You’ve worked so hard for this moment: retirement. You’ve worked hard, raised your kids, saved carefully, and now it’s time to cash in and do whatever you want. But blank pages can be the hardest to fill. The temptation to lounge around could lead to ennui and negatively impact your health. So how do you ward off the blahs and embrace staying active?
Explore Your Interests
Is there something you’ve always wanted to try but never had the time? A craft or volunteer opportunity? Think about what you’d like to do and how to make it happen. Can you sign up for a class? Meet with an agency director? Sign up for a membership at a gym or golf course? Staying active involves always trying new things.
Check Out Local Activities for Seniors
This is especially important if you’re thinking of moving. If you’re headed to a retirement community, do they offer programs you’d be interested in? If you’re moving to a new city, can you easily get to the activities you’re interested in? Senior workout classes are a great idea, but if the closest one is a half-hour drive from your place, will you really attend? Proximity to university programs for seniors, outdoor space, and community centers could prove a deal-maker for a new property.
Consider Senior Living Communities
Another tip if you’re considering a move — think about how functional a new house, condo or facility will remain five, 10 or 20 years down the line. If a home or apartment requires a fair amount of upkeep now, will it keep you too busy when you need to relax? If you use your energy to trudge up and down stairs, will it impact the hobbies you enjoy? Is there room for a home health aide if you need one down the road? Conversely, have you considered a facility focused on the needs of house-bound elders, which may crimp a more active style? Considering these questions now will benefit you in the long haul.
Creative Budget Management
You’re on a fixed income now. But you have something many others don’t — time. If you love golf, perhaps you can pick up a few hours working for your favorite course in exchange for tee times, and you might meet some new friends. A local yarn shop might appreciate an experienced knitter available to staff midday store hours in exchange for crafting supplies. Think about what you’d love to do if you didn’t have to worry about how much it paid — because now, you can!
Keep a Social Calendar
Without an office keeping you on a regular schedule, hours and days can run together. Being sociable is just as important for your health as being physically active. If your weekly dance card looks empty, make a point of scheduling a class, happy hour, dinner or movie with a friend. Prepping a week at a time can help you resist any urges to remain ensconced on the sofa.
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