Many people worry about the financial aspects of retirement -- affording healthcare, keeping up with housing expenses, and scrounging up money for emergencies. But often, mental and emotional issues can trump those that are money-related.
Retirement can be a tough adjustment for folks who are used to working full-time and suddenly find themselves with hours upon hours to fill every week. Many seniors grow bored and restless early on in retirement, to the point where it impacts their mental health. In fact, retirees are 40% more likely than workers to suffer from clinical depression.
If you're eager to avoid that fate, it's imperative that you find meaningful ways to fill your time during your golden years. Here are a few things you can do to avoid boredom.
1. Save enough to do the things you want to do
Maybe your goal in retirement is to travel, or to move to a big city and enjoy its nightlife and dining scene. These things cost money, and if you don't have enough of it, you may find yourself sorely discontent. The solution? Save enough to fulfill your goals. That'll probably mean making certain sacrifices during your working years, but if you build a large enough nest egg, you'll buy yourself options at a time in life when you need them.
2. Get a part-time job
The great thing about having a job is that it's a way to occupy your time without spending money. Quite the contrary -- you'll have the opportunity to earn money you can then use to keep busy. Working part-time can also serve as a social outlet when you're retired and are no longer coming into an office on a daily basis.
3. Start a business
Starting a small business in retirement is a great way to stay busy on your own terms. When you work for yourself, you get to dictate your hours, spend your time doing fulfilling work, and enjoy the financial rewards involved. And if that venture is successful enough, it may be something you can involve other family members in, too.
If you're not particularly interested in working during retirement and don't have a pressing need for money, volunteering is a great way to stay active. Find a cause you're passionate about and sign up to put in some time for that organization. Or, simply do something you feel will help others. For example, kick off a meal-train program at your local community center or house of worship, to assist sick or immobile neighbors in need. Volunteering will not only help you keep busy, but it'll give you something to feel good about.
5. Take classes
Retirement is a great time to expand your intellectual horizons. If you're looking to fill your days, community college is a great place to start, since you're apt to find affordable classes. Another option? See if local museums offer educational programs.
6. Don't be the first in your social circle to leave the workforce
It's easy to get bored in retirement when you're starved for company. Though retiring earlier than your peers may seem like a great accomplishment at first, you may find that brunches, midday matinees, and outdoor activities lose their charm when you're forced to do them solo. A better bet, therefore, could be to wait until more of your friends retire before doing the same, to ensure that you have people to spend time with once you no longer have a job.
Retirement can be a satisfying period of life if you plan for it correctly. Do your best to avoid getting bored, so you're able to enjoy your golden years as much as possible.