Plan for Life After Retirement

Consider how you will spend your days after you leave your job.


Work takes up a huge chunk of time every day, and retirement can be a difficult adjustment if you don’t have a plan for all the free time you’ll suddenly have. After the initial retirement euphoria has passed, you will need to find a way to keep yourself busy somehow. Here are some ways to find fulfillment and purpose after retirement:

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Establish an exercise schedule. Try to add exercise and new healthy habits to your routine. In retirement, you can no longer use the excuse that you are too busy to exercise. Many people enjoy golf, hiking, or other activities that also have a social component. It should not be difficult to make a morning walk a part of your day. Moderate exercise will boost your metabolism and help keep you healthy.

Follow your passion. Retirement is the perfect time to expand and develop your hobbies. I would love to improve at playing both the guitar and ukulele. I also want to learn how to take great photographs, perhaps by taking some classes at the local community college. I don’t have time for these activities right now, but I would like to pursue these hobbies once I retire. Some universities or other educational institutions allow non-degree seeking seniors to audit classes for free or a nominal fee.

[See What My Sabbatical Taught Me About Retirement.]

Volunteer or work part-time. Volunteering is a great way to share your knowledge and experience with others. There are many worthy organizations that need help. If you like kids, perhaps you can volunteer at a school or work for an after-school tutoring program. Many parents are willing to pay for tutoring that will help their children catch up or excel at school.

Build your network. Employees have a social life at work, and it can be a jarring experience to retire. Your friends at work probably won’t have much time for you, so you will need to make new friends. Volunteering in your community is a great way to meet new people and build your network. You may think networking is not important after you retire, but we are still human and need some form of social life. Also consider reconnecting with old friends who may be retiring around the same time as you.

[See Why You Should Take a Retirement Preview.]

It is going to take some thought to make retirement fulfilling, especially for early retirees. It’s best to start planning what you will do in retirement before you leave your job.

Joe Udo is planning an exit strategy from his corporate job by reducing expenses and increasing passive income. He blogs about his journey to early retirement at Retire by 40.