Sunday, August 2, 2015

Passing Time Well in Retirement

Over the last two years or so in semi-retirement, I learned a few things about how to spend your time well.  It is a challenge to pass your time favorably when you are not working or going to school 8 to 10 hours a day like you have for the past 55 years of your life.  During those 55 years, your use of time was mainly dictated by others, but now it is up to you to decide what to do and how to make it enjoyable.

I find you need certain things that were perhaps delivered by your previous working or family life:

  • Companionship - you need to spend time with folks you like, including your family and spouse
  • Purpose and fulfillment - getting things done that you feel are valuable
  • Helping - providing assistance to others
  • Physical activity - working out your muscles to stay healthy
  • Mental activity - working out your brain.  I am a believer that you can postpone or eliminate dementia if you keep mentally active.
  • Managing your life, your finances, your home.
Many activities deliver more than one of these characteristics so here is a list that I put together:


ActivityCompanionshipPurposeHelpingPhysical AcitivityMental ActivityManaging
Travelling with your spouse and family*****
Writing a blog****
Volunteering e.g. meals-on-wheels****
Jobs around the house****
Part time consulting***
Starting a new job, career, or business*****
Getting together with friends*
Pursuing a hobby**
Playing a sport e.g. golf**
Taking online courses**
Taking adult education classes**
Taking care of family members******
Reading, using the Internet, educational TV for learning*
Joining a club or organization (hobby, sports, political..)***


The trick of course is to do a variety of things that deliver your right mix.  For me, it has consisted of:
  • Travel
  • Part time work
  • Blogging
  • Hobbies like building radio control quadcopters and computers
  • Getting together with friends
  • Taking courses online, playing golf, and working out
  • Helping out with the family, particularly grandchildren and parents
You may want more companionship or more purpose in life, and that is great, find the activities that deliver those things.

Most of us are going to live long lives in retirement, thanks to medical science, so spending this time well makes sense.  Hope this helps and good luck.

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