When you retire, you can do anything you want within your physical and financial abilities.
You can become a totally different person if you want or just do more of what you always loved to do.
It is vitally important that you stay active, both mentally and physically, if you want to have a long and enjoyable life after retirement. You have earned it.
What is it like after you retire?
You will have a drop in your monthly income after you stop getting a regular paycheque. If you have done some financial planning, however, you should have a decent income after you start collecting your private pension and Canada Pension Plan (and Old Age Security supplement if applicable) as well as convert your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) to an annuity so you can have regular withdrawals.
Hopefully, you will be financially secure and have enough money for living expenses and all the disposable income you want to do the things you always wanted to do after retirement.
You will also have more time on your hands than you know what to do with, which can lead to boredom and even depression.
There could be another type of retiree in the list below called the “Napper“. These people stop most of their physical activity, take long naps during the day, and go to bed early. It is tempting to just want to rest after working so hard your whole life. We don’t recommend this type of lifestyle during retirement because we believe that if you don’t use it, you will lose it. This goes for your muscles as well as your brain power.
How to Retire Happy
Thus, you need to plan ahead and take action to ensure that there is enough activity in your life to keep you busy, challenged and rewarded once you no longer get that from a full-time job.
We have all heard the second-hand stories of someone who knew someone who died soon after they retired because they no longer had a sense of purpose or self-fulfillment. Sometimes this story goes hand-in-hand with one about someone who died within months of their spouse even though they were perfectly healthy. They had no reason to live.
We want you to have a reason to live a happy and fulfilling life for many years after retirement.
How you spend your time and money will create your retirement lifestyle or “Retirestyle”.
Here are 11 different types of retirees based on what you do after you retire.
You spend your time drawing or painting because it is something you enjoy or perhaps have always had untapped natural talent.
You start writing poetry or complete that novel that you’ve had percolating in your mind.
You can also get roles in a theatre production or as an extra on a film or TV show set. Kevin is already starting to get background roles in commercials, films, and television shows.
You want to stay very physically active, in many cases more active than you were while you were busy and stressed out with work and a growing family.
You might join a tennis club or country club to play tennis, racquetball, squash, or golf almost daily.
You could buy a bike, even one with modifications for any health-conditions, or an exercise bike to ride daily.
Many retirees also walk miles each day on a treadmill or, better yet, in their neighborhood or on outdoors walking trails through beautiful scenery.
Tina’s father and mother got a membership to a pool and fitness centre and went almost everyday. As a result, they were almost in the best shape of their adult lives after they retired.
Read this article for advice on how to lose weight or stay fit.
If you have grandchildren, this role might be thrust on you because your children need the help.
Regardless, you will want to spend lots of time with your grandchildren and your life can really revolve around them and affect your decisions after you retire.
Use your creativity for knitting, sewing, woodworking, scrapbooking, or making artisan crafts to proudly display around your house.
These items make great personalized gifts to give to family or to sell at craft markets, which can save you money or earn you some extra money.
Spend your free time as a volunteer at a local charity that helps the less fortunate.
If you can afford it, donate money to support causes that are important to you such as local non-profit organizations or health-related research causes.
Start a business that will keep you busy and make some extra money on the side to supplement your pension.
There are countless online businesses to try. Get ideas from YouTube instructional videos.
You can also sell some things that you make, buy, or have lying around (which could be valuable antiques by now). You can sell them online on Etsy, Facebook Marketplace, or Kijiji. You can also sell these items at flea markets and farmers’ markets.
Ideally, the business would be something that can operate without you physically there so that you can travel and spend time with family and friends when you want.
Plants and gardens require a lot of love and attention, which is a good excuse to stay active doing some manual labour around the house and yard while pulling weeds and watering them everyday.
If you grow vegetables, you will have a cheap and healthy food supply too.
Keeping your plants alive and thriving gives you more purpose in life and you will be rewarded by the “fruits” of your labour.
We don’t necessarily recommend partying and self-indulgence as a long-term lifestyle, but there is a honeymoon phase to retirement for the first 6 months or year.
You have lots of disposable income and free time, yet little to no responsibilities.
You can try many things you always wanted to try and knock some items off your bucket list.
You might become a wine, whiskey or craft-beer connoisseur or start going frequently to restaurants and lounges as a foodie. Click on this link for a list of microbreweries and distilleries in Winnipeg.
We throw casinos in this category too because they are fun, exciting, and can be expensive if you aren’t careful. There is a lot of stimulation and you feel like you are a big-shot on vacation. You can even enjoy free live music and entertainment at many casino resorts. Click here for an article about the best free things to do in Las Vegas.
Let loose, but don’t get carried away with too many risky activities or too much heavy-drinking because you are not as healthy or resilient as the young people.
Also, if you blow all your money on gambling, drinking or restaurants, you might not have enough savings to travel or leave to your loved ones.
Read a lot, attend seminars, and even take courses at university to keep your mind sharp.
Some guided tour operators even offer educational-oriented tours to learn more about history as well as other countries and cultures.
Click on this link for more information about the best tour operators for older travellers and seniors.
10. Social butterfly
Join coffee groups and seniors organizations to attend events and seminars with people your age for good conversation and friendship.
Take turns with your group of friends to host little get-togethers, coffee and tea time, game nights, or dinner parties.
Some people also have regular meet-ups or join leagues to do activities like book clubs, playing cards or lawn bowling.
Travel as much as you can.
You can keep it simple and safe by taking bus tours to casinos or going on road trips to explore your own province or country.
You can take longer trips too. Get a recreational vehicle and live on the road, sleeping wherever you want. Become a snowbird and spend 3 to 6 months each year going on daily long walks someplace warm and tropical while your friends are hibernating back at home.
The most adventurous might actually move to another country permanently or until their health deteriorates. This is best for people who are healthier and more financially secure, but some foreign countries have good, affordable healthcare and lower costs of living than Canada. We are writing a book about this.
Travel after retirement might be the best way to stay physically and mentally healthy.
Where you choose to travel will impact what activities will keep you busy.
Click on this link for a list of the best places to retire for Canadians or click here to learn about some of the benefits of travelling after you retire.
Don’t Be A Cranky Old Coot
Not only will activities, hobbies, and other interests keep you mentally sharp and physically healthy, but they will keep you from feeling bored or lonely.
If you don’t fit into one of these categories, then you might soon fall into the category of “Cranky Old Coot“, where you sit and look out your window or sit on your porch and yell at anyone who gets too close to your yard, complain about your friends and family, and say “no” to every invitation that would get you out of the house. But seriously, we prefer to stay young at heart and we hope you do too.
Retirement is a blessing and can be the most enjoyable time of your life if you take advantage of it.
Please comment below. Did we miss anything? Which type are you or which one do you want to become after you retire?
Kevin & Tina
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