The world of retirement has changed a great deal from how your parents left the working world. If you’re struggling to figure out what you’ll do once you retire, prepping for that time can help you see how your life will work hour by hour.
If you’re still living in the home that you were in while raising your children, it’s time to consider going smaller. While considering a downsizing strategy, look for a home all on the same level. One bad fall with a laundry basket or bag of groceries can radically change how you will spend your golden years.
Ideally, you want a home
- as few stairs as possible
- laundry on the main floor, preferably near the bedrooms
- a maintenance-free exterior
If you love landscaping, gardening, and yard work, find a spot where you can put in raised beds to avoid too much bending. Another option is to retire into a condo where you can skip the outdoor work altogether.
Consider Going Part-Time
One of the reasons many citizens are forced into retirement is that work stress damages their health. To avoid this, consider going part-time, either with another company or with your current employer. If you can do your current job as a contractor or freelancer, you can build schedule flexibility and reduce your stress.
With that extra time, create a retirement schedule. Get up at the same time each day and get some exercise. Tidy your home and do some meal planning to feed your body and protect your budget. While still working part-time, create a retirement routine that will keep your day full and your life enjoyable.
If funds are especially tight or just love to travel, look for a new home in a new state or even a new country. If you’ve never considered moving out of the United States, think about your most relaxing and refreshing moments.
Do you love to lay on the beach? Are you happiest in your hiking shoes? You can find great places to live outside the United States where your money will go a lot further. From the best places to retire in Mexico to a seaside villa in Portugal, being willing to move out of the country can radically change your retirement future.
Improve Your Fitness
Whether you have always been a gym rat or are considering your first yoga class, getting and staying fit as you head into retirement is critical to enjoying your life. Be willing to change things up as you consider what exercises to do. For example, if you have a family history of diabetes, now is the time to build the flexibility you need to be able to look at your feet from as many angles as possible.
Many are at risk of osteoporosis. Now is the time to start improving your balance with tai chi and yoga. Now is also the time to improve your reflexes. Learn to shadow box. A quick grab of a doorframe will be instinctual once you learn some fast moves, and it can be the difference between a hard fall and a bruise.
Build Hobbies and Community
One of the biggest challenges for the recently retired is loneliness. If your entire social structure is tied to your job, you may find yourself extremely isolated once you empty your briefcase for the last time. Make sure you have some hobbies that you can do on your own. Take an art class, learn to knit, or start cooking.
To increase your social connections, consider volunteering. If you love animals, go walk dogs at the local shelter. Snuggle up to kitties who need socialization to find a new home. Take your accounting skills to the gift shop and put in a few hours a week. Spending time with like-minded people away from the office is ideal for building a community outside of work. These connections can sustain you in retirement.
Retirement doesn’t have to mean sitting in your house alone or driving your spouse and children crazy. You can find wonderful ways to fill your time, still bring in some money, and even explore the world.