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Tips for a Happy Retirement

So you achieved the major goal of retirement, but what are you to do when the novelty of not working wears off? While many of us dream of the day when we don't have to wake up and report to the boss every day, it can be challenging to fill up all those extra hours with fulfilling activities.

Tips for a Happy Retirement
  • Pick a hobby: Chances are you didn't have time to dedicate to a hobby when you were working 40-plus hours a week. Now that you can enjoy the relaxed pace of retirement living, find a hobby that brings you enjoyment. This can be anything from knitting and scrapbooking to physical activities like yoga and swimming. Consider signing up for a class to develop your skills and meet other seniors that share your interests.
  • Volunteer: Many retirees miss the structure of having a job, so volunteering is a great way to contribute without the pressures and stress of being in the workforce. While you don't get a paycheck, there is great value in giving back to the community. Look for openings at local nonprofits such as the American Red Cross or the Humane Society, where extra hands are welcome.
  • Make plans with friends: Whether you realize it or not, going to work provides you with a great deal of social activity. When you retire, it's important to continue to fill that extra time with social activity. Invite friends for lunch dates, to see a movie, or to check out a museum exhibit.
  • Set a goal: You probably spend your working life making goals to get a promotion, buy a home, and then subsequently pay off the home mortgage. Continue to make goals throughout your retirement life to maintain structure, as well as give yourself something to which you can look forward. This can be as simple as making a goal to complete a home project, or as big as climbing a mountain. The sky really is the limit!
  • Plan a trip: Now that time is on your side, plan a trip to see your long-distance family and friends. Too often work prevents loved ones from spending enough time with each other, so take advantage of an opportunity to strengthen family bonds.
  • Keep learning: Just because you aren't working anymore doesn't mean you have to stop learning. Not only will acquiring new knowledge keep you from getting bored, but studies show keeping your brain active can help prevent Alzheimer's disease. Complete a daily crossword puzzle, learn a new language or instrument, or even take a college class.
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