Many of us worry about whether we’ll have enough to do once we retire. Especially if we’ve been in demanding jobs, the thought of long, empty days can be very unappealing. Don’t be discouraged and don’t let this postpone your retirement plans! It may take some time and effort, but I promise that you will eventually find the right mix of activities and leisure time and you will join in the chorus of, “I don’t know how I ever found the time to go to work!”
Important things to check out now while they’re still fresh:
This is a guest blog, written by Louise Machinist and Karen Bush, and is based on a presentation they did at a professional conference.
This is an exciting time to be retired. The array of positive aging strategies is expanding as knowledge and lifestyle options proliferate, including innovative shared housing models that allow retirees to enhance both their financial resources and their quality of life.
It took my husband and me several years to figure out our retirement plan – and it wasn’t an issue of money. We both loved our work but we knew by the time that we were in our late 50s, we needed to do something else with our lives. The nagging question: How were we going to live this new life? We had both had extremely demanding careers and we were ready to move on from the stress of our work lives. But the thought of sitting at home all day watching Judge Judy or stretched out on hammocks on the seashore in endless-summer scenarios really didn’t appeal.
As I discussed in a recent post, retirement may bring with it an opportunity to move. While figuring out where to move to can be exhilarating and fun, at the same time, we may be strongly attached to the place we already live in and to the things we keep there. Especially if we are living in the home in which we raised our family, the prospect of moving, and the downsizing that usually accompanies it, can turn from being an exciting adventure into an endeavor both a little sad and more-than-a-little daunting.
I know, I know, it’s a very touchy subject. For those of us that went through this with our parents, we know how extremely hard it can be to even talk about it. Driving is the main component of personal independence, both symbolically and in reality. The ability to go where and when we like, without relying on anyone else’s schedule or availability – none of us wants to give that up.
The good news is that being retired usually means having the opportunity to travel without having to think about vacation schedules, the limits on your time off from work, and whether you’ll be exhausted when you get back from your trip because you tried to pack too much in. The bad news is that travel can be expensive, especially if you want to do it often, and most especially if you’re living on a fixed income and want to be as budget-conscious as possible.
I’ll be honest. I used to hate the AARP. They started sending me mail when I was around 50 and I so hated to be reminded that I was going to be of an age much sooner than I expected or wanted where their offerings might be relevant to me. I was also leery that they had been investigated by the government a number of times in the 1980s and ‘90s for various reasons having to do with their origins and their non-profit status. After reading the first two or three mail pieces asking me to join, I just routinely tossed it all away for about the next 20 years.
I'm Linda Fleit. My husband and I were lucky enough to retire when we were 61, about nine years ago. We love being retired and want to share all that we've learned over the years about this wonderful stage of life.