I am 74 years old and mostly retired. However I did recently start a part time job at Home Depot, a large building supply dealer. After 12 years of retirement and having my schedule totally under my control it is a bit difficult to adjust my life around the demands of a time clock. But I see it all as part of my goals to keep my retirement life varied and thus interesting and stimulating.
Having had several years of retirement life, I thought it was time to reflect on the ideal retirement strategy for achieving a fulfilling quality of life. I am talking about achieving a satisfying and fulfilled life physically and mentally. Building your financial health in preparation for retirement is a different topic and not contemplated in this post; books have been written about it by people more expert on the subject than I.
Ideally you will have internists (passions) during your working life that you would like to focus on after retirement, now that you have the free time. The saddest thing is a person who retires and is totally lost. No interests or ambitions and simply sits around feeling lost and sorry for themselves. It seems like this type of person is more likely to contract more illnesses and even possibly pass away within a few years of retirement because they have lost the will and passion to live a fulfilled life.
As well as preparing for a fulfilling retirement on your retirement “homestead” it is also important to a satisfying retirement to cultivate outside activities to get you involved with your new community and make new friends. Join a club, a service fraternity, a local church, or volunteer at a charitable organization. Find an activity that takes you outside the house and that you can be passionate about.
My leisure activities in retirement involve:
- tinkering with computers; building them, repairing them, experimenting with various operating systems
- maintaining my property; 14 acres of lawn, hay field, and pasture.
- cutting, splitting and stacking firewood; I heat my house with wood, not because I need to but because I prefer to.
- getting involved with my local church by: volunteering for various committees, designing and maintaining their web site and Facebook page, and setting up audio and video equipment as required.
During my working life I lived in urban areas to be close to my work. However, as retirement age approached, I knew I was going to move to a rural area to retire. So, while I was still working, and had disposable income, I started acquiring the trappings of rural life:
- I bought 14 acres of land in farming country.
- I purchased an ATV
- I purchased a used farm tractor
- I acquired various tools that I would need for rural life such as gardening, grass cutting, and firewood processing
So, when I retired, I was ready to sell my urban house, build a more modest house on my rural land, and start living like a person who enjoys retirement.
Creating a happy and fulfilling retirement takes planning but it is well worth the effort.
Ready for Firewood
Sometimes the Good Lord provides a helping hand. When it was time to cut some more firewood, along come a hurricane and knocked down this large oak tree in my back yard. He layed it down on the ground for me and all I had to do was cut it up, split it, and stack it in the wood shed for next winter.