Congratulations! You’ve made it to the finish line of your career, and now you’re ready to enjoy the rewards of your hard work and savvy financial planning. Nowadays, retirement looks a little different from previous generations: many retirees are now active and busy, completing their bucket lists and staying excited about tomorrow’s possibilities. You, too, can experience the enrichment of this new chapter.
Retirement looks different for everybody. It’s a great time to think of what goals you made for yourself when you were younger. What have you always wanted to do but never had the chance? Did you want to travel somewhere specific? Master a certain craft, give back to the community, or start a new hobby? Now may be the right time to say yes to all of those opportunities.
The majority of working adults share a similar goal: travel to new places. In fact, just over half of boomers (54%) plan to travel in 2021, and they are actively selecting destinations, booking accommodations, and scrutinizing COVID-19 safety protocols according to a recent AARP study in 2021. Here are some possible ideas:
- Cover the country: Take a cross-country trip to explore America’s coasts, heartland, national parks, historic sites, and vibrant cities.
- Go abroad: What countries and cultures are you eager to experience for yourself? Do you want to visit the pyramids of Egypt and Athens’ Acropolis, jet-set to the cutting-edge cities of Singapore and Dubai, or travel everywhere in between?
- Experience the seven wonders of the world: Updated in 2007, the new list of the Seven Wonders of the World includes the Great Wall of China, Mexico’s Chichén Itzá, Jordan’s ancient city of Petra, Machu Picchu in Peru, the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, the Colosseum in Rome and India’s Taj Mahal according to Britannica.com.
- Escape: Want to truly get away? Let the social world fall away as you relax on the tropical beaches of Tahiti, Mauritius, the Maldives or Australia’s Gold Coast.
We all have goals and achievements we wish to meet throughout our life, and retirement may provide the time and resources we rarely had when we were younger.
- Earn a college degree: Earn your first, second or even third college degree. Many schools offer reduced tuition fees for retirees.
- Launch a second-act career: Maybe you’ve always wanted to open your own retail shop, establish a family restaurant or grow produce for your local farmers’ market. Whatever the dream, now may be the time to make it happen with the resources you’ve worked hard for.
- Run for public office: Have you often wondered how to make life a little better for those around you? If you’ve got a knack for politics and want to make a difference, public office may be a good fit for you.
You may feel strongly about certain causes or local issues, or you may find it fulfilling to simply give back to your community. Either way, donating your time and energy for a greater good can be a noble and uplifting activity.
- Religious charities: Connect with a faith-based organization to see what skills or manpower you can lend to their services and outreach initiatives.
- Arts and culture: Engage in the humanities by ushering at theatrical performances, assisting at an art gallery or leading tours as a museum docent.
- Animal care: Tend to our furry friends’ welfare by helping out at the zoo, participating in 4-H or supporting local animal rescue efforts.
- Civil organizations: Donate your time to helping your neighbors through American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, food pantries, homeless shelters, libraries or your local JCC or YMCA/YWCA.
You’ve got valuable pearls of wisdom that younger generations want to hear. Share them with those who are just starting in their careers.
- SCORE: This nonprofit organization has chapters across the country where senior-level business experts guide emerging professionals and help small businesses get off the ground.
- AmeriCorps Seniors: Serve others by assisting children in school, writing grants for organizations to receive funding, delivering meals to neighbors in need or supporting an adult with disabilities with everyday tasks that make life easier.
- Mentor as an alumna or alumnus: Reconnect with your college, your private school or an organization that’s made an impact on your life to help young professionals navigate their career paths.
Dedicating your time to sharpening your mind by picking up new skills and strengthening your knowledge can make a huge impact on your emotional and psychological well-being.
- Cooking: Enroll in skills-based cooking classes, cook your way through Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking or grow your own vegetable garden for fresh-tasting meals all year long.
- Arts and crafts: Learn to knit, start your own fine art portfolio, write that novel, take up photography or learn to play a new instrument.
- Learn a new language: Teach yourself to converse in a different culture through online platforms, take classes at a community college or hire a language tutor.
- Attend class online: Thanks to the far reaches of the internet, you can enjoy learning anything you didn’t in school through Khan Academy, CreativeLive, MasterClass, TED-Ed and Udemy to name a few.
Living Well with Wealth
There’s so much to look forward to as you approach retirement and consider what this next life chapter will look like. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to fashion a retirement lifestyle that makes the most of your wealth, brings energy and satisfaction to your days and makes you happy. Consult with your financial advisor to see what’s possible for your retirement and get started on that bucket list.
Links and Resources:
New Seven Wonders of the World List: https://www.britannica.com/list/new-seven-wonders-of-the-world
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