9 Fun Ways to Make the Most of Retirement

So you’ve retired. What comes next? For those of us who have become accustomed to a life filled with daily routines and schedules, retirement can be an unexpected change of pace. Fewer responsibilities and the freedom from work affords you the luxury of pursuing the activities and interests you’ve always wanted to try.

How will you make the most of your time? Here are 10 exciting ways you can embrace your newfound freedom.

1. Travel

Is there a country or city you’ve always wanted to visit but never had the time? Whether it be on the other side of the world or right in your own backyard, traveling is a fantastic way to make the most of your open schedule. Seizing the opportunity to learn about other cultures and ways of life will enrich your own life.

If you’re nervous to travel alone, appease your fears by going with a tour group. Not only will you have a great time, you will make new friends in the process.

2. Volunteer

Do you have a social cause you’re passionate about? Now is the time to get involved and make a difference. Collaborating with a group to make positive strides towards a shared goal and purpose can be a rewarding experience. Additionally, this type of work will give you fresh insights and a renewed sense of perspective on matters outside of your comfort zone.

3. Join A Social Club

As humans we are social beings and the more socially active we are, the happier we tend to be.

Now that you’re no longer occupied by the confines of a 9-5 work schedule, you have time liven up your social calendar. Consider joining a social club to meet others who share your passions and interests. Not only will you make new friends who share your interests, you will have your life enriched by fun activities. A quick internet search on sites such Meet-Up will introduce you to a variety of social clubs to try out. Other resources include your local newspaper and your chamber of commerce.

4. Become A Mentor

As a baby boomer, you have a wealth of experience and knowledge that would be beneficial to those in the younger generations. Why not share your wisdom by becoming a mentor? Looking for places to start? One suggestion would be to connect with your professional network. Your life lessons would be hugely influential to someone at the onset of their career. Other options include connecting with others through your place of worship, coaching a sports team and mentoring through local charities.

There are endless possibilities to share all you have learned with an eager young mind.

5. Learn Something New/Pick Up A Hobby

They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks but we know otherwise. Retirement doesn’t have to spell the end of your learning curve. Maintain and maximize your cognitive functions by picking up a hobby and learning something new! It might take some extra time but your brain will thank you for challenging it with something new.

Was there an interesting activity you always wanted to try but didn’t have the time? Now is your chance to try it out! Whether it be learning to play a musical instrument, practicing a new language or building something from scratch, a world of skill awaits.

6. Get Active

After a lifetime in the workforce, the first thing on your retirement agenda may be rest and relaxation. While this may be beneficial for a period of time, you may find yourself getting too accustomed to a sedentary lifestyle. Make sure to maintain your physical health by keeping up with an active routine. This doesn’t necessarily entail a vigorous workout regimen but rather simple activities you can do such as taking brisk walks, attending a dance class or going for a swim.

These daily activities will not only help you maintain your strength, they will also make you feel better by releasing endorphins. Make sure to consult your physician prior to engaging in an exercise program.

7. Move to A Dedicated Retirement Community

As we age it may become increasingly difficult for us to maintain our homes. Some people consider downsizing while others seek out communities of other retirees. One way to do both is to consider moving to a dedicated retirement village. There are several communities throughout the U.S. where you can be surrounded by other people who are also making the most of their retirement.

It’s important to note that these are not just care homes. There are several different living arrangements including independent living and assisted living options.

These communities are a great resource to cure the loneliness that sometimes plagues retirees.  They promote an active social lifestyle, often hosting fun events for their residents, making them the perfect setting for a fulfilling retirement.

8. Create A Bucket List

Who says you can’t have fun when you’re older? You’ve spent all your years building up your career, taking care of your family and making sure you were a productive member of society. Along the way you’ve most likely come up with an informal list of things you’d like to do, places you’d like to see and people you’d like to meet. Write them all down and start tackling them one by one. You’ve got time on your side.

9. It’s OK to do nothing.

So far our advice for making the most of your retirement has focused on all the ways you can maintain an active lifestyle socially, physically and mentally. What’s important to remember is that retirement is also, above all else, your time to kick back enjoy the fruits of your labor. With all the free time in the world, there’s no need to rush off into the next activity. After 40 years in the workforce, you deserve a nice long break. Enjoy yourself by taking pleasure in doing absolutely nothing.

Retirement is something we all look forward to in life. It’s a time to reflect, to relax and to enjoy time with our loved ones. How will you make the most of your time?

Daniel Lofaso is the Community Outreach Manager for Lourdes Noreen McKeen, a retirement and independent living facility in West Palm Beach, FL.