Every working person looks forward to the day he or she can retire. When this day arrives, there is no need to set an alarm clock or face a long daily commute. Although the concerns of committing to a work schedule are gone, there are other types of issues that come with having more free time. Unfortunately, very few people are prepared for these challenges. Some retirees feel like every day is a weekend day. This feeling is enjoyable for a while, but retirees eventually start worrying about what to do with too much idle time. Physical readiness is not the only issue. People must also consider their spiritual readiness and psychological preparedness. Many people do not realize just how much their careers determine their identities. Taking away a significant portion of personal identity presents several challenges. To make the transition into retirement easier, consider the following five steps.
1. Try not to do it all at once. Going from a busy full-time schedule to not working at all can be a shock for some people. The idea is similar to using the cold turkey method of quitting smoking. One way to ease into a more relaxed schedule is to request part-time work. Gradually lessen the amount of hours worked.
2. Find one or more hobbies. There is at least one perfect hobby for every person. However, it may take a while to find it. Experts suggest trying several different areas of interest. Some people may want to try growing a garden. This activity promotes mobility and stimulates the mind. It is also a way to save money on vegetables and fruit. Yoga, traveling, woodworking, painting, drawing, sewing and other forms of handiwork give retirees something to do that they can be proud of. Tangible items can be sold or passed on to grandchildren as keepsakes. Many retirees must be careful about taking another job that might jeopardize pension payments. However, volunteer work is a rewarding way to keep busy without being penalized.
3. Go see the doctor. Retirees should not try to do more than they are physically able to do. For example, a person who used to play hockey at age 20 should see the doctor before trying to resume this hobby at age 65. If bone density is too low, a sport that heightens the risk of broken bones could be a quick ticket into a nursing home. See the doctor to get a physical evaluation, and decide what hobbies or volunteer work is physically possible. For optimal mobility, it is important to retire when health is still good.
4. Have a spouse-to-spouse talk about retirement. Not all married couples feel the same about retirement. One spouse may want to relax and sleep late, but the other may want to rise early and exercise every morning. It is important to communicate what is expected. Couples who do not share the same desires about retirement may need to find ways to compromise.
5. Maintain a good social life. Many people are too busy to socialize when they are devoted to a career. However, it is important to become more social after retiring. People who become hermits quickly deteriorate physically and mentally. Getting involved in the community and spending time with friends are two important things retirees should do.