Even if you’ve been saving your money since you were in grade school, that may not be enough to have an enjoyable retirement. Of course having enough money put away is the number one factor as to whether or not you’ll maintain your desired lifestyle once you stop working. But don’t overlook the small stuff. Does sitting in front of the TV sound like a fulfilling way to live, day in and day out? You’ll need something engaging to do with your free time and remember you will probably have more free time than you’ve ever had in your adult life. Having several interesting hobbies is a great way to get the most out of your retirement.
You probably started thinking about your retirement savings a long time ago. Well you should start thinking about how you plan on spending your time too. A satisfying hobby or a way to spend you time really is required for your happiness. Perhaps you’ve decided to spend more time with your family and just enjoy life. That’s all well and good but you’ll need something more. Choosing a fun hobby is easy. Most hobbies are fun, that’s why they’re hobbies. And I’m sure almost everyone has something that they like to do. Whether it’s gardening, playing tennis, building ships in a bottle or collecting stamps, I’m sure there’s something out there that you’d like to do. Finding a fun hobby shouldn’t be a problem for most people. It’s the next two criteria that may cause some problems for you.
Money always seems to be an issue. If you’ve found something that you enjoy doing but can’t afford to do it, then you’re out of luck. How often do you hear people say that if they won the lottery then would retire and spend their time traveling the world? Traveling would be how everyone spent their retirement if it was free. Going on a few vacations a year will probably fit into even the most conservative budget. But even if you add some visits to see the grandkids or other relatives you’ll probably still have about 40 weeks left in your year that you’ll need something else to do. Gardening can be a relatively inexpensive hobby. Buying seeds is pretty cheap and will provide you with days' worth of tasks to take grow them from seedlings to mature plants. You can even put some food on the table if you plant a vegetable garden.
Lastly you’ll need to think about your health. If you suffer from arthritis, then I don’t recommend spending your days doing something that will aggravate it. Let’s look at our previous hobby examples and see if they make the grade. Gardening can require some physical labor. Whether you’re turning the soil or bending over to pull weeds you’ll need a strong back to get the job done. Collecting stamps or other collecting hobbies would be okay even if you require a sedentary lifestyle.
Many people spend their adult lives saving their money for retirement. This is a great way to secure your future but it’s only a first step. Give some thought to how you plan on spending your free time during your retirement. With some interesting hobbies, you’re retirement can be more fulfilling than you ever planned.