Lately I’ve thought a lot about retirement and how great it would be to sleep-in knowing there was no one place I had to be every day. Many of my neighbors have taken the leap and say they are bored, and that retirement isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. One commented that retirement means that overnight, you have no job, no structure, no social interaction with co-workers and lots of free time, leaving many seniors feeling bored, depressed and without purpose.
I can’t imagine someone who has retired being anything but ecstatic, free to spend every day doing all those things they didn’t have time to do while working. However, I’m hearing from neighbors that most of them are jealous of me and feel I’m the lucky one because I’m still working. My neighbor Allison said that she feels lost and detached from life as she once knew it. Another says he doesn’t believe retirement has to be a bad thing and that it is up to the retiree to plan ahead. Here are a few suggestions to plan ahead:
- Find a part-time job doing something you enjoy, that you always wanted to do but never had time to do while working full-time.
- Share your knowledge; some colleges and technical schools like to employ people who have a lot of real-world experience, even if they don’t have teaching experience.
- Learn a skill or start a hobby. Many of us have skills and/or hobbies that we wish we’d picked up but never got around to because of our full-time job. The free time that comes with retirement will allow you the opportunity to explore something new.
- Volunteering offers so many possibilities that you might feel overwhelmed, but some things may seem a natural fit if you consider your interests.
- Traveling as a senior has its perks as there are often discounts available for hotels, airfare and rental cars.
The way I see it, retirement is what you make it. Allow yourself time to just stop and NOT get up and out to smell the roses. Take some time to figure out what it is you would like to do and go for it. You’re the boss now. Your time is all yours, so make every second count. Do all the things you wanted to do while working, but never had the time.