Many working people dream of winning the Lotto because of the greater freedom it will bring. But for retirees, the reality of a ‘permanent holiday’ soon loses its appeal.
There are several reasons for this. Workaholics often do not have time for hobbies and interests and find their lives suddenly lack purpose. A loss of identity may be felt when professionals lose their working title. There may be less social interaction without colleagues and clients around. Aches and pains that come with ageing are often energy-sapping. And belt-tightening may mean you do not have the money for the fun things you once dreamt of doing.
Retirement needs to be seen as a time of new possibilities, rather than a decline in your old way of life. Your outlook will influence the quality of your retirement. A positive mindset and the willingness to seek out and embrace opportunities can help make retirement more fulfilling.
How to maximise your senior years
- Fight isolation
Make dates with former colleagues, spend time with existing friends and identify ways to meet new people, such as through a social club. Accept invitations when they come your way.
- Keep it meaningful
Offer to mentor someone in your professional field, teach someone a new skill or volunteer in your community.
- Keep fit
Stay as active as possible – perhaps walk with a friend or find another way to incorporate exercise with social interaction.
- Fight the blues
If you are depressed, speak to a friend, loved one or therapist.
- Train your brain
Find activities you love that keep you sharp mentally, such as bridge, chess or crossword puzzles.
- Bust your stress
Find ways to relax. Prayer, meditation, reading, walking or bird watching may work for you.
- Be techno-wise
Do not assume you cannot master useful technology. Social media apps such as Facebook are great for keeping up with friends and family and finding stimulating content. Get a grandchild or techno-savvy friend to teach you – don’t let fear stop you from embracing our changing world.
- Hobbies and interests
You now have the time to devote to the things you enjoy or think you might enjoy. Seize the moment!