Retirement is as inevitable as night is to day or your birthday every year, there is no way to stop them from happening. Regardless how strong you think you are and you cannot even think of stopping with work, you will age and get old and find it hard to get to the office in the morning. It doesn’t mean that if you don’t think about it, it will not happen.
What can happen is that you might end up unprepared and have retirement problems and not have any funds to sustain you long after you stop receiving your salary from work. It it normal for your salary to go up as you progress in your career because over time, you learn more and increase in value for your company. But this does not go on forever.
You might fall into the mentality that your salary will just keep on increasing as you go along and you think that working for as long as you can will keep the money coming in. But at a certain point, you will need to stop working and rely on the savings that you have been putting together to help you maintain that way of life that you have grown accustomed to.
But one thing that people who are about to retire often overlook is that beyond the money which they must have been focusing on for the past few decades leading to retirement, they might not know what to do next. The focus might have been on building up the retirement fund that the activities they need to line up during retirement was not given too much thought. This can be at the age of 65 which is what Gallup.com shared as the time most consumers retire.
What to do after hanging up the corporate jersey
If you are a few months out before retiring or already retired and trying to look for things to do, here are a few things to consider. As you look through some of the possible retirement activities, you need to keep in mind the financial implications on your funds.
- Take up a part time work. This is an option for retirees who have enough in their nest egg to live a comfortable life once they retire and also for those who would be coming up short with their financial needs after they leave the corporate world. It is understandable for people to work to make ends meet even while they are already retired but this can be surprising for those who were able to meet their goal. This becomes more of doing what they are good at and the money becomes a bonus.
- Look for a volunteer program. Once you retire, you now have more time to do a lot of things and this is the struggle for most retirees – not knowing what to do with their time which they suddenly have so much of. This is one of the reasons why a lot of volunteer groups are mostly made up of retired people looking for something to do and you can look into this within groups in your community or school. If you love sports then volunteer to teach young kids in the center and give them the basics of basketball, volleyball or even swimming.
- Travel to new places. USNews.com shares that cruises’ largest demographics and arguably the first patrons are retirees. Time is again a luxury you have and some people choose to travel while in retirement. It can be a local travel getting to know the country more or international ones and be able to explore other cultures and people and maybe see new things and architecture. Your taste and preference would surely guide the places you visit and most importantly, your budget will let you know where you can go. Travelling lets you learn new things because life never really ceases teaching.
- Learn something new. You might have been wondering how people get to paint with their feelings or shoot photos of exotic animals. Retirement can give you the luxury of picking up a new hobby or simply learning something new even if it is just a new dish. This gives you life more purpose if you are looking for some or just an activity to fill in time. You can get together friends who are also retired and take up group classes so you can have more fun learning something new.
- Set up a business. It might be counter-productive for some people because one of the reasons they decided to retire is to get out of the rat race and putting up a business is just diving right back in. But there are some retirees who has a lot to give back to the industry that they have been part of for decades that they only way they can help the younger generation is nurture and guide the up and coming talent in their industry. They decide to put up a business and hire talents they can shift to better take care of the industry that has been so good to them for the past few decades.
- Help family members. Everyone is fighting a battle we might not know about and retiring is a great time to visit friends and relatives to see if there is something you can help them with. Of course money will always be a tough one because you need it yourself to help you get through retirement but there can be other things you can do. It can be as simple as having someone to talk to or getting great pieces of life advice for their own journey. It can even be house sitting for a few days as they go on a vacation or helping out in the yard. There are a lot of things you can do for other people with your time and effort.
- Put in more time for exercise. It is expensive to get older because you tend to visit your doctor much more often than you would have wanted. This is because your body will soon start to age and you start getting sick more often. One thing you can look into as you hit retirement is to look for a physical activity to engage in to help you keep healthy and strong. Look into group classes like biking, running or even yoga to keep you fit even as you age. Retiring is not an excuse to just sit at home and watch television the whole day and eat your meals on the couch.
How to prepare for retirement
As you near retirement, here are a few things to help you prepare for the next phase in your life.
- Look at your budget. This is one of the priorities you need to focus on before retiring because this will dictate how comfortable you are going to be financially. As you are just a few months away from retirement, you need to be just making sure that you have enough funds to provide for all your financial needs.
- Talk to other retired people. To get you in the right frame of mind and to help manage expectations a little better for you, talking to retired people might help you understand retiring better.They might give you a few pointers that you would never have thought of as you prepared for it and it helps talking to them to get a feel of how it is going to be.
- Make early preparations. Prepare early and do not wait for the last minute to put your plans in motion. If you are planning to move to a smaller house then start early with the sale of your existing large one and buying a smaller one. If you are considering retiring in another country then you should have visited the place a couple of times already and just making some final preparation with your living arrangements.
Retirement should not be dreaded and looked at simply getting old. There are a lot of things you can do while retired and you might even get your second wind in life while out in retirement.