What to do after Retirement?

Retirement means many different things to different people.
Some plan on doing all the things that were not possible when working.
Some see it as a time of leisure, and some decide to explore other interests or careers.

The transition from a busy and routine work life can be harder than they anticipated. Many have not thought about the psychological and lifestyle changes they will face. The sooner you prepare, the better off you will be.

Retirement is your time to relax, after working hard for the majority of your life you’ve earnt it. However, after 6 months of relaxing you are more than likely going to become bored, without the meaning, challenges and fulfilment your job once provided. You need challenges to face so you can experience victories. If you live with meaning and challenges, you will be fulfilled and happy.

Since 2000, seniors are permitted to work after the age of 65 without their social security benefits being affected. This is appreciated by many as 40% of Americans over 50 now expect they will have to work during retirement to maintain the lifestyle they have become accustomed to.

Staying at your old job and working part time is a popular option as finding a job when you’re over 60 isn’t always easy, and sometimes seniors are forced to accept a lower salary. Understandably this can be hard to except for someone with a lifetime of experience and expertise. Another point to consider is that your health benefits may change.

If you don’t like the idea of staying at your old job there are some recruitment agencies that operate specifically for seniors. AARP has formed partnerships with several national employers, who now have programs to recruit, hire and train older workers. In addition, many other organizations help to connect prospective employers and interested older workers, such as the National Council on Aging.

Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community, stay interactive with people and make new friends. The organisation you choose to join will be filled with like-minded people that you will easily bond with. It is a perfect way to use the wide range of skills you have acquired over the years. Those that have no need to earn money can still feel they are contributing to society.

Beware of organisations who view retirees as a cheque book. Donating to charities is admirable and fine for people with extra cash or no time to be actively involved, but these reasons do not apply to you. If a charity isn’t interested in your skills or ideas direct them elsewhere.

For most people, their financial situation will be at the forefront of things to consider in retirement. However it is important to consider non financial aspects and what you think will make you happy. Making a list of goals you hope to achieve will help you in the right direction.

Keeping your mind sharp is very important. The brain is like any other muscle and needs to be exercised to stay strong. You could learn to play an instrument, join a book club, or learn a foreign language.  Regular exercise also aids the mind in staying sharp and focused. When you feel good it’s easier to stay positive and open to new experiences.

Elderhostel is a non-profit organisation that provides "learning adventures" for those aged 55 or over. According to the organisation's website “Elderhostel is for people on the move who believe learning is a lifelong process.” Participants can travel all over the world doing research, or take part in classroom learning.

Travel is an excellent way to keep your spirits up. Discover the places you’ve always dreamt of but have never seen because of work commitments.
House swapping is a brilliant way to make overseas trips affordable.
Enter “house swap” into your chosen search engine and you’ll find a wide range to look through. Some of these sites operate specifically for seniors, a fact that makes a lot of users more comfortable with opening their home.

With a little planning your retirement can be whatever you want it to be. Think of this transition as the beginning of a new chapter and you will find many new doors open and opportunities arise.


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