Some of us retire by choice, others are retired by the company we worked for. Either way, you’ll have a much more successful retirement if you plan for it. If you retired by choice, you may have done some minor planning, or maybe even major planning. Do you have your financial resources set aside for this time of your life? Have you planned some long-awaited vacations or other activities? Are you thinking about starting your own business?
How you live out your retirement years is totally up to you. It can be the best years of your life or the worst. Of course, barring any serious illness, how you spend these years after leaving the work force can be filled with passion and promise. Your choice of attitude and actions can make the difference between boring or brilliant years.
For example, you may want to look at retirement as the time of your life when you can choose to do whatever you want, whenever you want, however you want. You can catch up on all those things you said you always wanted to do, but never had the time to do.
Follow some of these secrets to living successfully to help you see that there is life after retirement:
1. Set goals. We don’t usually think of setting goals at this time of our life, after all, we’ve been doing it all our working years. However, setting goals as to how you’d like to spend your time in fruitful pursuits can help you avoid drifting from one day to the next, and wind up depressed or ill. Take this time to reassess your life. Maybe you’d like to revisit goals you previously set but didn’t accomplish. Have you always wanted to play an instrument or learn another language? Do you have some vacations planned? Get a new notebook and start writing. Goals give you something to look forward to and a reason to get up in the morning, now that you’re not punching a time clock.
2. Develop new interests. These can be activities you’ve never done and always wanted to attempt, or pursuing passions you already had but didn’t have enough time to pursue. Perhaps you want to develop an untapped talent like Grandma Moses did in her 80s. Maybe you’ll take up ballroom dancing with your spouse so you can spend quality time together rather than getting in each other’s way. Could you start coaching your grandson’s soccer team? How about starting a book club or joining a meetup?
3. Give back. There are myriad opportunities to serve at a variety of different charities. You can help seniors, animals, children, the homeless, and so much more. Where are your talents best used? Who do you like to support? Many non-profits will be thrilled to have you as a volunteer. And you’ll get so much more back than you give.
4. Start a business at home. You may still have a lot of physical and mental energy after you retire and have always wanted to run your own business. It would be easy to get started working from home. You can sell products online, or offer your skills at financial management, consulting, gardening, or whatever you excel at. You might even become a bestselling author or successful artist.
5. Become a teacher, coach, or mentor. You were probably an expert at several things before you retired. Have you ever thought about teaching, coaching, or becoming a mentor? There are plenty of opportunities through organizations like the Boys & Girls Clubs, the YMCA, Big brother or sister, as well as local public and private schools, adult school, or community colleges. The Small Business Administration sponsors SCORE (Service Core of Retired Executives) where you can mentor new entrepreneurs. You have so much knowledge to share with others.