12 Steps to a Happy Retirement

12 Steps to a Happy Retirement

Whether you have spent your working life pursuing one career or have held lots of different roles across many industries, the time will come when you can finally call yourself retired. This should be a wonderful period when you can spend more time with family and friends, pursue hobbies and interests, travel, and reap the financial benefits of the years of hard work you have put into your career.

12 Steps to a Happy Retirement

For many people, however, the prospect of retirement is not entirely positive. It can be difficult to adjust to such a major lifestyle change, and the reality of it can come as something of a shock for a lot of people. If you are close to retiring (or have already retired) and are concerned about what the future may hold, here are 12 steps to a happy retirement to keep in mind during the transition. 

  1. Organize your finances

Money can be a big issue for retired people, as many people stop earning a full-time income in exchange for a pension, some benefits, and any savings that they have been able to gather. To prepare yourself for a reduced income, gradually reduce your spending in the months leading up to retirement. This will increase your savings and make the transition less of a jolt. 

  1. Stop working gradually

Rather than going from full-time work to nothing at all overnight, try to retire from your job in stages. Reducing your hours and taking on less responsibility over years or months will mean you can get accustomed to not working and can start to find other ways to fill your time. 

  1. Keep to a routine

When you have stopped working, it is important to try and keep to a daily routine for both your physical and mental health. This means going to bed and waking at approximately the same time each day (maintaining your circadian rhythm), exercising regularly, doing voluntary work, engaging in hobbies, and attending events. 

  1. Eat a balanced diet

Now you have so much time you have no excuse not to prepare delicious and nutritious homecooked meals with plenty of fruit, vegetables, and drinks of water throughout the day. Again, it is important to eat at roughly the same times each day to help your digestive system and circadian rhythm stay on track. 

  1. Stay active

Regular physical activity is important at every age. However, as our bodies grow older, it is even more essential when trying to stay mobile and healthy. Now could be the ideal time to take up a sport, join a gym, or head out to the countryside for a walk. Try to do around 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week. If you can, exercise outside as both fresh air and sunshine are beneficial for both mental and physical health. 

  1. Keep using your brain

The brain gets dusty and slow if it is not used very often. To keep the brain sharp, it is a good idea to continue learning. Whether you study for a qualification, learn a new language or musical instrument, or play chess, challenging your brain can help to maintain and even improve cognitive functioning. 

  1. Maintain a social life

Our careers play a big part in our social lives, and so as we age, it can be difficult to keep the lines of communication open. Isolation can be highly damaging to our self-esteem and mental health, so it is important to both keep in touch with old friends and former colleagues and seek out new friends. Many retired people choose to move into a senior living community where they are surrounded by people at a similar stage in life and can feel part of the community, join clubs, and stay socially active. If you were to search for “a facility offering assisted senior living near me,” you can see just what else you can benefit from moving into this type of housing. For example, Belmont Village Senior Living also provides support and medical care for residents should their needs change over time. 

  1. Make a plan for the future

Some people can struggle to retire as they feel they have not yet achieved all they wanted to in their career and fear not having a purpose, but retiring does not mean giving up on life. It is best to close the door on the chapter behind you and make a plan for what you want to achieve in the future. Writing a list of your ambitions can help to focus your mind and give you a sense of achievement when you can tick something off the list. 

  1. Visit the doctor for a check-up

Getting older often brings more complex health issues, but with a healthy lifestyle and regular check-ups at the doctor, you can prevent a lot of problems before they occur. You should book yourself in for a general check even if you are feeling well, as the earlier problems are detected, the better the outcome. 

  1. Try new things

Your retirement is the ideal time to have new experiences and start new projects which you would never have had the time for during your career. Try new foods, join an exercise class, start a new hobby, research your ancestry, travel to new places, start a DIY project, plant a vegetable patch, or anything else which you have always fancied trying. 

  1. Try practicing mindfulness

Practicing mindfulness has become popular in recent years as a way of relieving anxiety, stress, and depression. Mindfulness typically means sitting in silence and focusing on your breathing or sensations in your body. When your mind begins to wander or worry, you gradually bring your thoughts back to how you are feeling in the present moment. Mindfulness and meditation have been linked to improved memory, slower degeneration of cognitive function, and a better attention span. 

  1. Get involved in your community 

Retirement can sometimes bring a sense of lost purpose, but there are lots of ways that retired people can put their time and skills to good use by getting involved in the community. There will be lots of charities, organizations, and groups in your area which welcome volunteers who can help with day-to-day tasks, fundraising, running events, etc. 

Remember, transitioning into any new stage of life will always bring challenges, and you are bound to find that you have good days and bad days while you get used to your new normal. However, if you approach your retirement with the enthusiasm and commitment which you gave to your career, there is no reason why this period of your life cannot be just as fulfilling. 

Funny Retirement Cartoon

• Meet the Author • Dr. Lawrence Kindo

I am a Medical Professional with a passion for writing, blogging, playing, computers, and of course patient care. My writing in this medical blog will reflect my passion, and you are welcome to be a part of this venture. This medical blog is a tribute to all the great medical pioneers, and to the ultimate source of wisdom, God.

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