Enjoying Retirement: A Dozen Secrets that Really Work

What are the secrets for enjoying retirement? After spending so many years pursuing career dreams, retirement is s gift that is meant to be savoured and enjoyed.

Unfortunately, many people don’t enjoy the retirement years.  They long for the excitement they experienced while working.  They miss the camaraderie of colleagues.  There is a sense of having left something important behind once the career is over.

If you find yourself looking back instead of enjoying your retirement, read on.

Old Friends Enjoying Retirement Activities - photo by TheArches


Retirement is a time to open new doors.

It is a time to enjoy life as never before.

This postworksavvy list should tweak your imagination and encourage you to assess the strategies you use to make your retirement pleasant and enjoyable.

  • An enjoyable retirement starts well.  Choosing your retirement date and the terms of your retirement gets you off to a good start. When retirement is chosen rather than forced, it is easier to make this an enjoyable time of life.  If you find yourself retiring because of poor health or unemployment or down-sizing, you need to make peace with the events that led to your retirement and get on with living the retired lifestyle.
  • Retirement is more enjoyable if your retirement lifestyle matches your financial resources.  The adage advising that  ‘having $100 and spending $99 leaves you happy ‘ applies.  A contented lifestyle that allows you to pay your bills and have money for those ‘extras’ comes when financial worries are minimal.  Spend money wisely — don’t hoard it unnecessarily — and be careful about going into debt.
  • Paying attention to proper nutrition, getting regular exercise, and sleeping enough will protect your health.  These habits won’t give a guarantee of good health but you need to do your part to manage health.  As we grow older, chronic illness is apt to strike, so do whatever is possible to stay healthy.  Remember that mental and emotional health need  attention as much as physical health.
  • Keep socializing with friends and family.  The people around you need to be nurtured and cherished. Don’t wait for others to reach out to you — invite people to lunch or coffee. Make plans to stay connected with those you love.  Do your part to heal relationships that need to be restored.
  • Do ‘stuff’.  Staying active might mean volunteering or pursuing long-neglected hobbies or taking courses or travelling.  It might mean taking another look at the bucket list. Ask yourself, ‘if not now — when?’
  • Let go of perfection.  You aren’t perfect and nor are others around you.  If you cut yourself some slack, you’ll find that you enjoy the days more than ever.
  • Learn to ‘goof off’.  Life doesn’t have to be filled with productivity to be enjoyable.  A few minutes spent savouring a cup of tea, or stroking your cat and listening to her purr add to the pleasure of a day.  It’s still a struggle for me to sit without a task to keep me busy but I’m working hard to learn how to do nothing without feeling guilty.
  • Spend time outdoors — everyday.  It’s important to stay involved with your natural surroundings.  If you don’t live near a park or a place where you can enjoy nature at its best, you can still enjoy sunshine while walking along an urban sidewalk or sitting outdoors to enjoy your morning coffee.  Breathing fresh outdoor air lets your lungs expand and gives a new perspective.
  • Treat yourself and those around you with compassion.  Everyone experiences fear, frustration and anger.   Showing concern for the suffering and misfortunes of others allows you to forgive shortcomings and you will be rewarded with gratitude.
  • Treat yourself and others with kindness.  Focus on your needs and attend to these needs.  Give yourself little rewards and treats.   Take naps when tired.  Take breaks to restore energy.
  • Find little things that bring you joy.  Whether its fresh flowers on your table, or really good coffee beans, or indulging in a special kind of chocolate — the small things in life can make a big difference to overall enjoyment.  Self-indulgence can do your body, mind and spirit a great favour.
  • Look for the ‘good’ in life experiences — AND — look for the good in people.

The list of twelve secrets was created as the ideas came to mind.  Most of the post was written after enjoying a great day on the beach with my family.

Readers will have their own ‘secrets’ and tips for enjoying retirement.  Using these postworksavvy techniques — or your own secrets — will help you to create a retirement lifestyle where every day is enjoyable!




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