Whether you’ve been counting the years until retirement, or it suddenly snuck up on you, one thing is certain: Facing this new phase in your life is exciting and overwhelming. How will you spend your days? What should you do first? What retirement goals should you commit to?
If you retired from a full-time position, you have over 2,000 hours of newfound time. So how are you going to fill them? Here are some tips to help you make the first few years of retirement some of your best yet.
Focus on Your Health
There’s a saying, “Health is wealth,” and there’s a lot of truth to that. You’ve worked hard all your life, and you want to stay healthy and fit enough to enjoy your retirement years. If you’ve not had a checkup in a while, consider making an appointment to make sure all is well. Take this opportunity to speak with your doctor about any health concerns you may have and what preventive measures you can take to ensure continued well-being.
If you have a health condition, retirement may benefit you. Many health issues are worsened by stress and poor eating habits, so having the time to focus on relaxing and improving your diet might make it easier to manage your health overall.
Stay (or Get) Active
Staying active, both physically and mentally, is an important part of a healthy retirement. From a daily walk around the neighborhood to a guided exercise class, a little bit of physical engagement can go a long way. Learning a hobby, getting out in the community, even taking college classes, are all ways to stay active and busy.
Strengthen Your Relationships
Once you’re retired, you will likely have more time to spend with the people you care about most. A strong social network contributes to good health, so set up weekly coffee dates, movie nights or dinners with friends. Anything that helps you connect and stay connected with others is important for your emotional health.
Check Up on Your Finances
Before you retire, meet with a financial planner, or at least do a thorough review of your finances. If you haven’t that yet, don’t delay. You need to have a good idea of where your money is going and how much you have. Since your retired life can be quite different from what you’re used to, try tracking your spending for a few weeks, so you can see where your money is going. Talk with an expert about investing in a continuing care at home plan to ensure you can maintain your lifestyle for your full retirement.
Plan Regular Adventures
Do you want to go hiking in a nearby national park? Try a new type of restaurant once a month? Learn about a new country every week? Set up weekly or monthly goals for what you’d like to do, then make up a calendar or to-do list and check off your adventures. This is your time to do all the things you never had time to do as a working adult.
Some people thrive when they have set hours to be somewhere, and retirement may make them feel a bit lost. Volunteering for a local organization can give you back some of that structure, if that’s what you crave. You can volunteer to do something related to the work you used to do, or something completely different—like walking dogs at the local shelter.
Practice Acts of Kindness
When we do nice things for others, we benefit ourselves. Acts of kindness don’t have to cost anything—they can be making a point of complimenting the person serving you in a restaurant, or helping a neighbor plant a garden. Going out in the world with the mindset that you’re going to actively brighten someone’s day will make your own day brighter.
Retirement is a huge step in someone’s life. Preparing for it and having a plan can make this new way of life easier to get used to. And then you may wonder why you didn’t retire sooner!
Looking for more tips on how seniors like you changing retirement? Check out our free guide, Aging in Place: A Popular Trend for a New Generation of Seniors.