You work all your life and dream of the day you will retire. You envision living life like never before, but there is a chance that you will not be as happy and content in retirement as you think. Sometimes the reality of retirement turns out to be a big disappointment in spite of your careful planning. Perhaps you believed that having a large bank account was the key to a happy retirement, but wealth does not necessarily guarantee happiness.
Many people think that living near friends, having many interesting available activities and living the lifestyle they always dreamed about will be enough to ensure a happy retirement. What some do not understand is that there is more to achieving satisfaction in retirement than simply being comfortable financially. Depression is a risk if your life has no purpose or direction.
Many retirees cease to grow as an individual and lose interest in life after leaving the workplace. The freedom they anticipated does not give them the feelings of self-worth that is so important in achieving contentment and happiness. You must stay intellectually challenged and actively involved in creative endeavors to find a sense of satisfaction in retirement. It is much too easy to fall into a pattern of watching too much television, taking too many naps and isolating yourself from others if you feel your life has no direction or meaning. You are in charge of your own destiny. Plan to look forward to tomorrow.
Ignite your creativity by writing your life story or learning how to do oil painting. Now is the time to explore those unfulfilled dreams and desires. Go to the local library and begin a genealogy project or learn how to play a musical instrument. Volunteer to read to children or make a difference by delivering meals to homebound seniors.
Plan to stay as active as possible. Pay special attention to your physical health by getting enough exercise every day. Retirement affords you the opportunity to get out and enjoy the outdoors as much as you like. One of the best ways to get the exercise you need to maintain good health is to plan to walk every day. A healthy body and mind make for a happier retirement.
Make a plan for your leisure time before you decide to retire. Compile a list of all the places you want to visit and the activities you want to pursue. Research travel destinations, enroll in college classes or take non-credit classes in writing or art. Pledge to yourself to become a lifelong learner and your life will never lack direction or purpose. Make the best retirement plan possible for YOU.
Although retirement is a ways off for me yet, I do think about what it will look like quite often. I want to make sure I have a plan in place for when I cross this bridge so that I stay happy, content, and stimulated. If all goes according to plan my hubby and I will be traveling the world and volunteering where there is need and each of these trips will be photo documented since I love taking pictures. This is the goal anyways.
So, have you thought about how you want to retire? What kind of things do you plan on doing? Please share.