You’ve worked most of your life, and when it’s time to retire, it’s difficult to know what to do next. Without the routine of going to work every weekday, some retirees struggle with all of the additional free time that is available to them. But the truth it, now that you’re retired, you can finally enjoy every moment of life without having to fulfill work responsibilities. All of the things you never had time for while employed are all accessible to you now. So, go ahead and try something new or go back to something you used to love with your newly found freedom.
Focus on Your Health
First and foremost, you need to make sure your health is a priority. Before retirement for many workers, there was never enough time to take care of themselves as much. Taking time off work to go to the doctor was always a hassle. Going to the gym after a long day at work was often too difficult. Packing a healthy lunch in the rush of the morning routine never seemed to go well. The good thing is that now, you have as much time as you want, so it’s important to take advantage of that time. As people age, the need for more specialized health care increases. If you haven’t already, consider enrolling in Medicare. Depending on your income, your age and other factors, you could possibly pay next to nothing for this important health coverage. Once your health coverage is set, start making appointments for your various health care providers, such as a primary care doctor, and visit them regularly. If you keep up with appointments, your body can continue to be efficient and strong well into your senior years.
Eat Right and Exercise Regularly
Along with your doctors and health insurance plan, your diet and exercise strategy also contribute to your overall wellness. First, examine and critique your diet. It’s important to make sure your diet is rich in fiber, fruits, vegetables, vitamins, minerals and healthy, lean protein sources. Limit the amount of fast food, salty snacks, sweets and alcohol that you eat or drink each week. Next, eliminate any unhealthy habits such as smoking. Finally, start moving. With the extra time in your day that retirement allows, it’s time to begin a regular exercise routine. Experts recommend that older individuals do a combination of cardiovascular exercise and strength training. That means you should be doing some sort of enjoyable activity that gets your heart rate up. You may want to try walking around the local high school’s track, choosing an aerobics class, taking up swimming or trying a sport like tennis. Additionally, it’s important to begin resistance training your muscles so that your body remains physically strong. Before starting any new exercise program, make sure you check with your doctor first.
Consider Downsizing or a Reverse Mortgage
Now that you’re retired, you may also be finished raising your children. If you live in a larger house, you may struggle with keeping up with the cleaning schedule of all of the extra space. Many retirees decide to downsize at this point in their life and make the decision to purchase a smaller, more compact home like a condo. One floor living has many benefits including reducing the chance of falls for people who may have mobility impairments down the road.
Another option for many older adults is to consider living in a special 55 and older community. These communities often take care of outdoor tasks such as grass cutting and snow removal. There are also many opportunities for residents to get together and socialize with community sponsored organized activities.
For many people, a reverse mortgage is the best option. You can keep your existing home, that you love so much, and have the financial freedom to live your retired lifestyle.
Reconnect With Friends and Family.
Part of the worry over retirement is the thought of what to do with all of the free time during the day. What many older adults discover, though, is that it’s time to start catching up with old friends, classmates, co-workers and former neighbors. When many of these peers are also around the same age, they could also be facing retirement as well. For those who may not be able to reconnect with old friends, there is always the option of making new friends. With the wide variety of various social groups and special activity clubs, it’s easy to find friends who share the same interests as you do. Additionally, many older adults find retirement time becomes the perfect point to take a new role in family relationships. When children are grown with their own families, many grandparents enjoy babysitting their grandchildren. This allows grandmothers and grandfathers to deepen relationships with their own children as well as their grandkids, and some studies have even shown a link to babysitting grandchildren and a reduced rate of Alzheimer’s disease.
Spend Your Free Time Traveling
One of the most exciting aspects of retirement is the possibility for travel. Americans, for the most part, are known for focusing more on work and limiting their vacation time. Once the retirement stage is reached, it is time to change that trend and start seeing the world. Many retirees enjoy signing up for organized tours. These tours can be purchased from various companies and package together flights, hotels, meals, sightseeing and ground transportation. They often include a tour guide to help seniors comfortably navigate a new culture and a new destination. Another popular type of travel that many older adults enjoy is cruising. A cruise can be a fun way to embark on new adventures, without the stress of having to plan everything yourself. Many cruises also provide discounts to seniors or repeat customers. Or, if you are more interested in seeing more of this country, a popular type of travel to consider is Recreational Vehicle (RV) travel. Some retirees decide to purchase an RV and spend their time, weeks or even months, traveling from different RV sites and sightseeing their way across the United States.
Your retirement doesn’t have to be a scary or uncertain time. Think about it as more of an opportunity to finally do things you’ve always dreamed of. With the extra time available to you, you can develop new interests, take new journeys, cultivate relationships with friends and family and live the life you’ve always wanted.