Uncovering A New Source of Happiness After You Retire

Thursday, April 9, 2020, 6:00 AM | Leave Comment

Retirement; the long yearned for period of our lives we’re promised a sweeter, altogether more relaxed pace of life.

With the obligation of work no longer hanging over your head, this should be a blissful time to relax and pursue the things you never had the time for during your working life.

While the idea of retirement is an enticing concept, it can also feel quite overwhelming. After all, moving from a structured 9 to 5 lifestyle to one of freedom and flexibility sounds exciting in theory but the reality can leave you asking, “So, what now?”

As with anything in life, your retirement is what you make of it. It’s your choice: whittle down the days doing nothing or get out and start a new, fulfilling life.

But, after a lifetime of being set in the same old routine, figuring out how you become a new version of the same old you can be a daunting challenge.

To help ensure that your retirement is both a satisfying and rewarding period for you, here are 4 ways to maintain and compound your happiness after you retire.

  1. Create A Retirement Plan

    It may not seem like the most glamorous of retirement tasks but maintaining your retirement plan is important. Creating a plan will help to lay out all the elements you need to consider once you retire; a major aspect being your financial situation. It’s vital that you keep on top of your finances, ensuring that you have enough funds to do the things you want to do when you retire.

    Although it’s not a pleasant concept to think about, you may also want to evaluate your funeral preparations in your plans too. But don’t let the morbidity of the topic put you off. Organizing your own funeral and making the big decision about what will happen once you’re gone can actually alleviate stress as you head into your later years. You don’t need to worry that your family will need to consider things like whether you want a cremation urn versus a casket when they should be grieving your passing.

  2. Stay Active

    Exercise is not only a great way to get those endorphins pumping but offers you an outlet to meet new people. Being active doesn’t have to feel like a chore, do something you enjoy! You can start by signing up for a low-intensity activity such as yoga or even start your own walking club around the neighborhood.

    You may need to try out a few different activities to discover what feels right for you. And that’s not to say you must exercise strenuously! You can also take up an activity that won’t physically exert you, as long as you’re doing something. Low impact activities like gardening, tai chi and swimming are great to get you up and about in your later years.

    Keeping your mind and body active in retirement is so important, not simply because it gives you something to do. It’s a vital step to maintaining your physical health and sustaining your mental health too, which will ultimately make you happier and potentially help you live longer too!

  3. Maintain Structure

    Undeniably, retirement will leave you with a lot of free time. For some people, adjusting to an unstructured life can be extremely overwhelming, especially, if you’ve been following a strict routine for a large portion of your life. This absence can feel like a loss; like a part of yourself is now missing. If you’re not careful this excess amount of free time can lead to stress and even depression.

    Therefore, finding a hobby that will help restore your sense of purpose as well as give you a reason to leave the house. When you retire, the world is your oyster, so feel free to make the most of your leisure time.

    Retirement gives you the perfect opportunity to do more of what you enjoy or even step outside your comfort zone and try something new like maybe learning to ride a motorbike; but, you may want to update your auto insurance policy before you try that one out!

    Taking up a non-strenuous hobby like volunteering at your local thrift shop, joining an art or book club, or learning a new skill could be just what you need to create some semblance of normalcy during your retirement.

    Maintaining a sense of structure will help you to transition into your retirement period and give you a routine that you can follow. That said, structure doesn’t work for everyone. If you prefer a more spontaneous lifestyle, that’s not a problem either; but ensuring that your unstructured lifestyle still means you get out and about is essential.

  4. Travel as Much as You Can!

    It’s no coincidence that traveling always ranks high on people’s bucket lists. Traveling provides unique experiences that everyone should enjoy at some point in their life, and what better time to do that then when you retire? You’ve worked so hard throughout your life, now’s the time to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

    You may be dreaming of exotic foreign lands but in your later years, it may feel a little daunting to go it alone. While your wildly adventurous side is probably still alive and well, your confidence and comfortability with ‘winging it’ when it comes to travel may be on the low side. That’s the reason that cruises and organized tours can be a retiree’s best friend; you can visit far-flung lands without having to think too much planning the trip and going it alone.

    If overseas travel doesn’t float your boat, you don’t have to travel far. You can take a road trip interstate to take in the scenery or visit the local attractions you never had time to see before. Alternatively, you could invest in an RV to travel around the country, and even start a travel blog to keep your mind busy.

    Travelling is such a great way to venture outside your humble quarters and view the world from a unique perspective. Not only this, traveling gives you the chance to embark on a brand new adventure and make memories that will stick with you forever.

Your retirement is a time for you. It’s a time for you to be happy. And contrary to what you may think, finishing work does not automatically equate to instant happiness. You must work at it and ensure you don’t fall into the trap of sitting on your sofa, watching time tick by day in, day out. So, find your hobby, keep yourself busy and get ready to live your long, happy and fulfilling Second Act.

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