Transitioning from the full-time working world to retirement can be both fun and a bit anxiety-inducing. Some retirees find themselves at loose ends, not sure what to do with all their free time after a lifetime of structure, schedules, and alarm clocks.
If handled wisely, however, retirement can be a time of great fulfillment, growth and enjoyment. Here are our favourite tips for staying healthy, wealthy, and wise post-retirement:
You may think that working defeats the purpose of retirement, but the truth is many retirees find fulfilling second careers after they retire. Your retirement pay may alleviate the financial pressure you felt to stay in a career you weren’t passionate about, allowing you to now pursue the professional path you were always curious about.
If working full-time doesn’t interest you, consider freelancing on the side for extra income, getting a part-time job, or volunteering for a cause you believe in. Working or volunteering can give you a sense of purpose, which studies have shown is key to an overall feeling of well-being and avoiding depression.
After many years of spending your days with coworkers, retirement can feel lonely and isolating. Social isolation is very common among seniors, and can negatively affect your mental and physical health as well as your cognitive function. Make a point of reaching out to friends and family on a regular basis to avoid feeling isolated. Be proactive about making plans with people you care about each week. Take advantage of your increased free time and plan visits to loved ones who live far away. If you find yourself lacking friends, meet new people by volunteering, taking classes, or joining a social club.
Give Your Health a Boost
To ensure you have a good quality of life and are able to enjoy your retirement, you can start by taking care of your health. Here are a few ways to boost your health as a retiree:
- Eat less processed food and more fresh fruit and vegetables.
- Go for daily walks. You can even join online walking challenge groups and use a FitBit or similar device to track your progress.
- See your doctor regularly. Experts recommend seniors have check-ups including blood pressure tests at least once a year.
- Exercise at least 3 times per week for at least 30 minutes. This can be anything that gets your heart rate up, including aerobics or racquetball. If you have joint issues power walking, swimming, or water aerobics are great options. Be sure to consult your doctor before starting a new workout regiment.
Limit Your Alcohol Intake
There’s nothing wrong with toasting to your retirement with a glass of champagne or your favourite beer, but be careful not to overdo it. Excessive drinking increases your risk of many health conditions and worsens existing conditions, including diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, and even certain cancers. In addition, many older adults take prescription medication which can be dangerous when mixed with alcohol. The wisest approach is to speak to your doctor and decide on a healthy and safe amount of alcohol for your particular situation.
Develop and Stick to a Budget
Since retirement pay or pension is often only a percentage of your former salary, you should develop a new budget for your post-retirement life. Make sure to factor in additional expenses post-retirement, like vacations you plan to take, and hobbies and classes you wish to pursue. Free online budgeting software like Mint.com is easy to use and will help keep you on track.
Don’t Forget to Have Fun!
While keeping your mental, physical, and financial health in shape is an important part of retirement life, so is having fun. After all, you deserve to cut loose a little after a lifetime of hard work. Now is the time to plan that trip to Paris or Bali you’ve always dreamed about, take salsa classes, or finally learn a new language. Enjoy the fact that you no longer have quite as many responsibilities and aim to add as much joy to your life as possible.
For more tips and information for seniors (as well as their family members and caregivers), be sure to subscribe to our blog. If you have any additional tips for staying healthy, wealthy, and wise in retirement, let us know in the comments.