The age-old question coming from seniors getting ready to retire is, “What am I going to do with all of my free time?”
Before you retire is the time to start thinking about starting a hobby. Do some brainstorming and make some notes. Some of your ideas might even turn into extra income ideas. There are actually seminars and conferences on the subject. Seek them out. If you have some writing talent, go to the library and look at the current “Writer’s Market.” They list what book and magazine publishers are looking for each year. If your talents are in the more artistic range, there is a similar book entitled “The Artist’s and Graphic Designers Market.”
- Travel – The easiest time to get away is in your early retirement years when there are no work commitments and no children to care for. There are travel ideas for every budget both domestic and foreign.
- Volunteer – Doing volunteer work on a weekly or daily basis is a wonderful opportunity to enrich your life. Some of the opportunities that may be waiting for you within your community might be found in the local library, a children’s center or a community theater as well as non-profit organizations, hospitals and nursing homes.
- Arts & Crafts – Personally, I just noticed a fairly new quilting store in the Cedar Green neighborhood, and it occurred to me that quilting could be fascinating as well as therapeutic and social. If quilting doesn’t appeal to you, how about jewelry making, knitting or crocheting, embroidery, pottery, chair-caning, woodworking or glassblowing?
- Music/Theater/ Dance – I, personally, am a huge advocate of local community theaters of which we have many excellent ones in northeast Ohio. See if they use volunteers for taking in tickets, ushering or running lights. If these theaters don’t use volunteers, put together a theater group and try to see as many plays in the area as you can. It will keep you very busy and artsy.
- Clubs/Associations – There are many clubs which provide social interaction for seniors, and they are over-the-top fun. One of my favorites is the Red Hat Society. Or, this may be the year to learn how to play Maj or Canasta, and join a Maj group or Canasta group.
- Exercise – Now that you’re retired you can honestly say, “This is the year that I’m going to get into shape,” because you really have no more excuses. Going for long walks (it helps to have a dog along for company), swimming or yoga and tai chi are all excellent choices for seniors.
- Cooking – Baking and cooking are fun, creative and delicious ways to fill the retirement hours. There are numerous cooking shows on specified cooking networks, books and magazines. Take some of your baked goods to family and friends – they’ll be tickled pink and surprised. Have a dinner party wholly created by you, and share your recipes.
- The Great Outdoors – Now is the time to identify that bird song to the correct bird. Get some different bird feeders to attract a variety of birds to your backyard. There are even stores that carry all the products and information that you will need. You can do the same with flowers and plants. When you go for your walks, you will be able to identify and talk about the plant varieties that you come upon.
- Teach – Now that you’ve taken up a hobby, or expanded upon one, teach it to others. What a perfect opportunity to mingle with other seniors and share the very things you are passionate about.
- Reconnect With Family – business ruled for so many of your years that family connectedness may have fallen through the cracks. Invite your family to your home. Now is the time to relax and enjoy their company as you never have before. Write letters to cousins you haven’t been in touch with for years. Do some babysitting – it will keep you young. Keep in touch with the relatives who are far away by Skype – enjoy!
We hope these 10 suggestions give you some ideas to make your retirement years a time of fun, relaxation, and productivity.
Call our social worker at Kabb Law. We have ideas and connections for you. 216-991-KABB (5222).