What’s on the agenda once you’ve escaped from work?
October 13, 2022
Those of us who are now retired will remember wondering what the heck we would get up to once we handed in our security badge and logged off forever. It’s a mystery. We remember asking retired friends what it would be like, and were told “you’ll never believe you found the time to work.” A cryptic and mysterious answer, that.
So, what are retired folks getting up to? Save with SPP had a look around to see.
US News and World Report sets out the list of things folks ought to do in retirement. They suggest activities like fitness, “being financially savvy,” establishing routines, caring for pets, staying social, and to “commit to your health.”
Other ideas in the article include travel, getting new hobbies, working (part-time), considering relocating, studying your family tree, and so on.
They recommend starting off with a retirement bucket list. “Jot down the wishes you’ve been waiting to fulfill, ranging from travel spots to hobbies. Whenever you’re unsure of what to do next, you can revisit the list. Just be sure to keep the items within your reach, meaning they are financially feasible for your budget and fit your mobility range,” the article advises.
A colourful graphic on the Age UK site adds a few additional ideas, such as going on cruises, “seeing the Northern Lights,” enjoying time with the grandbabies, and the 60-ish notion of travelling the world in a VW mini-bus.
OK, so these are all great ideas. But are people doing them?
The Satisfying Retirement blogspot reports that “worries about having enough to do and not being bored are very much top-of-mind” for retirees. “After several decades of having time dictated by work, the thought of unplanned days stretching into the future is a little unsettling,” the post continues.
A number of retirees interviewed for this post say they do a lot of the same things, but can now take their time. Two hours at the gym provides time for talking to people and reading the paper, the post notes, whereas before, you had to rush through a working in 30-35 minutes to make time for shopping.
“I’ve had three boring days in two years,” retiree Jane P tells the blog. “We have an exercise or swimming class every weekday morning. We have a garden. I try to meet one of several friends for coffee or lunch each week. I’m a mediator in training and I try to have one mediation event set up each week. I have a blog and a blogging community. I play games on Facebook.”
According to the Intentional Retirement blog, maybe retirement doesn’t look night-and-day different from pre-retirement. The blog reviewed U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data that found that “those in retirement spent less time on things like working, educational activities, and caring for others like their children. They spent more time on things like personal care, eating, household activities, shopping, leisure, civic activities and talking on the phone.”
The U.S. data, the blog notes, say it boils down to an average 2.5 hours per week more, for retirees, on leisure activities than their working cousins.
Time to try new things is the dividend that retirement pays. We wouldn’t have thought we would be spending hours and hours per week line dancing, but it’s opened up a lot of new friendships, is fun, and helps us stay sharper. All good. Try to take advantage of all the free time to try new things.
Having a little more retirement income will give you more options in retirement. Consider joining the Saskatchewan Pension Plan to help boost your savings efforts. As of December 31, 2021, SPP has 32,409 members, manages $604.6 million in assets, has been delivering retirement security to Canadians since 1986, and is open to any Canadian with registered retirement savings plan room. Check them out today!
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Written by Martin Biefer
Martin Biefer is Senior Pension Writer at Avery & Kerr Communications in Nepean, Ontario. A veteran reporter, editor and pension communicator, he’s now a freelancer. Interests include golf, line dancing and classic rock, and playing guitar. Got a story idea? Let Martin know via LinkedIn.