Are you ready for a Happy retirement?
Have you made any plans? I am talking about plans to be able to know if you are ready for a happy retirement?
Do you have to plan to be happy in retirement? Yes, for most of us, it will not “just happen!”
Surely you didn’t think that retirement was something that you should have approached with a “fly by the seat of the pants” attitude?
How many trips have you taken in your lifetime? Did you have a map and a plan?
One thing I am learning about retirement living
That one thing? That I have to feel happy with the results. Others evaluation of how my retirement is going just does not seem to matter to me.
I am the one who owns this time in my life.
If I am unhappy with the way things are going, then it is up to me to change it.
When my/our retirement time was still in its infancy, there was no plan.
Just a lazy unscheduled, unplanned stretch of weeks and months. Time, that soon wasn’t as much fun as I had hoped it would be.
Couldn’t actually tell you why things were not going as they had been imagined. Didn’t really know why I thought it wasn’t a fun time. I just knew this retirement thing wasn’t quite what I wanted.
Here I was, smack in the middle of what should have been the greatest time in my life. The years we had worked towards this time for the past 45 years.
Those wonderful golden years. What was wrong with me? Oh, this was fun sometimes, but sometimes not.
What is wrong
Thinking back on the working years, I knew that we had earned the right to retirement.
So it wasn’t a guilty feeling that was causing this less than expected feeling.
We were reasonably healthy, not wealthy, but we could buy groceries, pay bills, keep ourselves in reasonable comfort.
Yes, we were late to start saving for retirement in our household.
We had been living with the too broke, too tired and too poor attitude far too long.
And it may have been a true enough attitude. We worked hard, weren’t much more than making the bills each month.
We could have saved more, but were able to put aside some. So the social security checks were important, but there was a bit more when we needed it.
Our lifestyle when working wasn’t very flamboyant. So for the most part, easy enough to maintain. As long as we stayed healthy.
We were careful to not buy what we couldn’t afford and didn’t create debt beyond a home.
Those parts of the plan were just automatic for us.
However, we really made no long-term goals, and it frankly never occurred to us to do so.
No plan for retirement
So certainly there was no planning for what to do during retirement.
We were erring on the side of caution. Squeezing the fun out of the time by not seeing what we could do, or plan to do.
Anticipating some activities is an important part of life.
Things to look forward to.
You need to enjoy life sometimes. You need to know you’re not wrecking your financial future doing so.
So preparing a bucket list of sorts, to have something to look forward to. This was another part of the plan that is needed, that you may be unprepared for.
After working so many years, we had no hobbies
Now we garden in the spring and early summer, and that was fun that quickly became work if the garden did well.
We really weren’t interested in traveling. Of course, we liked to go, but not for weeks on end.
There was more a case of we were still bogged down with our leftover too broke, too busy, and too poor attitude.
Then there were soon the guilty feelings we had about any extra unnecessary spending robbed the experience of the fun.
There was no plan to schedule vacations. Even though we could afford to do something from time to time, our mindset was that we “should not be wasting our money.”
Not a good frame of mind to have.
No, there wasn’t a real plan. We didn’t have activities and events to look forward to and to be excited about!
What activities can you plan for you and your spouse? With your friends? What about with your grandchildren? Your church group? Make a list.
Many of these activities can be inexpensive times that can contribute to your overall happiness.
You can plan to be happy
Maybe you will need to practice for a while learning to think of things that are important to you.
A lifetime of thinking as a mom, dad, a spouse can sometimes make one have a stunted idea of what to do for yourself.
We tend to push our own interests onto the back burner through life.
This part of the planning took a natural path for Mr. B and me.
We loved our families and enjoyed the times we got to spend with them. Our retirement relocation brought us to a part of the world where they live.
The holidays were planned around work and family so these times kind of took on their own life and became a comfortable part of the life plan.
When this isn’t your story and the family time isn’t what you enjoy, then you will need to have some activities with friends and acquaintances to share these times with.
Don’t get old with no social contacts
Maybe the family lives too far away to have easy access to times spent together. In this day and time, this is most common.
Make a plan to have activities with others who share some of your interests.
It is even more important to make this happens when life circumstances include limited family contact.
Most of us are not accustomed to having to plan to have friends and acquaintances. You can do it. No, you are not too old.
Just need to know that there is a void in your life and make a plan to make this a happy time.
Couples are fortunate to have someone to share their lives with at this time. Their retirement time can be enhanced by planning as well. Don’t just drift through your life.
A plan is also important for single retirees.
While working, the workplace usually provides a great deal of social interaction.
That will be gone when you are no longer working. So give some thought to this time in your life. Your social activities are very important for the single retiree.
You don’t want your life to pass you by. With a plan, you can be ready for a happy retirement.
Make your plan
What interests could you now pursue without work to interfere? Which of these can you do without spending a lot of money? Make a plan.
Decide on some definite actions and follow through. Don’t wait until tomorrow. Start right now. A real workable plan can take a while to make, but you have to get started. Let ideas grow and mature in your mind.
Make room for fun in your life Especially in retirement
If there is a definite group or interest, how will you participate? Are there meetings? Online groups? Where are these meetings? What time?
Can you start now so that you are over the “new part” when you do retire? Get some action plans. We all need to be a part of something.
It is easier if you already have some ideas and plans. Plan this project just as you would an exciting trip to some exotic land that you are extremely interested in.
Plan to have a happy retirement.
Break down all the steps. Find out how much it will cost to get the tools needed to learn how. Where is the starting place? Know what to expect as much as possible.
Help control major surprises along the way.
This isn’t your parent’s retirement dream.
This one is yours.
Make it be what you want it to be. Make sure you allow for a happy retirement.
Decide if you want activities that include people? Would you prefer an activity that got you out of the house, but not so much interacting with others?
Interested in working with little children? Old people?
Building things? Work with animals? Cooking? Gardening?
The list is endless and can include so many options. There are endless resources online to find suggestions of what is new in whatever field you are interested in.
Do you want to learn to use a chainsaw? Paint with watercolors? Keep Bees?
Don’t keep yourself in the old rut
Unless of course, that is your retirement dream.
Make that an active choice, plan to continue everything just like you have for years?
You can do that. Of course, you no longer have work, or maybe you do?
The choice is yours
Now that you are retired, there will be hours to do what you always thought you would get around to. The first weeks and months will give way to years if you aren’t mindful of how your days are going.
If cooking is your interest, sharing the new foods with old friends can be most satisfying.
Your pursuit of new recipes. There may be a particular kind of cooking you are interested in. This will broaden your world if you use the internet to search for some ideas.
There are forums and cooking groups to help and assist you with all questions you may have.
While these new acquaintances may not be where you are, they share your interest in cooking. Could be writing. Fishing. Whatever you are interested in.
Their lives are interesting. They have some ideas of how to do things differently. Especially when they live in another country.
It’s fun to chat in brief emails and exchange ideas. A new perspective of how to do the projects, cooking or writing, or business building. Are you ready for a happy retirement?
Online friends may not count as next door neighbors, however, I have found a lot of wisdom shared in the online communities I join.
Do you have a 2nd career in your heart that you want to pursue?
This was the struggle for me.
After trying all sorts of ideas to make me feel like I was being creative and doing something, nothing was really holding my interest.
The interests that had kept me enthralled in the past weren’t that much fun anymore. Not even reading when you can read all you want when you want. Just because you like to read.
Mr. B also was a bit restless at times. We could only watch TV for so many hours.
Our bodies aren’t as agile. Require longer to rest. We’re harder to get in motion as time passed.
We soon got a portion of the things done to the house. Yes, there are still some more we plan to do.
Years of working, with the time management, required for work
We were unprepared to plan and schedule retirement time.
This is something we should have planned.
Talking about what you would like to do.
This is the most simple way to approach a plan.
I was feeling frustrated until I talked to Mr. B about this desire I had for an online business.
I should have gotten started sooner. However, I did not have a plan.
This would mean I would need a new laptop in the near future.
An upgrade to the internet service.
The service would be an additional monthly payment!
The service I had prior to that was sketchy. Would not work for taking an online class to learn how to do what I wanted to do.
I wasn’t accustomed to having services that were “just for me”
I also knew that there would be other fees that would need to be paid. With no plan for anything beyond necessities, I felt reluctant to get started.
I was so accustomed to sharing everything in my life that doing things just for me was a strange thing.
I was many months bringing these things to Mr. B’s attention. Many months were wasted wanting to move forward hesitating to talk it out.
Had there been a plan, along with a discussion about what we wanted to do in our retirement years? This would have given a better starting place for a discussion that I didn’t know I wanted to have.
Life is constantly changing. As you are going through these years, you are changing as well.
I had never felt suppressed about the reluctance to bring up what I wanted to do before. Selfish is what I felt, to want to spend money on my interests alone.
Finally realized that there was an interest that I wanted to try.
As I have worked through many hours of education and training, I feel so excited for each day.
The new skills are making me know the feeling of accomplishment that I have missed.
Don’t waste your retirement days.
Have a plan so that you know where you want to go. What you want to do.
Will this plan change? Sure it will.
You will find yourself growing and developing new interests and ideas. You can plan a happy retirement.
Is having an online business is attractive to you as it was to me? You will soon find that your world is changing. You are growing and changing with it.
Maybe you want to write. You can learn to do that as well. Learn to scuba dive?
Plan to spend your retirement years as you want to spend them. Are you ready for a happy retirement?
Make a plan.
Have an idea of what you would like to accomplish?
If your plan is to read every book in the local library, great. But get on with it. Get a spiral, write down the author you want to read all the works of, get the librarians help and get on with it.
Have those feelings of accomplishment that come from completing a project.
Give yourself the chance to feel the self-worth that makes one comfortable with this time in your life.
Do not just allow these years to pass with you feeling cheated and unfulfilled.
These shouldn’t be unhappy years
Or bored years. Are you ready for a happy retirement?
Step up and take control. Put pen to paper. Write it down.
Keep writing till you are happy with what you have on the list. You can be ready for a happy retirement.
It is amazing what you can do when you make a plan.
Don’t be afraid to make a plan that includes fun. This is very important to you and your soul. Are you ready to have some fun?
Learn something new? Have many years more of fun Click the link, check out where I am learning, building, and working.
Whatever you decide, don’t think it will “just happen.” Make it happen for yourself. Have a happy retirement.