Retirement for some can be a daunting thought, how will you spend your time? Will you feel lonely? Where will you be living? The questions go on and on. But, don’t you remember 20-30 years ago, when you spent most of your time wishing the weekdays away so you were free for the weekends and telling people that you could quite happily be a man/lady of leisure or just work part time?
When your alarm sounded in the morning you’d groan, roll over and hit snooze, just another 5 minutes only to still be there 30 minutes later. Retirement is a new beginning, there are so many things to look forward to and things you can look forward to leaving behind. Here are our top 15 reasons, in no particular order, of why retirement is a rare gift:
- Freedom – being able to wake up naturally and do exactly what you want, if you want to stay in your pyjamas until lunch time or even all day, there’s nothing stopping you, you are the boss now.
- No stress – remember when you used to work your fingers to the bone to get a promotion or pay rise, and each time you got there you’d be happy for a short while but then you set yourself the next goal, another promotion, another pay rise. Gone are the days where you’d turn up to work before the birds have even begun to sing or sit in the office until late into the evening to hit a deadline.
- Catch up on films and TV – There are so many classics and great movies out there but you never quite found the time to sit down and enjoy them. You’d get home from work and the tea would need preparing, the washing needed doing, the kids have got after school activities and need picking up, the dog needs walking or you’re so tired that the thought of putting a film on at 9pm is too much to bare. Now you have all the time in the world, why not watch the top 100 greatest movies of all time on those miserable, rainy afternoons. All those series you keep being told are must-sees but you have never gotten around to watching even the first episode, now is the time.
- Travel – Where have always wanted to visit? Perhaps you always wanted to walk on the Great Wall of China, have your photo taken in front of the Taj Mahal, trek to Machu Picchu, see the Grand Canyon, gamble in Las Vegas or go on Safari in Kenya, you still can and now you don’t even have to have that holiday approved by someone first.
- Exercise – Maybe like many people you had the daily battle of getting yourself motivated to go to the gym or fitness class, who wants to go after work and eat at 8.30, right? You now have the pleasure of being able to do so during the day, when everyone else is at work and there’s no waiting around for equipment to become free. Take advantage of those off peak memberships and treat yourself to a sauna or steam room afterwards. Maybe you always wanted to get a dog but full time working prevented you. Kill 2 birds with 1 stone by getting yourself a companion to enjoy long, leisurely walks with.
- No rush hour or public transport – Relish in the thought that you never have to spend another morning sat in the rush hour traffic commute or even worse, standing at the bus stop or train station on freezing cold winter mornings whilst the delay gets longer and longer.
- Take a long lunch – Lunch hours are a thing of the past, trying to cram in that catch up with a friend and constantly checking the time before returning to the office. Make time for your friends and family now, meet for lunch and if it lasts until dinner time, so what, nobody’s clock watching.
- Babysit the grandchildren – Enjoy quality time with the grandchildren whilst your own children are at work. What’s more, it’s a great excuse to go to some children’s attractions that you secretly want to visit yourself. Take them to the seaside and enjoy ice cream at the beach before a spot of crazy golf.
- Volunteer or work part-time – Perhaps you’d still like to have something to do a couple of days a week as you like to meet new people. Volunteering is a great way of keeping active whilst helping some fantastic causes, the added bonus is that YOU get to choose when you work. Has working in a second hand bookshop always taken your fancy? Or maybe you always like the thought of working in a little boutique or cake shop, now it can be a hobby rather than work.
- Complete those forgotten about projects – Do you have 100 things that you started and never finished? Make time to finish that bird table you started building or the jumper you started knitting, the painting that’s half complete or the garage you keep meaning to clear out.
- Start a new hobby – Hobbies are another way to enjoy your free time. Did you always think about joining a book club but worried you wouldn’t have time to complete the book in-between meet ups? Perhaps you fancy a painting or cookery class, doing yoga or pottery making. There are so many ways to get creative and most village halls hold some lovely little classes each day.
- Move to the countryside – Admit it, at some point in your life you’ve wondered what it would be like to live out in the sticks and live off the land, haven’t we all? There’s no need to live in the city now that you don’t need to be at work every day so cease the day and find that perfect little cottage. Growing your own vegetables isn’t just another great hobby you can try, not only will it save you money on groceries but it will give you a great sense of achievement.
- Cook dinner from scratch – We all have those good intentions of eating healthier but sometimes you’d arrive home so late that you just wanted to throw something in the oven. Now you can lovingly prepare each meal from scratch, grow your own herbs to make them even fresher and tastier, bake your own bread for that beautiful just baked smell.
- Take long baths – It may not seem like much, but how often did you really get to relax in the bath with a good book and some scented candles, why not take a glass of wine in with you too, no one’s watching.
- Do absolutely nothing – That’s right, if you want to do absolutely nothing, then go right ahead; you have nowhere to be and no one to answer to.
Why not take this ideal retirement quiz by SunLife to find out where you’re destined to retire to.