Be careful what you wish for – you just might get it.

As many retirees discover, leaving work life to begin another is not always what they had imagined. After years of planning and saving, and picturing days of leisure stretching into the future, the realities of unlimited free time can seem intimidating, especially if you’re not ready to slow down.

Fortunately, retirement brings the freedom to do anything you want to do. If an active retirement has appeal, here are a few activities you may want to build into your retirement plan: » Work – Many individuals return to work once they retire. Some choose work for fi nancial reasons; others like the sense of purpose it provides, as well as opportunities for social interaction.

  • Volunteer –Schools, food banks, animal shelters, hospitals, political parties and other organizations welcome volunteers. If you want to stay connected to the business world, investigate mentoring opportunities in your city or town.
  • Education – Love Shakespeare? Fascinated by ancient Rome? Intrigued by diff erential calculus? Sign up for a class at a local college or university. Researchers aren’t sure whether sharp minds seek knowledge or knowledge sharpens minds. Either way, continuing education can help your brain stay young.1
  • Travel – If the formality of classroom learning isn’t for you, another way to gain knowledge is through travel. Experiencing other cultures and learning new languages can be rewarding.
  • Photography – Amateur photographers do not have to deal with the hassles of dark rooms or spending money on rolls of fi lm in the digital age. Photography is a fun and an economical hobby for retirees, and it may open doors to meeting new people and showcasing photos in local exhibits.2
  • Exercise – Exercise provides an opportunity to de-stress from a lifetime of work. Whether you join a gym or exercise at home, it also reaps nice health benefits.

Retirement gives you the freedom to explore new things. The key to an active retirement is to stay open to the possibilities.

  1., 10 Ways to Keep Your Mind Sharp, February 2011
  2., 7 Retirement Activities that are Aff ordable, July 2017