A common problem some people encounter when they leave work is they lose that social interaction with other people. It’s hard going from spending most of your day collaborating with other people, having meetings, and working on projects with coworkers to staying at home with your spouse every day. I agree that if you just stay home and watch TV you’ll go stir crazy, which is why you need to think about how you’ll spend your day in retirement. I’m not saying you have to know exactly what every hour of every day will look like, but you should have an idea as to what hobbies, volunteering, vacations, odd jobs around the home, etc., will consume your day. And remember, there’s nothing wrong with just sitting down and reading a book while you enjoy a beautiful spring day on your porch.
I truly believe that keeping busy/occupied will help you live a long and happy life. I’ve known people in my career who were so obsessed with their job that when they finally retired, they died within a year because they lost the one thing that mattered the most to them. This is truly a sad occurrence, but one that happens every day, which is why you have to branch out and do all the things you’ve been longing to do but didn’t have the time or just couldn’t afford the pay cut.
If you look deep inside, I guarantee there’s something that you’ve always wanted to pursue that sounded like it would be an experience of a lifetime, but you decided it was too risky or time consuming. That’s understandable because when you’re trying to take care of your family, pay expenses, and save for retirement, doing something that could jeopardize your future may feel irresponsible. I get that, but it’s something you don’t have to worry about anymore. This is your time to do what you want no matter how crazy it might sound to someone else. Remember, you worked hard for this privilege, so make the best of it by doing what makes you happy.
If you’re struggling trying to find that special experience, try looking on the Internet for job opportunities suited for people who are 50 and over. I know work is a horrible word, but if it’s something you enjoy, then it’s okay. A great place to start your online job search is at (www.retirementjobs.com). This website allows you to search for full- or part-time jobs in your city. If the opportunities you see feel too much like actual work versus something fun, take a look at (www.usa.gov) where you can find government-related jobs or volunteer work in your city, within the United States, or possibly in another country. As always, there are plenty of places in your local community that are in desperate need of help such as schools, churches, libraries, senior centers, charities, hospitals, etc. Also, there’s a possibility that some of these jobs might even pay a small salary.
As I’ve always said, life is way too short. You’ve worked hard your entire life for this opportunity so make sure you take full advantage of all the possibilities to pursue your lifelong passions. Most importantly, have some fun.