Whenever someone mentions the “golden years,” we know what they’re talking about. The phrase was actually coined in 1959 for a successful advertising campaign for America’s first large-scale retirement community. Since then, we’ve come to understand that retirement is the time to enjoy our lives, minus many of the responsibilities we used to have.
The ones who enjoy their post-working days the most are the ones who change their way of thinking and their habits. However, many people find this transition difficult and don’t know what to do with their life if they’re not working. The important thing is not to succumb to the question a lot of retirees ask: now what? The options of how to fill up your day are a lot more than this read can give you.
For starters, here are some things that the happiest retired people do.
Wind Down Gradually
The transition from work into retirement is better handled gradually and in stages, instead of a sudden change. Before it’s time for your retirement, start to lessen your load of work if you can, and see what you enjoy to occupy your time. It’s a good time to seek some well-deserved ‘me-time’ and pamper yourself in ways that you can afford.
Set a Routine
Too much freedom and flexibility in a schedule can actually be more stressful for lots of people. It’s not really a great feeling to wake up every morning and wonder what to do. Setting a schedule will keep you functioning throughout the day.
Caring for your health is going to be more important, so maybe you want to start the day with a fitness routine. Work doesn’t have to be totally off the table, and you can do part-time or charity work. It’s up to you to fill in the blanks, because the possibilities of what to do are numerous. The point is to have a schedule that fulfills you.
If you’re like most people, you probably had a dozen reasons why you couldn’t travel as much as you wanted to when you were working; too much work, not enough holidays, and exhaustion are some of those reasons. Assuming you’ve built a nest egg, this is your time to make the most of the travel. It’s better to do this early in your retirement when you’re still young enough and physically capable of really enjoying the benefits of travel, such as expanding your horizons and exposing yourself to new cultures. For the retired person, there are other perks, as well.
You might be traveling and realize you’ve stumbled upon a country that you’d like to make your new home. Maybe the atmosphere, weather, or costs of living are more attractive to you than the place you’re currently residing in. In that case, why not take a look at the most popular places to retire to and compare the cost of living in these countries in the USA? Retiring outside the USA might be an option for you, as so many countries have certain benefits that could suit your new life, and you can make that country a home away from home.
As we grow older, our social connections can dwindle if we don’t make a conscious effort to stay connected to friends and other people. When we’re working, connections often happen naturally either through work or other means. The retired person, especially if single, can easily fall into the trap of getting lonely, which often accompanies aging—but you can change all that around.
Just because you’ve retired from work, that doesn’t mean you have to retire from the relationships you built at work—nor does it mean that you can’t build new relationships. You could mentor others in your line of work, or simply share your experiences with younger generations. The opportunities are there, and it’s just a matter of seeking them out. It’s crucial that you remain rich in friends and the people that care about you.
After decades of work, this is the time to learn to regenerate yourself; explore, travel, inspire others, and relax. Retirement is a blessing, but also a curse if not handled well. On the one hand, you’re free to do what you want and when you want. On the other hand, it takes some adjusting and a change of habits to get used to it. You’ll want to pick up some new habits to avoid falling into unhealthy ones. When you do that, it’s a sure thing that retirement can be one of the best milestones in your life.