey, only to have regrets for the things you could have done, but didn’t.
With a little thoughtfulness and planning, you can avoid these twelve regrets during your retirement.
Many retirement articles have been written about all the wonderful things you can do with the free time you will have after you retire. Once you leave work, you’ll have more time to travel, volunteer, take courses, play golf, enjoy hobbies and so much more. The possibilities seem endless. All of these articles talk about everything you can add to your life.
After adding many of these things to your life, you could easily find yourself busier than you were during your working years. But filling your life with busyness probably won’t make you happier. In fact, it could leave you more stressed out.
As it turns out, your happiness in retirement could be determined as much by what you remove from your life as what you add.
Here are four things you could eliminate from your life to be happier in retirement.
Many people move to a smaller house at some point after they retire. Downsizing might make sense for both financial and logistical reasons, but it might not be an advantageous choice in every situation. There are many factors you should consider in order to decide whether downsizing is right for you. Here are some of the pros and cons of moving to a smaller home.
For over 60 years, millions of retirees have chosen to move to age-restricted active adult communities where they can live out their remaining years surrounded by golf courses, swimming pools, organized activities and – perhaps most important – other retirees.
Many people are drawn by the appeal of living in a safe, leisure-focused environment that is isolated from many of life’s realities, such as rush-hour traffic jams, undesirable neighborhoods and families with children.
Although many active adult communities are located in warmer states such as Florida, Arizona, and the Carolinas, they may be found throughout the United States and in some foreign countries.
While the lifestyle and amenities that age-restricted active adult communities offer are a good fit for many retirees, these places are not for everybody. If you are considering moving to a retirement community, here are ten questions you must consider before you put your house on the market and start packing.
When it comes to selecting a highly desirable retirement destination, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people have a few additional criteria to consider than do most Americans. In addition to considerations such as low cost of living and low taxes, LGBT people tend to value cities with strong LGBT communities, higher levels of acceptance and the presence of non-discrimination laws.
Cities that are most famous for their prominent LGBT communities, such as New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles, are also very expensive. LGBT baby boomers who want to stretch their retirement dollars farther would do well to consider these cities that offer lower cost of living, cheaper real estate and lighter tax burden, but still have thriving LGBT communities. These cities are excellent retirement choices for non-LGBT people as well, because cities where LGBT people enjoy greater acceptance tend to be more welcoming of all types of diverse people and offer plentiful art and cultural amenities.
We all know that we should exercise regularly and eat responsibly in order to stay healthy. The benefits are clear: you will live longer, you will have fewer doctor visits and lower medical bills, and you will be better able to travel and go about your daily routine.
But sadly, according to the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition, only about 30% of adults 65-74 are active.
The problem is that most of us aren’t very good at sticking to things we should do. We are more likely to stay committed to things we want to do. The key to establishing and maintaining a successful exercise regimen is to find the right combination of activities you will enjoy and a reason that is compelling enough to motivate you to stick with it.
The internet is awash with advice from retirement planning experts. Interestingly, many people who write retirement advice haven’t retired yet or are relatively recent retirees (like me). Plus, much of the advice you read comes from financial planners. That’s important, of course, but as you know, there’s more to a happy retirement than simply saving enough money.
Wouldn’t it be great to receive advice from some older, more experienced retirees who have spent many years living through the experience?
Recently, I had the opportunity to query some residents of Wake Robin, a life plan community in Shelburne, VT, through Wake Robin’s publicist, Charlotte Longley Lyman. I asked the residents questions such as “What advice would you offer to someone who is preparing to retire now?” and “What was the number one thing you wish you had done when starting the retirement process?”
Here are eight bits of sage advice compiled from their answers. Most of this advice is not ground-breaking or new – you’ve probably heard most of it before. But it’s good to have this advice validated by people who have been there and done that.