12 Great Things About Retirement

© Monika Lewandowska/Getty Images
© Monika Lewandowska/Getty Images
© Monika Lewandowska/Getty Images

Some people wonder what they will do with all their extra time after they retire. They fear they’ll become irrelevant, aimless or out of sorts.

There’s no doubt there are some pitfalls of retirement, such as boredom, loneliness and even depression. That’s why retirees should decide what’s important to them, plan out their future and appreciate retirement for the exceptional opportunity that it really is.

To get you started, I recently spoke to a variety of retirees about their lifestyles. Here are the dozen favorite things about retirement retirees cite most often.

1. I’M FREE OF THE DRUG OF AMBITION

Suddenly you don’t care whether or not you get promoted, and the jockeying for a better title or an office with a window seems so petty. A weight is lifted from your shoulders when you quit the rat race.

Despite financial concerns, retirement is often a lot of fun.

2. I CAN CATCH UP ON MOVIES I’VE ALWAYS WANTED TO SEE.

Maybe you were too busy with your career and kids to follow some of the great directors like Alfred Hitchcock, Woody Allen and Robert Altman. Now you can go on Netflix or Amazon or just borrow CDs from the library and enjoy some of the great stories of our time.

3. I KEEP UP ON CURRENT TV PROGRAMS

Whether you’re watching cable or Netflix, you can join the conversation about “House of Cards”, “Orange Is the New Black”, “Better Call Saul”, “Grace and Frankie” and the other smart TV shows.

4. I JOINED A BOOK CLUB

Some groups alternate between classics like “Anna Karenina” and modern stories like “Gone Girl”. Others keep up with the bestseller lists from “The Girl on the Train” to “The Boys in the Boat”. And still others are theme oriented, whether it’s mindfulness and spiritual issues or history and politics. Regardless, a book club is both socially engaging and intellectually stimulating.

5. I CAN STILL WORK PART-TIME

Just because you’re retired doesn’t mean you can’t pick up a job here and there. A lot of people carry over assignments from their old company, while others parley their personal interests into a moneymaking gig.

6. I BABYSIT MY GRANDCHILDREN

Many retirees feel both useful and appreciated when they make it possible for their children to pursue a career, and they relish the opportunity to create deep and lasting memories with their grandchildren, memories that will last long after grandma and grandpa are gone.

7. THERE’S TIME TO GIVE BACK

Many retirees find it enormously rewarding to volunteer their skills to worthy charitable organizations, whether it’s the Lions Club or the Kiwanis Club, their condo association, the local food pantry or a community college.

8. TRAVEL, TRAVEL, TRAVEL

Almost everyone’s bucket list includes a trip to some special place, from the Pyramids or the Great Wall of China to the Grand Canyon or the Empire State Building.

9. I HAVE THE TIME TO DO NOTHING

Finally, there’s time to enjoy the pleasure of sitting on the front porch or the back deck and soak up the atmosphere, reflecting on your life and enjoying the cool breezes wafting across your face.

10. I’M LIVING MY DREAM

Some people have a half-written novel in their study, or a half-finished piece of woodworking in the basement. Retirement gives you the time to write the rest of your story and even publish it online, complete the projects in your workshop or make jewelry or crochet sweaters and sell them on Etsy.

11. THERE’S NO PRESSURE, NO STRESS AND NO PROBLEMS

It’s the freedom that many retirees appreciate so much: Freedom from the pressure to get ahead at work, get your kid into college and keep up with the neighbors.

12. I DO WHAT I WANT TO DO, INSTEAD OF WHAT OTHER PEOPLE WANT ME TO DO

In retirement there are no more expectations. You no longer have to please your parents or bear responsibility for your kids. You can move to the city or the country. You can do something or do nothing. No matter how well-financed you may or may not be, you can live the lifestyle of the truly wealthy: You can do what you want and answer to nobody.

Written by Tom Sightings of U.S. News & World Report

(Source: U.S. News & World Report)

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