Retirement is a major accomplishment that’s worth celebrating. You can mark the occasion with a party or an extended trip you’ve dreamt about for years. You’ll have the chance to relax at home and relish the fact that you don’t have work commitments. Take some time to set up your schedule and adapt to this new pace of life.
Try these activities to celebrate your retirement:
- Throw a retirement party.
- Jumpstart the stage.
- Make a bucket list.
- Start new traditions.
- Get into journaling.
- Restyle your home.
- Spend time in nature.
- Take a cruise.
- Give back in your own way.
Throw a Retirement Party
Having a retirement party could be a great way to commemorate this major life achievement and give people in your life a chance to gather. Celebrations can range from a formal affair with co-workers to a casual cookout with family members, or anything in between. Think about what you like to do and how you’re planning to spend retirement as you plan the event. Give guests ideas for retirement gifts that align with hobbies you want to pursue or a trip you plan to take.
Jumpstart This Stage
If you’ve always longed to be on the road in an RV, renting a vehicle and taking several months for a trip could be a memorable way to kick off retirement. Or you might go to the beach with friends for a week to get away and enjoy each other’s company. Buying a new home or relocating are other ways to shift into a new lifestyle and look ahead.
As you think about activities, make sure they align with your retirement budget. “Don’t forget to take stock of your financial situation,” says Jeff Mains, CEO of Champion Leadership Group in the Dallas-Forth Worth metroplex. “Review your retirement savings and make sure you have a clear understanding of your budget and income streams.”
Make a Bucket List
Brainstorming ideas of what you want to do post-work and writing them down can be a great way to set a road map. Some retirees take advantage of their freed up schedules to travel to new places. You might try an extended international trip to immerse yourself in a new language and culture. To stay cost-conscious, think about traveling on weekdays and off-peak times. You may be able to save extra dollars by snagging last-minute deals if your time is flexible.
Start New Traditions
After initial events to celebrate your retirement, settle in with routines for your stage in life. Maybe you want to plan and host a family reunion every year. “Reach out to friends you may have lost touch with over the years and rekindle those relationships,” suggests Amber Dixon, CEO of Elderly Guides in Chicago.
You might decide to go out to a restaurant once a week for lunch or dinner. Perhaps you could act as organizer in your neighborhood and set up monthly activities for everyone. New traditions will give you something to look forward to and a way to make more memories.
Get Into Journaling
Write down what you’re thankful for each day or start documenting your life story. There are websites and apps that will help you record your memories to share with family members. If you had a career in a niche or specialized area, you could consider writing a book to help others who are learning the trade. If you join a book club, spend time writing down your thoughts before the group meets for discussion.
Journaling can also be a way to focus on the positive moments of your life. “Retirement, like any other transition in life, can lose its luster over time,” says Monte Drenner, a licensed therapist and coach in Windermere, Florida. “Recording such things as more time with family or enjoying activities can be a helpful reminder when things don’t go well.”
Restyle Your Home
You’ll likely be spending more time at home during retirement than in your working years. Walk through the space with a curious eye and ask what could be changed. You might decide to update the wall color, redo a room or change the landscaping. A new furniture arrangement that encourages small gatherings with family members might work if you live near relatives. A play area for children could be a good fit if you regularly have little ones in your home.
Spend Time in Nature
Getting outside can help you stay active and healthy. Walk on local trails or take picnics to a nearby park, where you can soak in the peaceful surroundings. Try your hand at landscaping and put in a section of flowers to brighten your porch.
If you love to garden, now is the perfect time to research growing seasons and gather tips for raising vegetables. You could take a small area that you used in the past and expand it to accommodate more plants. If you live in an apartment, look for a community gardens that allows you to rent a space. You’ll have a chance to socialize with other garden-savvy residents and enjoy fresh produce.
Take a Cruise
Signing up to sail away for a week or more could be an ideal way to unwind. If you go with a group of friends or your siblings, you can eat meals together and linger over dessert in the evenings. You might sign up for excursions or rest on the ship during the day. With something for everyone, cruises are often a way to explore and socialize with loved ones in your life. You might even meet others and form new friendships.
Give Back in Your Own Way
From volunteering hours at a hospital to mentoring professionals or tutoring students, there are many opportunities to help others. “Find a cause you’re passionate about and dedicate some of your newfound free time to making a difference in your community,” Dixon says. If you have arts in your background, you might offer to direct a play or musical at a local theater. You’ll get a chance to socialize and will likely learn from others along the way.
You’ve likely spent decades working at a job with few breaks for downtime. Take advantage of the extra hours to yourself in retirement to watch shows, read books or play games. If you go to bed early and prioritize sleep, your health will benefit from the solid time to recover every day. Keep your schedule from getting too full of commitments so that you have plenty of time to celebrate retirement doing the things you love.