Retirees finally have the freedom to choose how to spend their time. While some people want to relax after a lengthy and stressful career, others are ready to move on to the next adventure. Many people will cycle through periods of leisure and creation at various points in their retirement. While your retirement lifestyle may be limited by how much you have saved for retirement, there are a variety of ways to enjoy a high-quality of life on a limited retirement budget. Consider trying these retirement lifestyles.
Think about the best beach vacation you ever had, and see if you can picture yourself living there. You could wake up every morning with a swim and watch the sunset by the water each evening. Your grandchildren will be excited to visit, and you can watch them frolic in the sand. While a Pacific Ocean retreat in California isn’t always possible for retirees on a budget, there are a variety of affordable places to retire on the water, especially if you are interested in living near a lake, river or bay.
Many people dream of spending their retirement years lining up the perfect putt while enjoying the grass and sunshine. Golf generally helps you get plenty of exercise and fresh air and provides opportunities to meet other golfers and make new friends. Golf can be an expensive retirement hobby, however, especially if you purchase top-rated golf clubs and play at exclusive private courses. But there are also ways to golf affordably. Some communities have reasonably priced public golf courses. Those who work or volunteer at a golf course may qualify for discounts.
Back to school
Living in a college town gives you access to sporting events, libraries, speakers and concerts. Best of all, retirees above a certain age can often take college classes for free or at significantly discounted prices thanks to senior citizen tuition wavier and auditing programs. Many campuses also have Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes that offer affordable classes specifically for retirees. Colleges with a teaching hospital or medical school often provide health care services to the community. Heading back to school in retirement is so popular that some colleges have constructed retirement communities on or near campus.
Stay at home
Throw away your alarm clock and get up when you feel like it. You don’t need to rush, because there’s no need to be anywhere or accomplish your errands by a certain time. Experience what the days feel like when you don’t have to hurry. If you enjoy your current home and are an established member of your community, there’s no need to move anywhere else. Homeowners who have paid off their mortgage have an affordable place to retire. There’s no better place to live than a home that is already fixed up exactly the way you like it.
Retiree volunteers provide many valuable services ranging from museum docents to hospital volunteers. The best volunteer jobs provide a sense of helping others as well as opportunities to get out of the house and socialize. Consider passing on your expertise to the next generation as a mentor, tutor, coach or instructor. You can also follow your interests by volunteering at a library, national park, museum, garden or at theater or sporting events. Many organizations provide social events for volunteers and opportunities to meet other retirees.
Many people choose to work during the traditional retirement years, often because they need the money, enjoy the job or both. Those looking for less stress and fewer hours may be able to shift into part-time or seasonal jobs. Taking on consulting work or an occasional project may allow you to have more flexibility or leisure time as you continue to earn an income. Retirement can be an opportunity to switch to a new field and test out a second career. Retirees who have some money coming in from a pension, Social Security or personal savings have some flexibility to take a lower-paying job they enjoy.
Older workers who are laid off or tired of working for someone else are increasingly putting their skills to use in new ways by becoming entrepreneurs. People in their 50s and older often make excellent small business owners due to their industry experience and personal network. Self-employment gives older workers more control over their time. Once a business is established, retirees may be able to choose how much to be involved in day-to-day affairs.
Being a frugal shopper often takes time. Retirees can use their newfound free time to comparison shop, bargain hunt and negotiate for better rates on their purchases. There may also be some services you paid for while working that you can now do yourself to save money. You could ask for a lower rate on your cable bill, find a higher interest rate on your savings account or qualify for tax breaks for seniors. Don’t forget to ask for senior discounts, which aren’t always publicized but are sometimes available to those who ask.
Many people deferred dreams of becoming a writer, artist or musician while they supported a family. Retirement can be a time to rediscover old passions or learn new ones. Consider signing up for music lessons or an art class. Make the time to put your thoughts down on paper for your grandchildren. Go through your old photographs and letters and organize and preserve them for future generations. Think about the legacy you want to leave and what you can do to make that happen.
Gardening is a common retirement activity that allows you to grow beautiful flowers or delicious things to eat. Maintaining a garden can help you get exercise, beautify your home and provide fresh and low-cost produce. A few seed packets and some potting soil can get you started, but you can also construct more elaborate raised beds or landscaping. You may be able to sell your extra produce or provide thoughtful gifts to neighbors.
10 Retirement Lifestyles Worth Trying
— Golf course.
— Back to school.
— Stay at home.
— Second career.
— Penny pincher.