Life can go pretty quickly. We find ourselves in routines, leading day to day existences filled largely with work, childcare responsibilities and paying off financial commitments such as mortgages and cars. But eventually, we reach a point where we no longer need to work, our children have long grown up and left home and we’ve completed payments on all the things we’ve agreed to. This is our retirement, and it’s pretty easy to feel a little lost as to what to do when your days are no longer filled with the things they used to be. But not to worry. There are countless things you can do to make the most of these golden years. Here are a few areas to take into consideration. Some could be appropriate for you and massively improve your day to day existence!
Consider Where You’d Like to Live
Most of us will have lived in the same place for a while now. If you’ve had a family, chances are, you kept them in the same house for years in a bid to maintain stability. Out of habit, you might have stayed in this house. If you have family nearby, or have had children who have flown the nest and moved into the local area, you may want to stay local. But if not, you may want to consider something further afield. As we grow older, our needs also change, making certain properties no longer suitable for us and our routines. Here are a few alternatives you might want to try out if you are thinking of moving home.
Stairs can become difficult as we grow older. They’re quite the task, especially if you have health conditions such as arthritis or conditions that affect your balance and strength. Of course, stair lifts are always an option. But you may find it easier to move into a bungalow. Bungalows have the whole house spread across one floor, making every room easily accessible. Bungalows are often built in communities and, seeing as they are preferred by the elderly, when you move into one, you could find yourself in a community of similarly aged individuals who share interests and values with you.
If you requite a little help with day to day activities, such as cleaning, cooking or even getting dressed, you may find that assisted living works well for you. Now, there are plenty of options when it comes to assisted living, and you may be able to find help that will come to your existing home. But another great option is an assisted living facility that allows for supported independent living. This will allow you to lead your own day to day life as you wish, but there will be constant help and support at hand should you need it. Whether that’s with administering medication, making the bed in the morning or cooking up meals in the evenings.
Many people choose to retire abroad. The call of sun, sea and sand is tempting for those who want to lead a more laid back and relaxed lifestyle. There are countless communities of retirees overseas, largely in countries such as Spain. So, if this sounds good to you, why not start house hunting, visiting different areas you’re interested in and picking up the basics of the local language. This can all get you off to a great start!
Consider How You’d Like to Spend Your Time
When you find yourself with more time on your hands, you may begin to feel lonesome or bored. But don’t worry. There are countless activities out there that you can pick up to occupy your time and feed your individual interests. Here are some popular options that you might want to look into.
Baking is something that you can easily carry out from the comfort of your own home. It doesn’t require too much exertion and there are plenty of tools and machines available to make more physically demanding parts of the process more accessible, such as stand mixers and electric whisks. Baking is a great hobby to get into because not only is it enjoyable to engage with, but you get a delicious treat at the end! Now, we’re not all going to start off as master bakers. But this is where the old saying – practice makes perfect – comes in useful. Invest in some of the baking basics and some key ingredients and you should be off to a good start! There are plenty of recipe books out there, or you may even be able to find free recipes online to try out. Eventually, you’ll find a niche that you particularly enjoy. Whether that’s cakes, bread, pastries or anything else.
Gardening is a deeply relaxing and deeply rewarding activity to get involved in. You don’t need much land, or you could even keep an indoor herb garden and potted plants. It feels great seeing things you’ve planted grow successfully! On top of this, gardening is surprisingly good for your health. When you garden, you can expect:
- Exercise – believe it or not, gardening burns calories. It’s a moderate intensity form of exercise and it’s thought that one hour’s worth of gardening and light gardening work will burn roughly 330 calories. Other activities involved in gardening, such as raking leaves, digging up weeds, digging flower beds and more can build your strength and stamina.
- Increased Vitamin D – we all need vitamin D to be healthy and most people get their vitamin D by spending time outdoors. It can tempting to stay inside instead of heading out, but when you have a garden to tend to, you’re likely to spend more and more time outside!
- Reduced Blood Pressure – if you have high blood pressure, gardening can surprisingly help to lower it. The moderate levels of activity required and the stress busting nature of the activity can really help!
- Improved Grip – many of us begin to have difficulties with our grip as we grow older. Whether this is due to issues such as arthritis, or simply ageing. Gardening is a hobby that can help to encourage movement of the hands – through trimming and pruning – helping to keep these parts of your body mobile.
Keeping In Touch with Loved Ones
Many of us lament that we fall out of touch with our nearest and dearest as we grow older. But now, more than ever, it’s growing increasingly easy to keep in touch with those you want to. This doesn’t have to be difficult. There are more traditional ways of keeping in touch still available, such as sending letters or calling on the phone. But it is good to get to grips with technology to keep in touch with younger members of the family or other friends, such as friends who are overseas. Online messaging and video calls are often completely free and allow you to keep in touch by sending instant messages back and forth. Video calls also allow you to actually see the person you’re talking to. This has been particularly useful for many of us during the pandemic, where nobody has really been able to see their nearest and dearest on a face to face basis.
Of course, there are other things that you might want to consider changing or trying out as you grow older. But some of the steps above can help you to enjoy your retirement to the absolute fullest! Hopefully, some of the advice will come in useful for you!