For those not in retirement as well as for those about to jump into it, the ‘empty nest’ phase of life can feel uncertain. Fear over what each day will look like once there’s no 9 to 5 job to go to can fill the mind. Perhaps the problem lies with the use of the word ‘empty’ to describe this phase of life. When you really think about it, there’s nothing about The Harvest that’s empty. Your retirement years should be full of adventures, pursuits and pleasures, including some that you may have been delaying until you could enjoy them at this exact time.
Retirement is a Time to Live, Not Rest
When we hang up our work shoes for the last time, it’s easy to think, ‘what in the world will I do?’ The real question should be, ‘what in the world do I want to do!’ That’s particularly true if you’ve been wise with your personal finances over the years. All of that saving, investing and delayed gratification were for this time of your life, when you have both the means and opportunity to do those things that make you happy. Here’s just a short list of the possibilities that can fill your retirement days:
- Travel to new places
- Spending more time with family and friends
- Volunteering your time with an organization or cause you are passionate about
- Learning a new skill or talent such as painting, playing an instrument or writing
- Tackling home improvement projects
- Trying new restaurants or entertainment venues locally or regionally
Maybe you have a green thumb and an open yard just waiting to be tended. Perhaps you want to do more than watch golf on TV; maybe you’re ready to play it regularly on a team or in a league or would enjoy traveling to different events across the country to see your favorite pro play in person. Whatever your dreams or passions are, now is the time to pursue them.
What’s your big dream? How will you use your time now that you have more of it? Does retirement feel freeing or frightful to you?