Tom was practically counting the minutes until retirement. Although he worked at a job he liked and got along well with his colleagues, he never felt there was enough time to indulge in his favorite hobby: golf. Plus, he hated spending precious weekends doing yardwork and other chores. His wife, Martha, worked from home as a graphic designer but she didn’t plan to retire for another few years.

The day finally came. Tom’s colleagues threw him a party, and Martha took him out for a fancy dinner to celebrate. “So, what do you plan to do first?” she asked him, already knowing the answer.

“Golf, of course!”

For the first several couple of months, Tom played golf, did yardwork, and enjoyed his new-found freedom. But as time went on, the days seemed longer and longer. Tom didn’t want to play golf every day and once he was caught up on house chores, there really wasn’t much to do. He started watching TV all day long and seemed listless. He found himself actually missing work – not so much the job itself, but the structure it provided, and the opportunities to socialize and feel productive.

Often people don’t realize what a big adjustment retirement is, even when they’ve looked forward to it for years. It’s important to prepare emotionally as well as financially. Tom hadn’t given much thought to how he would spend his time, other than playing golf, and he discovered that he missed feeling useful. He looked for volunteer opportunities, and soon found a part-time volunteer position driving seniors to their medical appointments. It was rewarding and the people he helped were grateful for his assistance.

Tom also had miles stored up on an airline credit card, and he and Martha started planning trips for the fall. They had postponed travel for two years because of the pandemic, and it was time to use their points and senior travel discounts. Tom also signed up for a computer class at the local community college, since tuition was free for seniors. Before he knew it, his days were busy again and he felt much happier.

Retirement is a new chapter in life, and you can make the most of it by filling your time with things you enjoy, maintaining strong social connections, and having a purpose. Try a new hobby, travel to the places you always wanted to see, volunteer your time to a worthy cause, spend more time with the grandkids. You can create the life you want and deserve, and make your retirement years the best years ever.

If you or someone in your family are facing aging challenges, please give us a call at 561-291-3699 or email us at info@palmbeachcaremanagement.com. We’ll be happy to assist!