For many, the idea of not working and stepping down into the new lifestyle of retirement with fewer daily duties is frightening and something that they actually dread happening. A lot of people get so used to their daily routine that they don’t know what to do with themselves when they have more free time on their hands. It can be a bit scary, but it is also exciting because you are going to be able to spend more time doing the things you love.
That is why a big part of retirement planning involves getting emotionally ready for retirement so there isn’t a huge shock when all of a sudden you are transitioning into a whole new, unknown, and non-familiar lifestyle on a set monthly budget.
The worst thing you can do is wake up on the first day of your retired life with nothing to do and a feeling of loneliness and boredom because you miss your old life. You need to have plans for how to fill the hours and days that lay ahead in your life as a retired person.
One of the most important things you can do in your retirement planning is to make sure that you have hobbies and interests that will keep you busy once you are retired. If you don’t have any hobbies or interests then now is the time to start so you have something to fill your weekly schedule with. You may want to consider taking up a new hobby or learning a new skill such as playing an instrument or take a workshop on how to paint or sculpt. These are great hobbies for retirees because they require little physical exertion and can be done from home without having to go anywhere.
If you already have a hobby or interest then try and find ways of incorporating it into your life even if it is part time. For example if you love gardening then maybe try and find a local community garden where you can volunteer your services once a week or month. This way you will still get plenty of gardening done but will also be able to socialize with other people who share the same interest as yourself.
Talk to other people who are retired and find out what they are doing with their time. You might be surprised at how many people are bored and have no idea what they should be doing with their time now that they don’t have a job. These people can give you valuable information about what they did when they retired and how it worked out for them.
You should also think about how much money you will need in order to retire comfortably and still be able to live the lifestyle you want. If your retirement fund is not large enough, you may have to continue working longer than expected which means that you will miss out on some of the things you wanted to do in retirement.
Another great coping mechanism to the shock of transitioning into retirement is to continue to work at a reduced pace. If your employer values your decades of experience, they may bring you on in a part time or consultant capacity to help the new, younger employees how the business works.
Retirement is also a time when you can travel and spend more time with family and friends. If you always wished you could be available to babysit the grandchildren, now is the time. Your kids not only will love having you around but you will enjoy getting to know your grandkids better.
Volunteering is another great way to fill up your weekly schedule with activities. Not only is it a worthy cause, but you keep up your self-esteem because you are making a real difference in the lives of others and your community. You can meet so many wonderful people while volunteering and the social side of it keeps you young and overcomes loneliness, which is a big problem when you first enter your retirement years.