What To Do With The Freedom That Retirement Brings

One of the great benefits of being retired on either a full or part-time basis is the freedom to do what you want when you want. This is an opportunity that most people have never had before in their lives, except on holidays.

However dealing with all the options that are available in retirement can be a little challenging. The situation is made more difficult because many people have not given much thought to the kind of life they would like in retirement. All the planning has generally been about the money. The reality is that after 6 months or so, many people discover that golf, bowls, fishing or bridge can get a bit boring.

Life in retirement can be exciting and demanding as it presents us with the opportunities for new challenges, new experiences and a chance to live like never before.  However, while some people thrive in this new stage of their lives, others struggle with boredom, frustration and in some cases, depression.

So what’s the secret of success?

There’s no single magic bullet, however here are some suggestions which will certainly help to make your retirement years a lot more fun –

  • Have a purpose and some meaning in your life. Something you’re interested in and a reason to get out of bed every morning. If you don’t currently have any purpose in your life, it’s time to go looking for some.
  • Do some planning.  Don’t just go with the flow. Take some control over your life and decide what you would like to do with the time still ahead of you. If you have a partner you should look at finding some ideas that both of you agree on.
  • Stay active and involved with life.  Isolation and inactivity are a good way to shorten your life and increase your chances of being depressed. Socialise with your friends. Join groups where you can meet new people. Put something back into your community. Do something that you’ve always wanted to do, but never got around to.
  • Stay physically and mentally fit.  Once we are over 50, exercise is no longer optional.“Use it or lose it “applies to both our mind and body. The good news is that if we adopt a healthy diet and lifestyle, we can delay the ageing process.
  • Find challenging, productive and rewarding projects to undertake. There are literally hundreds of tasks out there which offer challenges and rewards once they are successfully completed. It can be anything from a home renovation to an international volunteering job to help people in a developing nation.  It’s good for your personal growth, your self- esteem and your brain.
  • Reinvent yourself.  Many of us have defined ourselves through our job. “Hello, I’m Paul…Sales Manager for XYZ Company”.  This doesn’t work once we retire.  Spend some time thinking about who you really are …. and what’s important to you in this new stage of your life. If your answer to these two questions is “I don’t know”, it might be a good idea to start searching for some answers now rather than drifting aimlessly for a few more years.
  • Do some travelling. An interesting and rewarding way to spend all this extra spare time is to travel.  Go to places you’ve always wanted to visit. It’s a good idea to do any big trips early in your retirement while you’re  at your youngest and more able to handle the physical and mental effort of travelling.
  • Develop a positive attitude.  If you haven’t got one, it’s a good idea to work at becoming a happy,  more optimistic and interested person.  It will make your life and those around you a lot better and more enjoyable. Before you say “I’m too old to change”, let me suggest you read a few of the chapters in our book “The Rest of Your Life – How to make it as good as you want”   It is possible to change your attitude.

You can order the book on our web site – Click on  http://www.mylifechange.com.au/the-rest-of-your-life

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