Modified from an article in US News by Phil Taylor
After many years in the workforce, you've finally got complete control over how you want spend your time. Here are a few of the many things you can do with your time and energy in retirement.
Live within your means. You earned your retirement, now make it last. If you have a fixed income each month from a pension, make sure you create and stick to a budget to stay within your limits. If you are spending down your nest egg, be sure to research your appropriate withdrawal rate and the tax rules that might apply.
Travel the world. Now that you don't have to worry about the limits of vacation time, take extended vacations. Go live in a foreign country for a while or take a long cruise. Consider teaching conversational English, check out the Diverbo Volunteer website as a possible opportunity
Buy a motor home. Buy a new or used motor home and take your bed and kitchen with you on your travels. Make it a goal to visit each national and/or provincial park or every NHL and CFL venue, preferably in season.
Remodel your home. Use your time to make home improvements. It could be something as simple as organizing the stuff in your house or a big project like adding on additional space. You've got the time now, so learn to make the changes yourself.
Move to the country. Are you tired of the traffic, noise, and expense of the city? Move out to the country. Since you don't need a job anymore, you can live where you want to. Use your new space to start a garden, orchard, raise animals or just go fishing.
Move to the city. Do you want all of life's necessities within a few city blocks? Move to the city. Downsize your house and become an active member of the metropolis, where you'll get to experience the best of art and culture. Consider a townhouse or condo, less maintenance and more free time.
Start a business. Now that your career is over, start that business you've always wanted. Consider using your career experience to start a consulting firm or take your existing part-time business and expand it into a full-time enterprise. (I think this option is for people that "aren't able to retire".)
Get a part-time job. Do you still want a place to go everyday? Find a fun part-time job with a company you love. Having this job will not only bring in a little extra income, but it will give you a place to socialize each day. If you still need insurance, you can find a part-time job with benefits.
Teach. Use your hard-earned wisdom and experience to teach others. Start a free course at your local library or community center. You could even teach at a local community college or a night school program at one of the schools. There are lots of opportunities in the category.
Volunteer. Use your time in retirement to give back. Contact your local charitable organizations to find volunteer opportunities that suit your skills. Check out the volunteer agencies in your area, some are only looking for a commitment of 2-3 hours per month. Don't forget to consider overseas opportunities as well.
Go into public service. Serve your community by participating in the political process. Become a local representative or school board member.
Spend time with friends. Get to know some of the other retirees in your area. Make plans daily or weekly to just hang out. Plan meet-ups in the local coffee shops and explore the different neighbourhoods that you've always thought looked interesting.
Visit family. Spend more time visiting with family members, near and far. Explore your roots and find relatives you never knew you had. Good opportunity to delve into some genealogy stuff if that interests you.
Babysit. Use your free time to help your family or local families in need of a babysitting service. This could even be a way to bring in a little extra cash if needed.
Be a mentor. Find a young person to mentor. Many young people would love the chance to learn from the experienced and successful. Take time out of your week to change the life of someone else. There's always the Big Brothers and Sisters organizations as well as others.
Get educated. Go back to school. Finish your diploma or get a graduate degree. You could even just take classes for fun to learn a subject of interest. Many community centres offer discounts to seniors. Don't forget you can audit courses at BCIT for free now that you're a retiree.You might also find it interesting to check out the popular Liberal Arts and 55+ Program offered at SFU.
Read. Spend your days reading all the books you never had time to. Aim to read all the classics or join a book club and add a social element to your passion. Buy yourself an eBook such as, Kobo, Kindle or a tablet so that you don't need to lug around a bunch of paperbacks on your travels. You can borrow the books from the library the same as a paper book.
Write a book. Writing a book takes time. Now you have plenty of it. Write a novel, a cookbook, a how-to guide, or even your memoirs. This seems to be becoming a very popular thing to do. There are many writing courses available at minimal cost in the local night school programs.
Start a blog. Learn to blog and start sharing your retirement experience online. You could also start a blog sharing your knowledge from your past career or a hobby you have.
Learn a new language. If you have plans for foreign travel in retirement, take the time to learn a bit of the language. It will serve you well on your extended vacations, and it will keep your mind sharp. Travel to a foreign country and enroll in a language course or two while you are there.
Learn to play music. Take lessons and learn to play the piano, guitar, or your favorite instrument. You'll impress your family at the next get together with your new musical talent.
Start a new hobby. Now is the time to expand on your interests. Take on a new hobby such as fishing, hiking, gardening, painting, photography, or even just playing cards.
Take up a new sport. Stay active by taking on the challenge of a new athletic pursuit. Many people complete marathons or snow ski well into their retirement. The local comunity centres all have programs for senior's sport programs and it gives you an opportunity to meet new people with similar interests. You never know the BC Seniors Games may not be far off. Here's a sample program from the Edmonds Community 55+ Programs for Fall/Winter. Similar programs are available at Confederation, Bonsor and Cameron comunity centres in Burnaby. Check out your local centre for more information.
Join a fitness group. To stay committed to your new active lifestyle, join a team of others who are also looking for accountability toward their fitness goals. Work toward getting in the best shape of your life.
Nothing. You earned your retirement. Go do whatever you want, including nothing.
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