They say you'll never be busier than when you retire. After all, suddenly you have the whole day to do all of those things that you dreamed about during your working life. And for many this is a wonderful time. But for some this time can be overwhelming. Particularly when you consider that you'll probably have to fund your retirement with less income than you are used to. Luckily there are lots of options available to fill your day - and not all of them cost the earth. Bowls, for example, is a reasonably affordable pastime and there are many other options if that doesn't capture your imagination.
What sort of things can I do with my time?
What you choose to do in retirement will depend on your individual interests. But whether you’re a keen golfer or a bookworm, here are some ways to structure your time:
- Get into a routine
Just because you're not going out to work, it's good to keep certain daily habits going. Whether that's catching up on the news in the morning, eating three regular meals or taking a walk at lunch time – you can shape your day around your new freedom.
- Plan your meals
Enjoy the opportunity to shop at quieter times of day and take the time to plan your meals - by eating healthily and getting exercise you can stay in good shape as you get older.
- Join a social group or find new interests
It doesn’t have to be bowls – it could be your local WI, golf, walking or a reading group. But joining in local activities will give you a great opportunity to meet new people.
- Start a new social group
Can’t find a group that interests you? Why not start your own one? ‘Knit and natter’ groups have become very popular over the last year or so, or perhaps you’d prefer an afternoon tea or book club.
- Find a new skill or enhance your current skills
Whether it’s gardening, DIY, or that painting course that you’ve always been meaning to go on, why not take the time to develop your skills.
- Make time for friends or family
Staying in touch with loved ones is challenging when you are working. Now that you have more time on your hands, take the time to reconnect with people that you’ve been meaning to catch up with – maybe even build in weekly visits.
- Make the most of the internet
Keep up with friends on social networking sites, make new connections and find out more about your interests. From online shopping to free video calls, the internet can enhance your lifestyle in retirement – even if it’s just by staying in touch with people or making new friends via social media.
- Take a course
You don’t have to study for a degree that you study towards, maybe you just want to satisfy the curiosity that you always had for poetry or you want to find out more about the history of your local area. Whatever your passion, most colleges now have adult education facilities to indulge your intellectual interests. And keeping an active mind could be very valuable in your later years.
What if I can’t afford to keep up with my existing hobbies?
We can offer some guidance on budgeting, and it’s good to make plans in advance that will help secure an income to rely on for the rest of your life, so you’ll know how much you can spend, and when. But simply planning ahead isn’t enough sometimes – if you do have to alter your views on what’s possible, be pragmatic. See if you can turn your current hobby (if it’s costing money) into one that costs a little less, or nothing at all.