In this day and age it is not such an unusual thing for people to retire earlier than 65, at least not for people like me living in a large military surrounded town. I have friends who have done their twenty plus years of service and retire in their early forty’s. Of course they go on to continue working other positions - another job till the typical age of their mid-sixties. For those that have made it to that age of “official” retirement, what next? Of course I cannot speak from experience in this area, but in reading some other articles on post retirement from those who have, I would like to pass on some of their tips to making the most of the new life style.
Going from a life of getting up early each morning and following the normal routine to get to work, the first day of retirement will probably be filled with the excitement of no alarm clock and sleeping in, and that is normal and fine for the first week or so. It may take some people a short time to reset their inner clock that instead continues to wake them close to that same time each morning, but after that, sure, enjoy some “off the clock” sleep-in time. However, falling into a do-nothing pattern for an extended length of time is typically not a positive life change.
Believe it or not, many people get depressed after retiring, because they seem to lose purpose in life. While we all look for the day when we can sleep in, and kick back and do what we wish each day, it doesn’t always end up smelling like roses once we get there. It is important to make the most of this time by staying active.
While many retirees these days end up getting back into the work force on at least a limited basis, just to make a little extra to supplement the retirement pay that is rarely enough, some do have the means to get by without doing so. For those that can avoid going back to work, it is suggested to stay active and use the time to accomplish those things you did not always have time to do before. Things like hobbies and travel, or starting an exercise regimen. Contact friends and begin a workout schedule with them, or plan other regular activities just to keep you motivated and out of the house making the most of your day. This is not the time to lounge around watching soaps all day – get out and take charge of each day.
You may even chose to make a new start by relocating to a different city or state, some place you always wished to live but couldn’t due to your job demands. I know for me personally, I would love to get a house way out in the country, with a chunk of land, and just enjoy the peace and quiet. Some may want to move to a more exciting lifestyle or a bustling town with beautiful weather and loads of activities. Whatever your desire, you are now a bit more free to relocate as you please, so make the most of it.
Being an avid reader, I look forward to the day after retirement when I can spend many hours just reading the thousands of books I own at this time. Keeping you mind active is said to add years to your life, so keep engaged with mind exercising activities.
In a nutshell, you may look at retirement as a time to just sit around do nothing, because after all, you deserve it after so many years of hard work. However, instead of being sedentary and wasting the time, capture it and make the most of each and every day.