When you do nothing, nothing happens.
The 21st Century Retirement is not about doing nothing. It’s not about sitting on the porch and watching the world go by, although that could be a nice short-term activity. It’s about figuring out what you love to do, and then doing that. Doing, not sitting.
The TIAA Voices of Experience 2016 Survey concludes that the busier you are in retirement, the happier you are! They recommend being involved in 10 activities: socializing with friends, caregiving, sports (active or spectator), working/new career, giving back to community (volunteering), personal interests (hobbies, reading), fitness/exercise, creative pursuits (writing, arts, crafts), teaching/mentoring, travel.
When full-time work stops, suddenly you’ve got no pre-arranged meetings, no full-time commitments, no performance reviews, no project deadlines. That’s all great. But, there is also a lot of time that is no longer filled. You’ve got the freedom to choose what to do and what not to do. But that can be challenging and scary. So many options can lead to paralysis. It’s time for the creation of new hobbies/activities or the expansion/continuation of old ones. Don’t worry if it’s the right thing to do — try something and if it doesn’t work out, move onto something else!
Tips on getting started that helped me:
- Book some classes in what interests you. On-line classes, local community groups like OLLI, local university adult education, etc. Pick 5 things you want to learn about (for me that was cognition, writing, astronomy, pottery, and cooking)… then pick 5 more. I am contemplating what will my next 5 be!
- Create (or expand) an exercise program. I had to create one – Zumba, Yoga, Walk & Talks are the core of it. This summer I hope to add in SUP.
- Join (or create) a club or group. Church, Meet-ups, and volunteering are great sources for this. I created a monthly food club and joined the on-line blogging community. I tried a philanthropic committee but did not find it fulfilling. I’ve still got joining a book club and linking into a birding community on the to-do list!
- Plan the travel you’ve wanted to do, whether it’s exploring everything local or becoming a world traveller. Pick 5 places to explore and plan the trips! Our big excursions so far included a long weekend in New Orleans and a 21-day African Safari.
- Put focus on (creating and) maintaining relationships, as workplace connections continue to wane. I did this both IRL and virtually with my blogging community.
Be aware of mindless distractions and use them by choice (FB, video games, YouTube or Internet meandering). Don’t let them use you.
Find a community of like-minded individuals/life travellers to share the ups and downs, provide support and encouragement, or to have fun with along the journey.
The 21st Century Retirement is a about doing what you want, when you want, and with whom you want. It’s not about doing nothing (just waiting for the end.)
Are you involved in 10 different types of activities on a regular basis?
Picture Credit: Pixabay