What to Do After Retiring – You Decide
When you first ask what to do after retiring your answer will depend partially on your budget and will also depend on your interests. Even if you don’t have the financial freedom to travel around the world, it doesn’t mean you have to be restricted to sitting in from of the television 18 hours a day or to working for the rest of your life.
What to do after retiring is about more than money. Think of it as an adventure or a challenge, depending on how you look at it.
Let’s break your options into categories:
- A new career
- Working part-time
- Pursue hobbies
- Lifelong learning
As you read these suggestions think about how they apply to your life and interest and you will figure out what to do after retiring
Consider A Second Career
You may not have the option of returning to your previous job or you choose not to take it. You instead decide to explore new paths.
- Fulfill a lifelong dream – you may have spent the last 30 years as a school teacher, but you love the outdoors. Maybe you want to be a tour guide at the local botanical garden. You may have worked your way up the ladder at a bank and you’ve enjoyed it. You have a knack for finances, so write a book about budgeting or tips for small business owners or find a job tutoring or coaching.
- Working is fulfilling – you enjoy the pace of working and you think if you retire you’ll be bored. Consider a second career as a chance to keep working but try something new.
- Meeting your financial needs – just because you have to keep working doesn’t mean you have to keep working in a job you don’t enjoy. Retire from that job and find something more interesting or gratifying.
Many people look forward to retirement, but do not view it as a time of leisure. They look at this life transition as a time to explore a new career.
You Can Work Part-time
It is estimated that nearly 40% of Americans 50 and older now expect they will have to work during retirement out of necessity, to maintain their lifestyles. Many mature workers return to the place of employment from which they have retired, but on a part-time basis.
The Senior Citizens Freedom to Work Act of 2000 bill eliminated the Retirement Earnings Test, which limited the income a senior citizen could earn without a reduction or loss of Social Security benefits. This bill helps many retirees needing or wanting to continue to work after age 65.
Other seniors may work part-time for companionship or just a little spending money.
Pursue Your Hobbies
What to do after retiring? Well, it is a great opportunity to devote more time to your hobbies. But many people don’t develop interests outside of work and family in their younger and middle years, thinking they’ll do it after they retire.
If this is your plan, beware. Many of them end up bored and disappointed. So, take the time now to enjoy life, develop interests, and pursue hobbies. Then when you retire, you can devote more time to your existing activities and add a few others.
Many retirees want to learn about computers; after all they didn’t have computers during their primary years of learning. Others have always wanted to learn about a certain topic, whether it’s the history of their state, how something works or how to write poetry.
You might want to look into these options:
- Many of the local colleges and universities offer free classes to senior citizens. Some are evening classes and others audit a day class.
- Elderhostel is a nonprofit organization that provides “learning adventures” for those 55 and older. According to the organization’s website, “Elderhostel is for people on the move who believe learning is a lifelong process.” Participants can travel all over the world doing research, or take part in classroom learning.
It’s never too late to discover something new.
Become A Volunteer
Many people gain satisfaction from an active involvement with good causes:
- You’ll have a chance to do interesting work – many nonprofits are involved in work that is fascinating. For example, nonprofits preserve rain forests, record oral histories of elderly immigrants, teach low-income children to read, visit the home-bound for companionship; usher at the local theatre (and see the performances for free); or help a local elementary school as a teacher’s aide.
- You’ll have a way to add meaning to your life – knowing that you are doing good and needed work can make your life feel more meaningful. Working to improve the quality of others’ lives is rewarding in itself.
- You’ll have a way to pay one’s karmic debts – by helping others you’ll give many people the opportunity to pass on the love and support they received from you.
- You’ll have an opportunity to meet interesting people – regular work places are a great place to make friend, but nonprofit groups tend to attract like-minded people. Volunteering helps you form lasting friendships.
Planning ahead is the key to succeeding as a volunteer. At first you might think this is silly, after all, you’re not asking to be paid, and you are only helping out. People who know the field and have up-to-date skills are in great demand, but those who have little to offer beyond a desire and time may have a hard time finding satisfying volunteer work.
You Can Travel
Retirement years are a great time to get the travel bug. The kids are out of the house and time is your gift.
A few of your travel options include:
- Local organization – find a traveling group either through your church or local community center. They offer the opportunity to meet others and make new friends. Not all of tours are expensive; many are within the region or even day trips.
- Cruises – many of the cruises make special efforts to accommodate retirees. Research the cruise lines for senior cruises and the options for meeting other seniors.
- Boomer dating groups you can find new friendships and possible future travel companions through Christian and Jewish dating sites. Many of these dating groups are oriented more towards friendships and activities than find a “date” and are more likely to yield new contacts that will suit your retirement lifestyle.
- Escorted tours – a great option to get started on the path towards finding future travel companions. They are all organized for you and provide you with the companionship of others on the tour. You’ll never need to feel lonely and you never need to feel left out of the fun. Your goal will be to make new friends and keep in touch with them for when you plan your next trip.
- AARP and AA – both are along the same lines as escorted tours. They offer trips for retirees that are escorted and are perfect for feeling comfortable and finding companionship while traveling.
For many years retirement was thought of as the end. It is more beneficial to think of this life transition as a beginning. It can be a time to take advantage of opportunities you couldn’t take advantage of before. It’s a time to learn new skills, try a new career or give back to the community. You decide!
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