BY SHELLEY WHIZIN
“Preparations for old age should begin not later than one’s teens. A life which is empty of purpose until 65 will not suddenly become filled on retirement.”
– Arthur E. Morgan
How do retirees spend their time is an important topic to address for many reasons. In this article, we’re going to explore that precious commodity we know as “time,” what it means in general, what it means to you personally, how you spend it, and how you will spend it in the future. We will also dive into the notion of whether time merely serves as a landmark and a turning point for where you’ve been, where you are right now and where you are going. We’ll also explore the benefits of having enough time to engage in your favorite leisure activities and identify some of those possibilities.
If you are near retirement age, you might have been thinking about retiring for quite some time now and may have even day-dreamed about what you want to do when you retire from the routine schedule of the day in, day out work. For many, how do retirees spend their time? Retiring can be both exciting and daunting at the same time. Impressive, because you may have been looking forward to having that “extra” time to play golf or play cards or be with your friends and family, or maybe traveling has been on your mind. Maybe you always dreamed about “just” gardening or maybe doing nothing in particular at all. The one thing you know is that you will have more of that precious time to do the things you have always wanted to do that you couldn’t do because you were working all the time. Enjoy great freedom from the shackles of an on-going routine schedule that kept you “shackled” 5 days a week for around 50 weeks a year is enough for many too.
How do retirees spend their time? For others, retiring may seem daunting, because, for many, work has become their identity and if they are not “that” identity any longer, who are they? The fear is that they will lose their identity or a sense of purpose. You may even be one of those who wouldn’t even know what to do with your time, because you’ve never done anything but work, yet you still feel too young to do “nothing” all day really.
You’re Never Too Young to Think About Retiring
You are never too young to think about retiring. This may seem like a silly statement but letting yourself think about what you might like to do when you retire and still be working, helps you to identify some far away wishes that could come true one day, with envisioning and planning. Planning and developing before retirement is key. Never underestimate the power of a “someday” vision too. If you’re in your younger years, learning the skills to envision what you want is a great tool to learn, along with understanding the basic concepts of how to manage money will help you plan your life, so that eventually you will be able to finance your retirement, and manifest that vision you that you feel passionate about. Through this process, something exciting happens, you bring your sense of passion into the present, and this part has nothing to do with how old you are. When you are living your purpose, no matter what that purpose is, you have meaning throughout your entire life, and when you retire, you extend that fulfilling feeling. That’s how to spend time fruitfully.
The time before you retire is consider NOW, so there is no time like the present to establish your mindset on how you want to live your life, what excites you, what lights your fire, and what kind of human being you want to be through it all, to find your sense of fulfillment, how do retirees spend their time? If you’re reading this, and you are near retirement age, you may have a particular picture of the way you “think” retirement is “supposed” to look like or be, which is different for every single human being. You will need to create activities from any interests you may have had over the years. A truck driver who always had to drive past a golf course on his way to work for years, yet who never had more than just a fleeting curiosity in golf for all those years yet decided one day in his retirement to try it out. It turns out that he fell in love with the sport and ended up moving to a place where the weather adequately favored golfing almost every day of the year. He made new friends and enjoyed the camaraderie of fellow golfers at the golf clubhouse.
Learning how to manifest dreams leads you into living a life that brings you joy and fulfillment NOW, way before you retire! How do retirees spend their time? Some people retire in their 50’s. Some people retire, but from one career to another one. I have a friend who has reinvented herself in at least four different fields and excelled in each one she tackled. She’s a designer by nature and can fit into whatever field she enters, giving it 100% of her energy, and then shines in her endeavors. She takes pride in what she does, enjoys it and feels a sense of gratitude. Whenever she decides on the time to “retire,” she will experience a continuation of how grateful and blessed she feels now, in whatever leisure activity she chooses to do at the time.
Improving Yourself on a Daily Basis Helps You Learn Something New Every Day
Being conscious of yourself as a human and developing the way in which you think takes constant practice. Finding out what truly satisfies you is something that you alone must determine. Reading up on activities and possibilities can be fulfilling. Finding activities that have peaked your interest might have the effect of keeping you young. Maybe free time for education has been a dream of yours, and now you can allow yourself to study for a whole year or more. Perhaps you’d like to check out the Road Scholar: Educational Travel for Adults Programs. When you consciously nurture your curiosity, your life can potentially be filled with youthful renewal through shared fun and adventure!
Taking the Initiative
By now the message of coming up with what you want to do in your retirement could be a wonderfully freeing concept is pretty clear. Some people love to work, so getting a part-time job will be quite satisfying. Having a part-time job continues to stimulate the mind, and being around others is healthy because building positive relationships, putting your skills to work, feeling productive, contributing to the world with your talents and abilities, helps you feel like you matter like your life matters.
Determine What You Want and Why It’s Important
Determining what you want and why it’s important to you starts with looking at your personality. What do you naturally love to do? What sings to your heart? How do Retirees Spend their Time? Do you like solo activities or are you a social butterfly and would prefer activities with groups? There are no wrong answers. Maybe you always dreamed about “just” gardening, being in nature and helping plants grow. Gardening and being in nature are never “just” anything. Spending time on the way YOU WANT is a privilege. You could be someone who wants to do something as simple as doing nothing in particular at all, waking up when you want, reading, meditating, watching your favorite shows on TV, doing some yoga, being with your friends and family, going out to lunch, and having no particular schedule at all, just allowing the day to unfold naturally and organically. That’s fun too, and it does feel delightful to go with the flow of what the day brings and allows for your spontaneity to evolve. Retirement will give you more of that precious time to experience whatever you want, depending on your preferences. I know some of my friends wanted to work on their classic car and others want to begin volunteering at a local organization. You see, it doesn’t matter what you do, it’s how you do what you do. You bring life and luster to what provides distraction and fun for you.
If you scan the internet, you will find many studies showing that retirees who keep a busy schedule, how do retirees spend their time and who maintain their relationships and social interaction lead to happier retirements. We tend to assume that we will be happy about our retirement. That’s not always true. You’ve used to work your whole life. You have gone to the office or wherever you worked and put in many hours a day doing something for somebody. Now that it comes time to doing something for yourself, some people go blank and don’t know what to do with themselves. Keeping engaged can boost your physical and mental health and even reduce the risk of developing diseases.
It’s also important to consult with a financial planner to help gauge what kind of discretionary retirement income you will need to fit your ideas. If you want to garden, your financial needs will be different than wanting to travel. When you decide what you want to do when you retire, you will know how much money you will need for that phase of your life and plan for it accordingly.
Brainstorm some ideas with someone you trust. As we stated above, even if you don’t need the extra income, you might find happiness having a part-time job, also driving for Uber or Lyft. Volunteering is another great idea, if that fits you, taking advantage of your skills and talents benefiting others. Exercising might be the perfect activity for you to do when you retire, maybe taking a yoga class or light weight lifting. I saw a video on YouTube where a woman STARTED bodybuilding at 70 years old, and she was 77 competing with others. It is your time. It is your life. Enjoy whatever you choose to do!
How do Retirees spend their Time: Begin to Simplify/Declutter
There was a study conducted in 2017, by The American Time Use Survey measuring the amount of time people spend doing various activities, such as paid work, childcare, volunteering, and socializing. People in retirement spend less time working and in educational activities. How do retirees spend their time? Retirees spend more time on personal care, eating, household activities, shopping, leisure, civic activities and talking on the phone. It takes discipline to create a schedule to do what you want to do, and, it takes simplifying your life.
With the 24 hours a day that you have, think about what you can to simplify, condense, consolidate, and minimize your time doing tasks so you can have more time to spend with family. You may not need as many business suits anymore, or those classic work dresses anymore – so think about de-cluttering your closets and trading those up for new leisure-style clothes that match your new lifestyle. I’m in the process of decluttering my own house and closets simply because it will release the energy of things I no longer wear or need, and most of all I wouldn’t want to burden my daughter to walk into a painful decision of throwing stuff out when I pass. So, in a way less is more.
How do Retirees Spend their Time: How Do You Regard Time and What Do You Bring to the Table of Your Life?
Regardless of what you do in any job or even when you retire and how do retirees spend their time, it’s the attitude and values that you bring with you and apply to whatever it is that you are doing. The job/activity itself is irrelevant. Ask yourself what you bring to the table of your life. Are you a joyful person? When you retire, you won’t be a different person. How do Retirees Spend their Time? Retirement can mean an extension of what you are already experiencing.
How do retirees spend their time? When you regard time as a precious commodity that comes and goes so very quickly and never comes back, then we relate to the time with conscious respect for each minute. We regard and respect a heightened awareness of making good use of our time, seek enjoyment, exude good behavior with friendly manners and comportment, and simply not wasting it on anger, bitterness and even old grudges.
I want to share two stories to give you real-life examples of how one can live a fulfilling life BEFORE you retire, how do retirees spend their time, and the common essence is really about love breeding love. I met a window washer once who took such pride in washing his assigned windows. He demonstrated to me exactly how he used his squeegee to get all of the streaks out of the window row by row, meticulously shining that window. That was his glory, his satisfaction with life. He would go home and have a good night’s sleep, knowing that he had shined many windows that people would look in and out of, for he knew the purpose and importance of clean, shiny windows. He was a happy man, a simple man who was appreciative of his life, of his job, of his friends and family.
I traveled to China in 1982, a time when one had to be invited by a government agency to enter. Fortunately, being marketing designers who designed luxurious European duvet covers, my partner and I were hired to market a Chinese linen company in the United States, to create a fresh, modern image of its company.
I was a challenge on how we could market them. Their existing merchandising materials had no life and very little color. Since China was a communist country, I knew that money did not motivate the people, and then it dawned on me that it was pride. I learned that Chinese people passed on their craft from one generation to another and when the child was around six years old, they would learn what their parents did. If they hand crocheted or hand embroidered, then the mother would teach the daughter those skills. THEY were living heirlooms, making heirlooms, as their craftsmanship was so excellent, it lasted for generations. I called the marketing campaign, “The Magic Hands of China,” and wrote a story.
The company loved it and invited us to come to China to tour their factories and do a photo story of the these “living heirlooms.” When the women in the factories saw the beautiful colorful printed materials, along with hearing the translation of the story, they cried. They said that someone finally got what they did. Money did not motivate them; they motivated by taking pride in the quality of their work. It’s that pride in the quality of your work or whatever you do that fills you with a sense of fulfillment. You know the efforts you exert to do a great job.
Seeing these lovely Chinese women who hand crocheted tablecloths and blankets, all sitting in a row, with white coats on, white gloves on, and all the women were sitting side by side at these large tables, hand crocheting away in unison and fast. You could see the patterns of the movement of their hands; it was so fast.
I learned so many things about taking pride in your job, about doing the very best that you can. This sense of pride carries through time because it is part of your character. How do Retirees spend their Time? So, how do you take what you learned into retirement and how do you choose what to do next?
How do Retirees Spend their Time: What to Do with Your Time in Retirement?
In a study conducted by American Time Use Survey, they found that people ages 65 to 74, spend an average of nine hours and 25 minutes per day sleeping, bathing and dressing. People age 75 and older get almost a half-hour more of sleep per day than younger retirees. According to U.S. News, here are ten things people do in retirement or how do retirees spend their time: Watch television, Make Home improvements, Eat, Work, Shop, Read, Socialize, Volunteer, Exercise, Relax, and, there are many more possibilities, of course.
In another article, called, “Starting a New Hobbies Over 50?” (LINK) We addressed many different options for hobbies you could begin. Follow your interest and do what you have dreamed about doing. As we said before, you may even want a part-time job.
One area that I have been investigating is living somewhere overseas. I subscribe to a newsletter called, International Living, and it is jam-packed with ideas of how to generate revenue living somewhere else, what it takes to live somewhere else and offers places in the world that are relatively inexpensive to live in, listing the best sites that have health care, the best weather, etc. Then, there is always researching a place to live in the United States that suits you. Maybe you want to know the sunniest spots to live. Whatever criteria you set up for yourself is what you look into.
How do Retirees spend their Time: Spending Time in Leisure Activities
How do retirees spend their time? When you spend time with whatever you select, make sure it’s something you want to be doing. Now is not the time to “settle” for anything. Time is the most precious commodity we have to spend, waste or invest in. Time is the ONLY thing we know we have right now. If you enjoy doing something solo or with a group, then you have a multitude of activities you can choose from. Remember, it doesn’t matter WHAT you choose to do, it’s HOW you do what you do with the time you are spending. Stay active. Make sure your activity matches your desire.
Conclusion: How do Retirees Spend their Time
Gratitude every day expands exponentially into abundance. Living in daily gratitude in a reliable awareness way puts you in another realm of reality and enhances the quality of your life – especially in your golden retirement years. Gratitude can help you to stay on your course of positivity and away from the blues and depressive days. It allows for that state of mind to be curious, to look for things to do that are interesting and exciting too.
In this article, we explored being conscious of time, how do retirees spend their time, how it is spent and how it can be spent. We’ve covered exploring what you love in your life and matching what you are passionate about the activity you choose. You now have a pretty good idea of how you intend on spending your time in the future by looking at how you spend your time right now. We have explored the benefits of having the time that you want in order to engage in the wide variety of leisure activities you desire and helped you to identify what some of those activities might be. Life is like one big shopping spree. Go out and shop for the experiences you want to have and remember that you have the freedom to experience your retirement in ways that you desire.
Retirement is not an end, but rather a new beginning, an opportunity for growth, creativity, and the discovery of one’s authentic self.”
– George McHenry
It’s your life. Enjoy the journey. And remember to bring love into everything you do.