Life after retirement isn’t what you expect. You spend your early years believing that it’s a time for leisure, where you’ve crossed the finish line and can look forward to a life full of zest, money, happiness, romance and adventure.
And sure, it can very well be all that and more… The problem is: there’s a bit of work leading up to that feeling of freedom.
The truth is (and studies have shown that) the two most vulnerable times in our life are the first year after birth and the first 12 months after retirement.
Having a great life after retirement isn’t just about having enough money saved up. It’s about dedicating yourself to ensuring that your retirement is all that you imagined and more. And we have just the tips to help you build the life after retirement you’ve always wanted…
1. Improve your daily routine
When it comes to living a successful life at any age, focusing on the little things can help a lot more than you’d think. By improving your daily routine, or even morning routine, you’re able to build a more productive day, with simple, easy habits.
This can be as simple as: not sleeping next to your phone, asking yourself what 2 things you can do today to make progress, making time for a breathing exercise, expressing gratitude, exercising, meditating, drinking tea, journaling for 10 minutes or even just drinking more water.
The main takeaway is to clear out some time each day to focus on your inner self and your needs, so you can live with intention.
Instead of just dreaming about it… you’ll be taking steps to making it a reality!
2. Keep a gratitude journal
Keeping a gratitude journal is one of the quickest, most effective ways to rewire our brains to be happy and productive.
It helps us take stock of what we do have and take time to appreciate these things, so we can alter our perspective of our current situation and see each incremental step toward the right direction as a big win.
3. Map out your goals
And be serious about it! Planning alone can have a big impact on the way you achieve your goals: it’ll help you see the roadmap to get you there, so you can follow small steps toward that direction.
But it also helps to cement those goals. It’s easy enough to think “I wish I had a million dollars” but once you start planning out that goal, you figure out how you can actually make that happen, instead of living on a pipe-dream.
A plan should consider things like what your current situation is, what your ideal situation is and how you’ll get there. The more specific your roadmap, the better.
4. Find clarity
Most retirees don’t have an immediate play-by-play action plan to carry out and are more likely to experience a serious identity crisis. It’s typical to experience a kind of “honeymoon period” for about a year after completing your main full-time career, however once this period ends… you’re likely to feel worn out, filling your time with aimless activities but never really feeling fulfilled.
This makes finding clarity early a really helpful tool for life after retirement.
Consider things like: what your passions are, what are your biggest regrets, what are your strengths/weaknesses, what legacy do you wish to leave behind, and even your philosophy for living.
5. Let go of your grudges
We all have baggage and emotional distress that holds us back. Sure, we can’t just get over everything that happens in life, but once you learn to become self-aware and come to terms with your regret, fears, anger, and toxic situations, you can move on and really focus on the positive things in life.
Sure, it’s not easy, but it is possible. Take steps to accept, acknowledge, and allow yourself to feel the pains of the past – and then commit to moving forward.
6. Focus on growth
Once you shift focus away from the negatives in your life, it’s much easier to focus on establishing a growth mindset. Because without personal growth, you won’t ever reach your fullest potential.
And what better time to start finding fulfilment in life than now?
7. Bring a little “new” to your life
Break out of your comfort zone and try something new – because it’s in that space of stepping out of your normal that all the good stuff happens.
This doesn’t have to be sky-diving or travelling across the world, it can be as simple as joining some communal activities, bowling, playing some games you’ve never tried before, or even applying to be an extra on a TV show.
If you can align this “something new” with your interests (or, alternatively, something your inner child has always wanted to do…) you’ll surprise yourself with the outcome.
8. Spend time with your hobbies and pastimes
This may be the first thing you think of when making an amazing life after retirement, but we can’t emphasise enough how important it is.
Get physical, challenge your brain or unleash your creativity. Get in touch with who you are and give yourself time to be exactly that, without any hesitation, shame, or regret.
9. Focus on your health
It should go without saying, but taking care of your health should be a priority through retirement. It can be as simple as taking a walk daily, enjoying time in the sun, and including some healthy meals where possible.
Physical and mental stimulation can mean many things to different people so it’s important to figure out what works for you and go with it!
10. Consider working part-time
Part-time work can have its benefits through retirement. It’s a great way to make money, contribute to your sense of purpose, and stimulate your mind and body. It’s where a lot of your fulfilment will come from and, hey, it never hurts to have some extra funds on your side!
Working because you want to as opposed to because you have to will present a totally different experience and is definitely worth a try! If you’re in need of ideas on what to do, just take a look at these 7 Creative Ways to Make Money in Retirement…
11. Work out your financials
It’s a good idea to make sure that you won’t outlive your money. Whether you build your own financial plan for life after retirement, or work with a financial advisor, there’s a lot to gain from mapping out your expenses.
12. Find ways to give back
It’s pretty common knowledge now that, in the scheme of mental well-being, giving back is incredibly good for you. Whether you’re volunteering, teaching, donating or sharing gifts: it all contributes to your happiness both in and outside of retirement.
It’s definitely something to consider throughout retirement to ensure you’re living your best life. It’ll give you a sense of purpose, boost your confidence, as well as increase your good karma (if you believe in that kind of stuff…).
Whether you do it regularly or whenever the moment spikes, it’ll make a notable difference in your living.
13. Maintain a support system
Being part of a community and having people who care about you (and vice versa) is important through retirement. When the time comes to depend on others – whether that’s a drive to the doctor or borrowing a book – it means you have a friendly support network to count on. Through the hard days and the good – these relationships are now on your terms and it makes them all the more rewarding in the long run.
14. Track your progress
You know those goals you mapped out early in the process? It’s a good idea to regularly check in on your progress toward your goals. Monitor how far you are from reaching them, notice what’s been working and what hasn’t, and question if there’s anything still holding you back.
It’ll allow you to constantly reflect on your goals and will continue to grow your confidence and your self-belief once you see where your tiny steps have gotten you!
15. Be yourself!
Though this goes without saying for all stages of life, it’s especially true in life after retirement. If you’ve spent your life being held back, not wanting to express yourself fully in fear of repercussions? Now’s the time for you to be unashamedly yourself.
It’ll make all the difference in your retired life…
(Even if that’s just standing out on the porch, yelling at youths for making a mockery of your lawn…)
Life after retirement can be the amazing, freeing experience we’ve all dreamed of it being. However, it takes a bit of work to get there. These 15 tips for an amazing life after retirement will ensure that every aspect of your life is fulfilling and brings you the kind of financial and lifestyle freedom you’ve been waiting for.