Spend enough time with anybody and eventually you’ll hear them say one of the most clichéd sentences in the history of language: “I can’t wait to retire”. On the face of things, of course, retirement looks like a pretty sweet deal. There are no more early starts unless you say so. No more commuting through bustling lanes of traffic. No more cutting your evenings short and saying no to plans because you have to get some rest for work in the morning. You can stay up late, eat pizza, and make impulse purchases online for things you don’t really need, but, why not, there’s nothing else to do. Or is there?
People retire for many different reasons. Sometimes you don’t check your watch for half an hour and 20 years go by. At least, it feels that way. Sometimes the company you work for goes bust, and you take early retirement rather than retraining in a new career for the short handful of years you have left before retirement. Sometimes it’s health related (which could mean you are entitled to a disability allowance – for example, see getting long-term disability (LTD) benefits for lupus).
Whatever the cause or reason for your retirement, you’re going to need to know what to do with your new found free time, because somewhere around day three or four of having no plans, you’re going to miss certain elements of the hoi-polloi.
There’s an old saying in the fiction-writing world that goes a little something like this “People only find three types of stories interesting, those about love, death, or diamonds”.
Your life is your own story. And you are the main character. Pursuing love is a great way to spend your time. If you’re single, dating apps can help you to contact many people roughly your age in your area. If you’re already married, go on picnics, take a trip to Paris, renew your vows, take a cruise together, start a business together, etc. When you put your relationship at the centre of your day, things become more interesting than only thinking about yourself.
Pursue an interest (properly)
Everyone knows a retired person who dabbles in a hobby of some sort. From part-time sewers and knitters to woodwork and model making and handicrafts of all kinds, everyone has some sort of rainy day interest. BUT. When you do it right, you could open up a new life for yourself. Take astronomy, for instance. The stars and the planets and all of the various man made satellites (and the International Space Station) are fascinating, and a reasonable telescope won’t break the bank. Join a club. Make new friends. Buy a warm coat. Hours of fun.
* Collaborative post