15 Ways To Thrive in Retirement

Retirement is a funny old thing. You work for the best part of 40 years trying to build up your wealth and save money for the time when you are free to do whatever you want to do and then boom, you’ve retired and have more free time on your hands than you know what to do with.

For some seniors this can be a real issue because they have gone from a phase of their life where they have had responsibilities, structure and goals to one which lacks routine, social interaction and is more sedentary. The longer this goes on, the more it can negatively impact one’s mental and physical health.

As a result, it is important for retirees to see their golden years as a clear slate and embrace the possibilities it could hold. The best way to do that is to engage yourself mentally, physically and socially, as this will help you thrive. Here are 15 ways you can do that.

1. Look forward to the next stage of your life

You have worked hard to get yourself into a position to retire, so you should channel your energies on enjoying it.

Make sure you adopt a positive mindset that does not dwell on you no longer making a positive contribution to the work force. Instead allow yourself to enjoy the spare time you craved so much for when you were working.

Retirement is something you have earned. So make a vow to enjoy it.

2. Travel

15 Ways To Thrive in Retirement.

One of the best ways to thrive as a retiree is to travel. There is an entire country out there you can choose to explore, not to mention the whole world overseas. So why not draw up a bucketlist of places you want to visit and slowly tick them off one by one?

Whether its Uluru, Esperance or The Great Ocean Road you want to explore or destinations like Fiji, The Faroe Islands or Mongolia, travelling to these places will be a journey of discovery that broadens your mind and lifts your soul.

3. Get Healthier

Your health is important at any age, but especially as a senior if the daily course of your life means you are not as active as you once were.

For this reason you should make a point of exercising regularly by going for walks or jogs at the beach or the local park. You could also join a gym, swim, take Pilates classes, cycle or do Tai Chi. Basically anything that gets you active and burns up calories to keep you in shape.

At the same time you should also prioritise eating healthily and sleeping well. Ultimately, by focusing on your health, you will find you will have increased energy and a more positive outlook on things.

4. Get a part time job

Even though they have retired, many seniors still want to work to maintain a purpose, earn a little extra money and for the social interaction.

If you find yourself feeling like this it is a good idea to get yourself a part-time job. There are plenty of job options out there for seniors ranging from office admin and driving related roles to retail and cafe/restaurant work.

Websites like Older Workers and companies like Mature Age Employment Services specialise in job opportunities for older people wanting to stay employed.

Whatever job you decide to do, just make sure it is a role within an industry that you enjoy and makes you happy.

5. Volunteers

If you don’t fancy working or would prefer not to commit to a regular schedule you could always volunteer?

There are literally hundreds of charitable organisations in the country that could use your help in everything from raising donations to assisting with events or specific tasks. So, find a cause you feel passionate about and give them a call.

Other places you can volunteer are at museums or national parks, animal shelters, food delivery services and community gardens. The beauty about volunteering is that you can devote as little or as much time as you want.

6. Enjoy a hobby

15 Ways To Thrive in Retirement.

We all have hobbies and things we like doing. However, whether or not we make time for them is a different matter entirely.

Now that you’ve retired, it is the perfect time to rekindle your love of these activities. So, schedule in a time to play golf once or twice a week. Set up a big jigsaw puzzle in your house that you can tackle whenever you want. Reconnect with your greenfingers in the garden.

Essentially, whatever you like doing, it is important you spend time doing it, as this will fill your day with something you’ll find enriching. It is also a good idea to try new hobbies and activities you have always wanted to but haven’t ever gotten around too. So, give photography, scrapbooking, origami or candle making a try if it interests you.

7. Learn a new skill

One of the easiest ways to thrive as a retiree is to learn a new skill. This could be anything from a new language or how to make a barista coffee to computer programming or playing an instrument.

Not only will doing this present you with a new challenge to get your teeth into, it will also provide you with a sense of personal growth and be very rewarding the more accomplished you become at it.

8. Study

Always wanted to go to university? Or maybe there is a subject you want to learn more about? Well, why not enrol in a degree course?

An increasing number of retirees are doing just this as it enables them to tax their mind, expand their knowledge base and discover modern concepts and ideas. Most universities and even the government offer incentives to encourage older people to study and there are hundreds of courses you can choose from.

If you don’t fancy sitting in a lecture hall of one hundred 18-year-olds at a traditional redbrick campus, you can always take an online course with an institution like UTS. The sense of pride and achievement you will get when you graduate is worth your weight in gold.

9. Make new friends

Arguably one of the hardest things about being a retiree is that you often go from having plenty of social interaction to none at all. A lack of social intercourse is not good for your mental health and can leave you feeling isolated and alone.

As a result it is important to make new friends. There are plenty of social clubs and organisations that run regular get togethers that enable you to mingle with like-minded people. You should be easily able to find something suitable through a simple Google search or by scouring your local newspaper.

At the same time as making new friends, it is also important to maintain long-standing friendships as these are people you have made solid and meaningful connections with – which can be difficult to do the older you get.

10. Live in a place you love

15 Ways To Thrive in Retirement.

When you are retired it is important to live in a place you love because that is where you will be spending most of your time.

Subsequently, if your current home does not provide you with a comfortable space to reside and easy access to amenities like public transport, shops and medical facilities it might be time to move.

If your home is big, you should also consider moving if all your children have flown the nest, as you might find it empty and difficult to keep clean.

The last thing you will want is to live somewhere that is a labour of love or feels like a millstone around your neck. So, if you start to feel like this, consider moving somewhere – for instance close to a beach or a town centre area – that you are more likely to enjoy living in. It might be a good idea to rent for a while until you find somewhere that feels like home.

11. Review your finances

Finances can be a worry for retirees, so it is a good idea to constantly review them to give you peace of mind.

If you haven’t already, it is a good idea to create a budget that takes in your daily, weekly and monthly expenses. That will help you keep track of how much you need to comfortably fund your retirement lifestyle.

Make sure you review it on a regular basis to keep on track of your spending and make adjustments to it and your lifestyle as necessary.

12. Spend time with your grandchildren

Many retirees missed out on spending time with their own children as they had to work to provide for them. Therefore, if you have grandchildren, a nice thing to do is to spend as much time with them as possible.

Not only will this significantly help out your adult children (with free child-care) it is also a wonderful way to develop a bond with them. You will also feel younger too and have a great opportunity to tell them stories that can be passed down for generations.

13. Be proactive with health checks

Although you should be focusing on your health in terms of what you eat, how much sleep you get and what exercise you are doing, it is important also to be proactive with your health checks.

Don’t wait until you are sick to see a doctor, instead make regular appointments, at least once a year, to give your body the full once over. They will be able to ascertain early if there is an issue with your health and thus start to treat it accordingly.

Additionally, if they give you the all clear you will have the peace of mind that your body is in good working order.

14. Get Creative

If you have a creative mind you will never be bored, so why not get in tune with yours?

Whether you enjoy painting, drawing, writing or cooking, let your imagination take hold of your aptitude for these tasks to see what you can create.

With your mind fully engaged in the task, you will be amazed at what you can produce.

15. Plan a routine

For some retirees, lack of structure can be a real issue, especially those who have recently stopped working. As a result, if you feel this way, it is important to devise some structure for your day or week.

This structure can be as rigid or fluid as you want and can be either very detailed or with plenty of room for manoeuvres. The goal of doing this is to help you understand your purpose and prevent you from feeling lost or like your life is meaningless.