The idea that retirement is a boring time is ignorant of the fact that many people utilize this part of their lives to truly explore themselves. There are those who believe that the typical workplace retirement plan doesn’t provide enough funds for such things, and that only those with a combination plan can make such plans, but we’re here to prove them wrong.
There are a plethora of ways that one can make their retirement into an exciting new chapter of life, filled with fulfilment. Through the use of modern technology and imagination, a retiree can find more than they would with a metal detector on a beach.
Whether you’re retiring, or you’re looking to help someone who is about to go into retirement, here are some suggestions for how to fill that time with joy.
Travel Far and Wide
This only requires a brief mention, as it is already established as one of the best things to do during retirement. Now that you’ve got all the time in the world, it’s time to see all the marvelous things that inhabit that very same world. If you’re not sure where to start, consider visiting the seven wonders of the world, including:
- The Great Wall of China in China
- Chichén Itzá El Castillo in Mexico
- The Khaznah in Jordan
- Machu Picchu in Peru
- Christ the Redeemer in Brazil
- The Colosseum in Rome
- The Taj Mahal in India
Spend Time with Your Young Family Members
The time we spend with our grandparents as children is often fondly remembered. As a grandparent, or even a godparent, you can take inspiration from the youthful spirit, and find mystery and wonder in places like the zoo. You can also take them to:
- The cinema to see the latest or a classic movie
- The local parks for a nice walk on a sunny day
- The museum to learn about the flora, fauna, history, and culture of your hometown
- Amusement parks for an action-packed day
- The local observatory to learn about the night sky
The great thing about these activities is that they’re generally subsidized for elderly citizens, and otherwise don’t cost anywhere near as much for travelling. Which can be ideal for those people who don’t have the added luxury of financial freedom that a combination plan can bring.
Volunteer for a Local Charity Organization
Volunteering is an excellent way to further serve your community, and can often give you plenty to do on a weekly basis. If you’ve never tried volunteering before, then start small and start simple, as you don’t want to overwhelm yourself and tarnish the experience. Whereas if you have experience leading or managing projects, then you may find a managerial role in a volunteer organization is a great way to give purpose to your retirement.
Here are some suggestions for places you could volunteer for:
- Soup kitchens and food drives are a great place to start, as roles can be as simple as serving food
- Habitat for Humanity can offer relevant volunteer work to ex-labourers and project managers
- The United Service Organization is always on the lookout for volunteers to help with a range of tasks including greeting returning soldiers and supporting veteran families.
- Working with children via one of the many organizations that provides support to children in need can be great for those retirees without young family members of their own
- Animal shelters are always appreciative of any volunteer assistance you can offer
Remember that whatever volunteer organization you go with, to pace yourself and ensure that you’re happy doing what they ask. Feel free to say no to tasks you don’t feel comfortable with, and don’t let yourself feel pressured into being available when it doesn’t suit you.
Re-Engage or Engage with Spiritual Practices
This will either be hit-or-miss with most people, as often spiritual practices are tied to those deeper questions of which we all feel anxious about. Whether you were once an active member of your church or temple, or have never tried any spiritual practice, retirement is an excellent time to explore this world. There are no right or wrong ways to get into any spirituality, and most are welcoming of new members regardless of age. Buddhist meditation is a great neutral spiritual practice which one can start at any point in their life, and brings wonderful results such as a sense of peace and unity amongst all things.
The Right Workplace Retirement Plan
One of the most important things to consider prior to retirement is whether or not you’re on the most appropriate workplace retirement plan. Some plans offer the bare minimum, whereas other plans aim to enhance tax deductions. Enquire with your boss or, if you’re the employer, a Professional Employer Organization to help you figure out the nuts and bolts of things like a combination plan and how they may apply to you or your employees.