Young and middle aged adults often dream of the day they can finally retire. They sometimes live with the notion that retirement will be far easier than a career-focused lifestyle. While it sounds amazing to not have to work and be able to do what you want, it’s not always that easy. Retirement sounds wonderful in theory, and it certainly can be some of the best years of your life. But this doesn’t come without some careful considerations.
The Balance reports that many new retirees go through a “honeymoon phase” of retirement. For the first six to nine months, people usually feel an urge to become more productive than they had anticipated. During this time, it’s important to finalize what you will do with your time. Additionally, plan for what you hope to do in the future. While it’s always best to be thinking about your post-retirement life prior to actually retiring, you don’t necessarily have to finalize everything.
Think about what you want out of retirement. There’s really no wrong answers to this question. Consider your personality. Perhaps alone time with some good books, movies, and small family and friend gatherings will bring you long-term happiness. On the other hand, a social butterfly may be completely miserable spending their days this way. They may need more consistent social opportunities, like volunteering or joining common interest groups.
Certainly considering your personality is important. But regardless, studies have shown that retirees who stay as mentally and physically active as possible have the best chance at long-term happiness. This will look different for different people. Some may choose to volunteer, find a small part-time job they enjoy. Others may want to join book clubs, or even just spend more time with family. Whatever you choose to do with your post-retirement years, make sure it will keep you happy, active, and give you a sense of fulfillment.