You and your spouse have just entered retirement after years of service in the military. Now what? You might be concerned with avoiding post-employment boredom but not sure how to do so. If you want to make the most of your retirement, there are plenty of ways to get involved in your community and stay busy during retirement.
According to USNews.com, “An active retirement is not just keeping busy, but engaging in quality activities that make your life worthwhile.” This is the time to explore your passions that you might not have had a chance to pursue earlier in life. Here are 13 ways you can stay active and involved when you’re retired.
- Learn a new language. This might seem difficult, but that’s why it’s a good way to stay sharp and active. Try Rosetta Stone or take a language class at a local college. Learning another language will keep you active long-term.
- Learn to play a musical instrument. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to play the guitar or piano but never found the time. Playing music is a great way to stay engaged with others. You and your spouse can learn to play instruments together, or even join a community choir.
- Write a memoir. Maybe you’re not a wordsmith, but taking the time to write a memoir of your life is a wonderful way to remember your life and pass it on to your children. You don’t have to write it for publication, but this will certainly help you stay busy during retirement.
- Take up a hobby such as painting or knitting. There’s no harm in trying your hand at artistic expression. Find a local painting class and learn to paint with other community members. Who knows, you might find that you could be the next Monet.
- Take classes you’re interested in. When you went to school the first time, you might not have gotten the opportunity to take those “fun” classes that didn’t count toward your major. Sign up for a class you’d be interested in at your local college. You’ll meet new people, and it will give you a way to continue learning throughout retirement.
- Volunteer at an organization. If you want to give back to your community but you don’t know how, find a nearby homeless shelter or non-profit organization and volunteer yourself to help. Volunteering will not only keep you active, but it will also provide a sense of satisfaction that you’re doing good for others.
- Take up a new career. Wait — haven’t you already done that? Yes, but not in this sense. Pursue an interest of yours and make it into a second, less stressful career. Perhaps you want to open a flower shop or do freelance writing. Whatever your interest, channel it into a new and exciting career for your retirement.
- Play golf, tennis or another physical activity. Golf is the banner retirement sport, and with good reason. It gives people physical exercise as well as camaraderie. If you’re not a golf person, try joining a tennis club or even take yoga classes. These activities will keep you in shape and connected with others.
- Travel to places you’ve never been to. If you’ve always been too busy to take that dream vacation, now is the time. Book a trip with your spouse near or far to a place you’d like to visit. It’s never too late to expand your knowledge of different cultures.
- Take a road trip. Maybe you’re more of a car travel person. Map out a route to another city or cities and start burning rubber. You and your spouse will meet interesting people along the way and discover things you never knew existed. The longer the road trip, the busier you’ll be.
- Cook your way through a cookbook. If the kitchen has never been your area of expertise, picking out a cookbook is the best way to start. Whether you’re an experienced cook or not, learning how to make new dishes is fun and rewarding. Attempting to go through an entire cookbook will add an element of challenge to this activity.
- Join a bridge or chess club. Perfect for both gaming veterans and novices, joining a type of game club will keep you involved in your community and actively engaged. Abby Weiner, Director of Marketing and Admissions at Knollwood Military Retirement Community, says joining committees and clubs is an easy way to maintain a well-balanced lifestyle.
- Construct your family tree. If no one in your family has put together a family tree, retirement is a great opportunity for that. Conducting research and connecting with immediate and distant family members is a great way to stay busy. And you’ll have a finished product that will be valuable to everyone in your family.
Setting out to undertake any of these activities will help you avoid unnecessary boredom and will ensure an active retirement.
Photo courtesy of Roger Schultz