How is it fair that we wait our whole lives to retire, only to be…
There’s plenty of studies which show that continuing to be ‘active’ in your retirement years is good for your health. And whether it involves keeping your brain in gear, moving your body – or both – there’s no question that retirement is more enjoyable if you have a few things on the calendar each week.
Of course you don’t want to be too busy, retirement is a time to relax as well, but here’s a few ideas below to help fill in a bit of ‘free time’.
1. Schedule in physical activity
Walking is a really easy way to incorporate a bit of fitness into your life, especially if you get into the rhythm of doing it on a daily basis. For added interest, you could try a few local walkways from time to time – you might find a new favourite place to park up for a picnic or share the walk with a couple of friends.
But if walking is not your thing, why not give something else a go – like tennis, bowls, golf, bike riding or the gym. There are plenty of options out there with people who are willing to show you how to get started, all you need to do is ask! You’ll be glad you did.
2. Volunteer your time
There’s nothing quite as rewarding as giving back to others, and retirement is the perfect time to volunteer. There are many organisations, community groups and people in need, and there will always be some way in which you can help. You could assist at a charity shop one morning a week, sorting goods to be sold or working behind the counter. If you love knitting, there are charities who pass along hats and booties to babies, or warm blankets to families in winter.
From planting trees to baking for a food bank, helping with breakfast and lunches for kids in school and volunteering at local events – any way in which you can help will always be very appreciated. And as an added bonus, you’re likely to discover lovely new friends and feel a great sense of fellowship.
3. Find a fun hobby
If there was any time to try out something new – retirement is the right time to do it! Yes it can take a leap of faith to put yourself out there as a beginner, but everyone has to start somewhere. And if you’re a bit nervous, you can always ask a friend to come along too.
The possibilities are endless – painting, jewellery making, pottery, dancing, DIY, cooking, knitting, bridge, swimming – just see what’s on offer in your community and have a go. You never know, you might discover a talent you never knew you had.
4. Join a friendly club
Socialising is important in retirement, but because we often move somewhere new to retire (after downsizing from the family home), new friends may need to be made. And one of the easiest ways to do this is by joining a local club.
There are many nationwide organisations here in New Zealand which cater for retirees – like 60s Plus and Probus – but local communities usually have their own meet-up groups as well (and you’ll often find them advertised in the local paper).
These weekly or monthly clubs organise day trips and have interesting speakers at a lunch – ideal for getting out and about.
5. Teach others
Whether you have a skill from all your years of working, or a hobby that you’ve mastered – perhaps you’d like to pass on your knowledge to others? You could go to a local school, or join a recreation centre that runs classes, and offer your time and knowledge. Because yes, it is a valuable thing to share! And don’t doubt that for a second.
Retirement years are there to be enjoyed and if you can fill them with one or two of the above activities (or even all of them!), your physical and mental wellbeing is sure to remain in tip top condition.
If you would like to hear more or are looking for advice, we’d love to get in touch.