It’s never too late to start planning for retirement. Retirement can be a time of great joy and excitement, but it can also be accompanied by boredom or loneliness. The key is finding ways to fill your days with activities that make you happy and healthy. It all boils down to keeping a healthy body, mind and personal finance, so in this post, I’ll share 7 things that retirees should do every day to make the most of their golden years.
Let’s get started.
1. Excercise and Monitor Your Health
The best way to enjoy a good retirement is to maintain good health. The best way to do that is by eating healthy food and exercising every day. As we age, the latter becomes more and more difficult, so it’s important to start as soon as possible in order to keep your body stronger for longer. If the only exercise you’re capable of is walking, then try walking a little further or a little faster every day.
On the other hand, while getting enough exercise is a great way to keep yourself busy while at the same time boosting your wellbeing, certain health issues will creep up on you regardless. Some of these issues, which include things like cancer and heart disease or high blood pressure, are more frequent in the older population and, in all cases, are treated more successfully the sooner they are diagnosed. This is why it’s also essential to monitor your health constantly during retirement, even if you feel perfectly fine.
2. Keep in Touch with Close Friends and Family
While the previous item was all about caring for your body, this tip is about caring for your psychological wellbeing. Loneliness is a major issue among retirees. Retirement can be a socially isolating event that makes you lose touch with the people you love and care about, which frequently leads to depression.
To counter the above, you should take an active approach to keep in touch with friends and family. Don’t limit yourself to your closest circle of friends, your children or grandchildren. You can find and get in touch with old friends you haven’t seen in years through social media. This will allow you to reminisce, which will be fun and also a great way to exercise your memory.
So, make it a habit to reach out to someone new every day or every week if that seems unreasonable. Try making phone calls or sending emails or WhatsApp messages. You can even go old-school and send them letters. It’ll make the whole experience that much more interesting for both parties. Or, better yet, why not visit them?
3. Work on Your Passive Income Streams
If you did your homework throughout your pre-retirement years, you might have saved enough for a financially comfortable retirement. However, financial planning doesn’t end once you retire. In fact, it’s more relevant now than it ever was, considering you no longer have a steady paycheck to look forward to. This means that you want to secure as many sources of income as possible to spread the risk of any one of them crashes for whatever reason.
While you can choose more active routes such as starting your own business after retirement, finding a side-hustle or taking up a part-time job, it’s much better to work to secure passive sources of income. This is because these sources will continue providing income with minimal input from your behalf even if you become ill or otherwise incapacitated to work.
But why work on this every day?
To start, it’s something that will keep you busy and looking forward to the next day. Secondly, working every day on investing in stocks or writing new posts for your blog, for example, will make your passive income grow little by little and may even become your primary source of income in the future, giving you more freedom to pursue that lifelong dream of traveling the world or anything else you may have in mind but can’t presently afford.
4. Spend Some Time Outside
Another key to fighting off boredom and depression is to make sure to get enough fresh air. You should go on walks every day, not just for the exercise, which in itself is reason enough to do so, but also to get some sunlight on your skin, build up that vitamin E and explore your surroundings.
You can also do gardening or take up another outdoor hobby to keep in touch with nature and get fresh air while doing something productive at the same time. If you’ve never grown your own food, you’re in for a treat the first time you make a salad with tomatoes from your backyard.
5. Budget Your Retirement Income so You Don’t Run out of Money
Budgeting is another part of personal finance that is more important during retirement than ever. Now that you have made it to the finish line is when the real adventure begins, since almost half the men and more than half the women who reach retirement age are likely to live up to 80-85. That means that there’s about a 50:50 chance that you have almost 20 years of life ahead of you when you retire. If you want your retirement savings to last you that long, you’ll have to do some planning, which goes through creating a budget and sticking to it.
Tracking your expenses is a big part of your budgeting efforts, and this is something you can do every day or weekly, at the very least. Also, suppose you followed tip #3 and are actively working on increasing your passive income. In that case, your budget will change over time, allowing you to use less of your savings and more of your alternative income streams, which is another good reason to check your progress more frequently during retirement than before it.
6. Volunteer—Give Back to the Community
Volunteering can be a very rewarding experience for retirees. It’s a great way to stay active, social and learn new things while at the same time meeting like-minded people. You also get the opportunity to use your skills and talents to help others, which can be very rewarding. You can do volunteer work in many different ways. You can do it at home or in person, with children or adults, or even remotely if you cannot travel.
Additionally, volunteering can help enhance your resume for future opportunities or even lead to paid work in some cases. That could be very beneficial if you find yourself running low on funds during retirement.
7. Read for Pleasure and Read to Learn
One of the perks of retirement is having more free time, and a great way to use that time is to read. Reading for at least 30 minutes every night before bedtime is not only entertaining but can also be a way to learn new things, culture your mind and find new things to talk about with your friends and family.
You can make things even more interesting by joining a book club where you gather with others like you to discuss a chapter or even an entire book.
The Bottom Line
Retirement is a time for adventure, and it should be an exciting, happy experience. One way to make sure that your retirement years are fulfilling and not boring or depressing is by having some form of routine every day so that the days don’t feel monotonous. Regardless of what activity you choose, remember that it’s important to do something new each day, so boredom doesn’t set in. The tips I’ve provided here are just suggestions on where you might want to start when planning out your daily routine, but they’ll get you started on your way to a happier retirement.
By Jordan Bishop