Retirement is supposed to represent the start of the ‘golden years’ – a time free of responsibility, in which you can choose to do whatever you’d like with the spoils of a working life well-lived. But retirement can easily lead to a sense of listlessness, by virtue of that very freedom from professional responsibility, coupled with an abundance of free time that can feel almost too much in comparison to your life beforehand.
Though mental health decline is not a given in older people, as many as one in five over retirement age can suffer from depression. One powerful way to stave off the onset of poor mental health is to stay engaged and to make conscious steps towards retired life. But in which direction?
With years of free time stretching out ahead of you, why not plan to fill them with entirely new experiences? Travelling can be an utterly profound experience, as you immerse yourself in new cultures, sights and sounds – and with all the time in the world, you can spend as long as you like exploring new corners of the world.
While travelling widely might sound like an expensive endeavour, utilising an advance loan scheme like an equity release mortgage can enable you to receive the equity in your home well in advance of its eventual sale – meaning you can use the value of your chief asset to fund your worldly ambitions.
Move Somewhere New
If you’re a slightly less adventurous person, you can still experience the wonders of somewhere new by choosing a new place to settle down. Free from the responsibility of living within commuting distance of a job, you can pick practically anywhere to settle down. You might want to move closer to family, or move out of the country entirely. The beauty of it is the choice – and the world – is yours!
Adopt a Hobby
The best thing about retirement is that you can turn your hand to anything you’d like, with no concerns about free time or availability. You can throw yourself into something new, and learn a skill or new hobby just for fun. If you find yourself struggling to pick up a hobby, or to find a discipline that interests you, why not expand your horizons to volunteering?
Hobbies don’t merely have to be indulged alone or indoors; you could give time to local conservation or rewilding efforts, from litter-picking with a group to helping caretake areas of wildland. Should you already have a hobby or vocation at which you are competent, you could devote time to putting your skills to good use! For example, if you had a passing knowledge of electronics, you could join a ‘repair café’ as a resident expert, and help teach younger people to fix their devices.