Wednesday, December 18, 2013

10 Rewarding Hobbies to Pursue During Retirement

Retirement is something many adults look forward to after years of working hard to provide for their families. Retiring from the workforce should be a happy time in a person’s life; however, an impending retirement is often a source of tremendous anxiety and uncertainty. Going from full-time work to retirement is a big adjustment, and many wonder how they 
Golfing with friends...part of the joy of retirement!
will fill the extra time that will suddenly be on their hands. 

It is important for retired adults to continue experiencing a fulfilling life well into their retired years. If you are looking for ways to continue a meaningful and self-sufficient life after retirement, consider pursuing one or more of the following 10 hobbies.

Join Senior Groups and Organizations
Seniors and retirees who remain socially active throughout their later years can actually slow the aging process. Older people who become more withdrawn and antisocial over time have a faster progression of health decline and are at an increased risk for developing anxiety and depression. Spend time among other retirees and explore independent senior living in Boca Raton, Florida. Many retirees find a wonderful community of seniors in warmer states, and top- of-the-line facilities provide many opportunities for joining clubs and organizations.

Teach or Tutor
The less-than-ideal state of the economy has left many schools without funds to hire much- needed tutors. This has led to an increase of retired workers volunteering their time as tutors and teachers. Retirees are proving to be exceptional mentors, as we have gained extensive knowledge through years of job experience. Tutoring underprivileged and at-risk children is not just rewarding for the children receiving help. Retirees are finding a tremendous amount satisfaction from reaching out to students in need by volunteering their time.

Dabble in Another Career
According to USA Today, a growing number of retired baby boomers are deciding to take another stab at employment, turning to new and interesting career options such as writing, acting and entrepreneurship. While some continue working out of necessity, many realize that we want to use the next 20 years of their lives as an opportunity to reinvent ourselves. People in the U.S. are living longer than ever, and retirees are finding that starting a new career can be a rewarding way to spend these additional years.

Pursue Artistic or Musical Interests
Retirement is a wonderful opportunity to dive into that one hobby you never had the time to pursue while in the workforce. Perhaps you find watercolor painting intriguing or have always had a knack for photography. Whatever your interests, now is the time to dabble in the artistic hobbies you’ve always admired.

Spend Time With Family
Americans frequently pride themselves on staying busy and throwing themselves into their work. While this can lead to great career and financial success, once workers reach retirement, we are more than ready to spend quality time with our children, spouses, and grandchildren.

The New York Times reports many companies have started volunteer programs in an effort to provide retirees with the opportunity to use their years of expertise to reach out to those in need. These companies are recognizing that the tremendous amount of knowledge former teachers, engineers and technicians have accumulated over the years is invaluable to many volunteer projects. In return, retirees get to experience the satisfaction of knowing they are using their talents to improve their communities.

Now that every day is a potential vacation day, you have the freedom to go on trips whenever and wherever you want. Now is the time to go places you couldn’t before or to revisit the places you would like to spend more time exploring.

Learn New Things
Research shows staying mentally sharp is extremely important for aging adults, as it decreases the chances of developing dementia and allows us to actively continue participating in life for years to come. There are many opportunities available for learning new things that will improve your cognitive skills. If you are feeling particularly ambitious, consider taking a foreign language course to prepare for a trip to another country. This is also a great time to read books on topics you have not previously had the opportunity to explore.

Staying physically active is an important way for retirees to lead happy and fulfilling lives. Physical fitness promotes cardiovascular health, muscle strength and mental stability. Consider joining a water aerobics or yoga class in your independent living community for low-impact exercise that will improve your overall health.

Retirement is the perfect time to pull out your bucket list and reflect on the things you have always wanted to do, see or buy. You’ve worked hard to be able to retire, so go ahead and go skydiving, put in a swimming pool or buy that motorcycle you’ve always wanted.

As your retirement date approaches, reduce your anxiety by keeping these 10 ideas in mind. There are many great opportunities available for making your retirement an exciting and rewarding time in your life.

About the Author: Sharon Ryan is a contributing author who is surviving and thriving in her fifth year of retirement. 
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