Retirement means different things to different people. A traditional view of a retiree is someone who no longer works, stays at home, and does sedentary activities. Wealthy retirees spend their time travelling the country or the world. Baby Boomers believe they require approximately $40,900 per year for their needs and the retirement activities they want to do. However, no matter what your economic status may be, staying active is a vital part of retirement. Retirement shouldn’t be a sedentary time. It should be a chance for renewal, balance, and fulfillment.
Retiring on Purpose
Many retirees feel somewhat lost after retiring. They’re accustomed to a 9-5 job and heavy familial involvement. Now that they have free time and their children have moved on, many retirees aren’t sure what to do with their time. Having a retirement plan or vision is important to smoothly transitioning into this phase and enjoying it. Whatever your passions may be, it’s never too late to start pursuing them.
Staying Active on a Budget
While you may want to climb a mountain or travel the world, budgets sometimes restrain us. However, there are ways to stay active and feel fulfilled without breaking the bank.
1. Get a gym membership. Staying physically active during retirement has numerous benefits, including disease prevention. Gyms provide the motivation you need to work out and increase your energy levels. You can also socially interact, as gyms have many classes – including some specifically for seniors.
2. Perfect your home landscaping. Landscaping is also a great aerobic activity that puts you in the sunshine and allows you to turn your home’s gardens, flowerbeds, and greenery into works of art, with no rush or deadlines to distract you.
3. Build your own backyard garden. This is good exercise, and it provides your own fresh, organic vegetables at a fraction of the cost of buying them at a grocery store. A home garden can quickly become a fascinating hobby.
4. Read more. This provides mental health benefits by keeping your mind active and absorbing new ideas and material. Frequent reading also keeps your mind stimulated and lowers your risk of developing dementia.
5. Start your travels locally. While your budget may not get you far, traveling locally can still be as exciting. Check out your state’s tourism website for any “hidden gems” right in your backyard. Also, the Sierra Club website also offers outings for people of all ages, including seniors. Many don’t even require a membership.
6. Volunteer. Retirement can offer fantastic opportunities for you to give back to your community. If you miss the social interaction and daily routine your job afforded, volunteering may be a wonderful fit.
Make a Retirement Plan
One of the best ways to ensure a fulfilling time during your retirement is to make a plan. It doesn’t need to be a steadfast, inflexible plan, but rather a list of goals to work towards. You don’t want to spend the first half of retirement figuring out what to do and the last half regretting what you didn’t do. Having a plan or vision of what you want retirement to be will help you transition smoothly and enjoy it more fully. There are some things to keep in mind, though:
● Always keep track of your health. While you may want to be adventurous, you don’t want to injure yourself. Stay physically active, but don’t put more strain on your body than what you can handle. The key is balance. Instead of climbing a tall mountain, maybe use the hiking path up the mountain.
● Secondly, be mindful of your budget. You may desire style and comfort, but money can’t buy happiness. There are many enjoyable, fulfilling activities you can do on a budget. Frugal spending allows you to stretch your retirement funds farther and keep you financially secure longer.
● Third, maintain your mental health. Just like any other muscle in the body, if you don’t use it, you lose it. Reading and other educational ventures keep your mind and skills sharp. Ongoing education, puzzles, word games, and memory training decrease the effects or prevent the onset of dementia.
To mitigate mental illnesses like dementia or Alzheimer’s, you also want a heart-healthy diet and regular exercise. Anything that’s heart healthy is brain healthy, too. It may not be that expensive, either, as many area colleges and community centers now have classes for senior adults. There are also cheap ways to maintain your diet and exercise. A pet is another way to take care of your mind. Pets can improve your mental wellbeing, and they encourage physical health.
● Finally, take care of your emotional health. Depression is common among retirees, which is often due to a presumed lack of purpose. Research has shown that working women have an easier time than men adjusting to retirement. Women may already have friends and activities outside their workplace, while men typically find a great deal of their satisfaction in life through working.
Prepping for retirement may not be easy, as you must plan out the next 20-30 years of life. It is, however, a wonderful time to chase dreams, give back to others, and spend time with family. At Retire On Purpose, we want you to help you to achieve those goals.