30 Apr Retirement Strategies and Resources for Seniors
I’m Retiring. Now What? Use these retirement strategies to start your plan.
Ahhhh, retirement! We work for many years to get to the seemingly-elusive goal of retirement. Then we blink and bam! It’s time. Whether you are preparing for retirement, newly retired, or a veteran retiree, we hope this information will renew your spirit to get the most out of this time of your life. We’re not talking money and savings. Rather, we’ll focus on the retirement strategies you can use to get the most out of your abundance of time.
First, if you are preparing to retire, what are your thoughts on the subject? Do you have plans to move to your favorite vacation spot? Hop in an RV and tour the states? Simply spend more time with the family? Start a hobby and turn it into a profitable venture? We all have different retirement goals.
If you haven’t retired yet, heed this advice: ease into it! If you are someone who rarely or sparingly “checks out” of the office or your work environment, it may be difficult to transition to 100% retirement. Plan to start using that vacation time! Use 3-4 weeks of vacation, or even more if you can, during the last few full-time years leading to retirement. You’ll get an idea of just how you feel with more time at your disposal.
If you’ve always dreamed of moving to a sunny locale upon retirement, how much time have you spent there before committing to a move? If possible, vacation there during different times of the year to experience life at the beach (or in the mountains!) during all seasons. Maybe you thought you’d like sunshine and sand 365 days per year, but you really miss experiencing all four seasons. Or maybe traveling in an RV is fabulous for a month, but not so fun for 6 months at a time. Learning this information before retirement can save a lot of valuable time and resources!
Next, if you are in the initial phase of retirement or it’s on the horizon, you may be wondering just what you’ll do with your newfound hours. The sky is the limit! Although you don’t need to have a plan for every day, planning at least a few days every week will ensure that you are purposefully living and the time won’t just slip away.
Strive to try a new experience every month! Something as simple as a new restaurant, playing a new game or visiting a neighboring town can keep your mind going and you’ll feel more energized.
This is also a great time to explore a new hobby. If you’ve often admired crocheted blankets or beautiful quilts, investigate opportunities to learn how to crochet or quilt. If you’ve always wanted to take awesome pictures, sign up for a photography class! Join clubs that are centered on your hobby of interest to form new friendships and learn at the same time. Even if you don’t fully master the skill, learning can be exhilarating.
Finally, if you are well into your retirement years, but are lacking ideas of what to do next or how to feel more fulfilled, consider how you’ve spent your retirement thus far. Maybe you’ve done the traveling you’ve dreamed of and learned new skills. Now what? Maybe it’s time to give back.
Often, it’s the aspect of contributing to a team (such as we have in the workplace) and team problem solving that we miss the most. You’ll never hear a retiree saying “Gee, I miss the deadlines and schedules of working,” but you will hear people saying that they miss the co-workers and the successes.
How can you use your talents and experience in a different way? Perhaps you could use your knowledge to help educate the next generation. Many schools are clamoring for experienced folks just like you to encourage and teach our youth. A chess club at your grandchild’s school could be looking for helpers or a club leader. If you love chess, what a great pairing!
What do you enjoy? Family, friends, and complete strangers may benefit from your knowledge. Make the connections! For more information on how to start this process, check out “Retirement Resources” below.
During your retirement, carefully and thoughtfully consider what you truly WANT to do, then work backwards to achieve the goal or experience. Spend TIME with those you want to spend time with, learn skills that interest YOU and see places you’ve always dreamed of.
You won’t regret time well spent. Enjoy!
Additional reading: 10 Things to do Within 5 Years of Retirement (Forbes)
5 Retirement Resources to Get You Started Right
Now that you are brimming with ideas of what you want to do, the next step is gathering meaningful information to move forward. Not to worry, we have you covered!
Below are a few resources to jump start your retirement.
Local Community College – Community colleges often offer Extended Learning classes. Classes for fitness, dance, painting, genealogy, computer skills and many more are offered throughout the year. If you are unsure where to find the nearest college, visit http://www.myplan.com/colleges/community-colleges/browse-by-state.html. Many schools even offer classes you can take from home via your computer.
Schools – If tutoring or helping with a club is of interest, start with neighborhood schools or those attended by your grandchildren. Helping at a loved one’s school comes with the bonus of seeing family while volunteering your time. Win-win!
“Best of” Lists for your State – States and large cities usually publish “Best of” lists that include everything from “Best Breakfast Spot” to “Best Hiking Trail”. Check out your city’s newspaper or vacation guide for the “Best of’s” in your area. Choose the categories that interest you, engage a friend to go along and plan a route!
Travel Sites and AAA – Both are fantastic resources if you want to see new sites during retirement. If you determine that RVing truly IS right for you, RV clubs and AAA are sources of best places to go and routes to travel.
Libraries – As usual, if other options don’t provide enough information, your trusty local library can help! Many even offer clubs of their own! Book clubs, stitching clubs, even couponing clubs!