Adjusting To Life In Retirement
You spend your whole life improving your education, working, and saving money so that you can finally retire. But once you do reach retirement, it can be a significant life change to go from the structured working world and a regular income to having a wealth of free time and limited income. A lot of seniors feel a loss of purpose once they are no longer defined by their career. Here are a few ways to smooth the transition and make the most of this new stage of life.
- Schedule Your Days
Set a new routine for yourself. While you don’t have to pack every day with activities, picking a few things to get involved in can give you something to look forward to. Maybe you start every morning with a brisk 30-minute walk, volunteer on Tuesdays and Thursdays, or attend book club every Friday. Sticking to a regular wake-up and nighttime routine can also add more structure and normalcy to your day, especially since you don’t have to be up for work anymore.
- Calculate Your New Budget
Figure out how much income you will have between Social Security, retirement savings, and other means. You may not have as much expendable cash anymore, but that doesn’t mean you can’t live comfortably. Write down fixed costs such as monthly bills, then estimate how much you can spend on groceries, eating out, or entertainment. You can shift some of the money you were previously spending on gas or clothes for your job to other areas instead. If you find you’re coming up a bit short, consider looking for a part-time job doing something you enjoy.
- Engage in Volunteer Opportunities
Not only is volunteering a great way to give back, but it also allows you to socialize with others, learn new skills, support causes you’re passionate about, and regain a sense of purpose. Ask a friend if they want to volunteer with you as something fun you can do together or make new friends as you go! Find something that fits your new schedule along with your interests and abilities.
- Explore New Hobbies
Have you always wanted to learn piano but never had the time? Do you enjoy painting or photography? Do you want to improve your golf game? Are you interested in bird watching, quilting, or woodworking? Now is your chance to try your hand at something new! It may surprise you what sticks and what you find yourself truly enjoying spending your time doing. Look for different clubs or groups in your area to connect with others who share similar interests.
- Talk Through Challenges
Retirement is a big change, and it is normal to have mixed feelings. You don’t have to go through it alone. Find someone you can talk to and share your excitement, concerns, questions, and more. They might not have all the answers, but sometimes just having a listening ear is enough.
- Reach Out for Help
As you get older, there may be areas of your life where you need more assistance. Consider partnering with a home health aide who visits a few hours a week or a few hours a day. They can help you with a wide range of daily tasks, as well as provide companionship, transportation services, meal prep, medication reminders, and more. You can adjust the level of care you receive as your needs change.