By Margaret Manning • UPDATED: February 19, 2020 •
Reaching retirement is a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, after decades of following other peoples’ rules, there is a sense of relief that you will finally get to live the way that you want to.
On the other hand, it’s easy to feel lost, fearful or sad when reaching this important milestone. You know logically that you are retiring from work, not life, but, it doesn’t always feel like that.
As you work through these various emotions, it’s important to remember that life after retirement can be anything that you want it to be. You have earned the freedom to chart your own course.
But, with freedom comes responsibility. No one is going to tell you how to get the most from life after 60. It’s up to you to decide which passions to pursue, which people to have in your life and which places to visit.
At the same time, while we need to make our own decisions, it’s often helpful to see how others have dealt with similar situations. So, I asked the women in the Sixty and Me community to share their insights about how to get the most from life after retirement.
Their answers were diverse, but, their message was clear. Go out into the world and meet interesting people. After decades of work, learn to renew, explore, travel, inspire and relax. Embrace life with energy, creativity and passion. Don’t let yourself get bored – or boring for that matter!
Many women in our community did not have a firm plan for their lives when they entered retirement. But, by applying their life experience and wisdom to the challenges that life presented them, they emerged victorious on the other end. I’m confident that you will do the same!
Here’s how 60 women in our community are planning on getting the most from life after retirement. I hope that you will find their answers inspiring!
Here’s the question that I asked:
You’ve retired. Now what? I would love to hear all your suggestions for getting the most from life after retirement. Did you retire with a plan or are you just making it up as you go?
Following are the suggestions that I received from the women in our community about how to get more from life after retirement.
Enjoy plenty of hobbies
Take days out and lunches with my friends and family
Breed French Bulldogs and Chihuahuas as a hobby
Enjoy crafts, coffee and painting
Go on outings with my grandchildren
Use my free bus pass to go anywhere I want
Fly by the seat of my pants and enjoy whatever I choose to do!
Join a group called Sisters on the Fly
Make it up as I go along and enjoy every moment
Help with my fabulous grandbabies
Cook and craft
Hang out at the library
Do gentle yoga
Enjoy a simple life, adapting as I go
Work with first graders as a school chaplain
Meet a man ten years younger and get married!
Live every day as if it were an adventure!
Learn new things, meet new people and see new places
Write children’s books
Go to the gym every day and to the cinema at any time I want
Read and write as much as I can
Wing it and just see how it goes!
Join the Women’s Institute
Drive my new car
Go to Jazzersise
Volunteer at a retirement home
Have lunch, movies and more with friends
Explore my spirituality
I will never retire! I love my job!
No plans. Just enjoy life and the journey that I am on
Care for my mum with dementia
Go to a senior center and take an art class
Learn how to do origami
Go to massage therapy school
I’m a breast cancer survivor, so I volunteer in this area
Spend time with my grandchildren, read, walk, and do yoga
Do anything that tickles my fancy for one year
Train to be a chaplain in a hospital or hospice setting
Work part time as a substitute teacher
Volunteer as a Medicare counsellor
Move to Costa Rica, my sweetheart’s home and raise 4 grandsons
Work with my husband in the garden
Volunteer in our local parish and find time to read
Read books and meet up with the book club once a month
Look after my grandchildren, since my daughter is gone
Get involved with a political organization
Babysit my grandchildren
Get very involved with church activities and help lonely people
Spend time with my daughter and granddaughter
Sell my house and move to a beach hut
Study the bible, do crafts, read and research my ancestry
Join a volunteer board and give back to my community
Go to Italy and open a bed and breakfast
Follow my dream owning a small acreage and a herd of alpacas
Open a business to support artists of heirloom-hand crafted items
I keep myself busy with U3A
Spend more time caring for my horses and competing in daytime dressage competitions
Go with what pleases me! I love dancing and music – they make me happy
Get started on that travel bucket list
I love all of these answers because, while they are diverse, they show that retirement doesn’t need to be about “aging gracefully.” Women in their 60s today are embracing life with the same curiosity, courage, and bohemian energy that motivated them in the 1960s.
We are looking after ourselves, exercising, having fun, following our quirky hobbies, looking after our grandchildren, and holding on to the things that matter.
How would you like to spend life after retirement? Have you already retired? If so, what advice would you give to the other members of our community who may be approaching retirement age? Please add your thoughts in the comments section below.