Many retirement blog posts these days talk about the dire situation that America is in regarding retirement. According to a survey conducted by Barron’s:
- 27% of Americans (not retired) have borrowed against their workplace retirement plan
- 27% of have accepted penalties to take money out.
- 30% of millennials say their student loans are preventing them from saving for retirement
- The 45-year-old Gen Xer who wants to retire at 64, has $166,328 saved and needs to save $798,000 more over the next 19 years
- 47% of Boomers are full of regret for not saving sooner
- and so on
In an article we wrote recently, we discussed the emotional aspect of retiring early, and how when it comes time to retire, losing the structure and growth you experience from working can be an uncomfortable thought. One woman realized that when she was ready to retire early, she struggled because a lot of her self-worth was tied to being a worker. So, instead of focusing on the gloom and doom of retirement, today we want to share about some ideas for what you can do during retirement whether you are retiring early or later in life, so as not to lose the fulfilment that work brought.
As retirement approaches, surely you have thought about what you are going to do. Maybe you have travel plans, maybe you are going to buy an RV and drive across the US, you’re probably going to visit family, and you likely will get back to old hobbies that you didn’t have as much time to dedicate to that you wished while you were working. Maybe you also want to attend to fixing things around the house or finishing some remodels that fell to the wayside. Perhaps you will build a tiny home (another blog we did)! Sounds like you will be busy! But what about when you’ve done all these things, then what will you do?
Here are some out of the box ideas on how you can seek fulfilment in retirement:
You could volunteer or do some part-time work for a non-profit. Volunteers are always woefully understaffed, especially having volunteers who have a more flexible schedule. You could find a cause you support and do volunteer work to give back to the community. You could even start your own.
If you have a creative side, it is time to start dedicating time to fueling it. Take classes or attend various events in your community that offer one-off sessions at local businesses. You could start a business on Etsy. Etsy is an e-commerce site where you can sell your handmade creations. If you always joked one day you would write a book, set aside time each day to write. It’s November in a couple days, which is National Novel Writing Month. Many take on the challenge of writing a novel and the rules for taking on the challenge are writing 1,667 words each day throughout November, with the goal of writing a 50,000-word manuscript by November 30. You can make this November the month you finally see your book become a reality!
Continue your education. Many people tend to overlook community colleges, but they can actually provide a great environment if you want to go back and learn about something you never got the chance to. Plus, they are far more affordable than other institutions.
Learn a new language. You’ve probably heard of Rosetta Stone or Babble, but if you want to try something for free, you can get an app for your smartphone, Windows 10 computer, or iPad called Duolingo. Duolingo is extremely popular. It is fairly easy to use and they break up the learning into skills for you to conquer. You will learn how to read, write, listen and speak all with this free app. It does take some dedication, but you can always pick up wherever you leave off and your learning plan will adjust to your performance. You have the ability to learn so many different languages all at your fingertips, check them all out here. This could also be handy if you want to learn some conversation skills before traveling abroad.
As you think about retirement whether it is in a few years or decades from now, it is smart to think about the quality of life you will want. This includes thinking about what you will want to fill your time with and setting aside the funds to do so. As we mentioned, unfortunately, the state of retirement in America is not great, but speak with a financial counselor and an estate planning attorney about what you should be doing to prepare. Part of any good retirement plan is also an estate plan. Schedule your complimentary consultation today and check one thing off your retirement preparation list.