Monday, February 1, 2016

10 Things to Do When You Retire

It's been a busy month as you can probably tell by the dearth of posts last month (one? really?  I will try not to let that happen again).  In fact, it seems like I have been busier since I retired than I was when I had three companies running at once.  Here's some things you should consider upon retirement:

  1. Move.  I've seen many elderly people continue to hold down the farm long past the time that such a thing was feasible.  I figured I would probably be one of those people but then circumstances collided and we ended up selling nearly everything we owned, traveling for a while, then ultimately settling into an area that happens to be popular with retirees (and poker players).  This worked out well in a number of ways, namely it offered a much lower cost of living, many more things to do as a retiree, and much better weather (for most of the year) than where we had previously lived.
  2. Stay active.  You can sit on your ass and play bingo all day, everyday, but that will fast track you to #1 death (due to a number of lifestyle diseases that come with a sedentary lifestyle) and #2 bankruptcy (we'll discuss that later).  Basically walk, swim, ride your bike, things to keep active and healthy.
  3. Pick up some hobbies.  You now have all the time in the world to do fun things.  Of course money comes into play here (we'll discuss later why picking a palate of hobbies that include golf, polo, world travel, and other expensive hobbies could torpedo your budget), but there are many hobbies that are both low-cost and enjoyable.
  4. Volunteer.  The thing that happens when you retire is that you suddenly have 10+ hours in your day to fill up and with no job to fill up the time, you will often end up bored silly.  Volunteering can prove an enjoyable, interesting, informative, and useful way to fill up your extra hours.  You can also reap the benefits if you pick your volunteer gigs well (like a free place to park your RV if you volunteer at a National Park, the opportunity to learn more survival skills if you volunteer with your local Search and Rescue, meeting great people when you volunteer with the USO, or watching cool shows when you volunteer at a local theater).
  5. Dedicate time to your money.  Money can be either a minor or a major part of your retirement.  Too little and you will barely eek by, too much and, well, too much would be a good thing.  Most people are somewhere in the middle and this means you do need to pay some attention to your money.  Develop a budget, live within your means, plan for a longer future than death statistics would have you believe, pay attention to your retirement funds (pension, investments, etc), and put a plan together to keep yourself fiscally sound for the rest of your life.
  6. Work.  Of course this may impact your taxes/Social Security/etc so check with your CPA first, but picking up a side job can be necessary (for extra income), enlightening (do a type of work you've never done before), fun (pick a fun job to do), and/or a grand opportunity (do work you've always wanted to do but couldn't fit into your life plan earlier).
  7. Take up a big challenge.  When you retire, as stated above, you will have a lot of time to fill up.  Many retirees take this opportunity to do something they would never have had time to do when they were working.  One friend thru-hiked the AT, another friend went on a 90-day around the world cruise, and another friend moved in with the grandkids in order to care for them while their parents work and build stronger bonds with them than would have been possible with family members scattered all over the country.
  8. Take advantage of senior only stuff.  Many universities allow seniors to partake in university courses for free or cheap.  Travel with ElderHostel, RoadScholar, Servas, etc.  Ask for senior discounts for everything from shopping and restaurants to museums and popular tourist attractions.
  9. Have a plan for your aging and death.  Sounds like a grim topic but ensuring that your kids/relatives/friends aren't stuck with probate problems, cleaning out your hoarder home, wondering if you wanted to be buried or cremated, etc. is a very gracious gift to give your loved ones.  Get your ducks (Will, Living Will, Power of Attorney, funeral planned and paid for, long term care planned, etc) in order.
  10. Build relationships.  Once you get old you realize that all of the material goods in the world aren't nearly what they are cracked up to be.  Building relationships however, with the grandkids, the neighbors, long-time friends, relatives, etc. is well worth the time and effort invested.

1 comment:

  1. Good list. The 1st one in particular unless close family members are close by. At the very least, downsizing to a smaller home that you can care for while reducing expenses is worth considering. Also helps you declutter your estate to a more manageable size.

    I recall one blogger mentioning that being employed at some hospitals entitled you to gaining some great check-ups, done gratis per the employer. Also gain you some real world insights on how to deal with the hospital when it becomes your turn (as it often does as you age).

    Thanks for the post.