8 Things You Should Keep Doing After You Retire

May 27, 2024 3 min read

Maybe you’re wrapping up your career, and you’re excited about the possibilities and opportunities you’ll embrace during retirement. Putting commuting, meetings and a demanding schedule behind you may feel great. 

Still, when you’re thinking about what to do after retirement and how to focus your time and energy, remember that you should keep doing some things when you’re no longer in the workforce. Here are eight things to do in retirement.

  1. Stay Involved in Social Activities

For a lot of people, interacting with coworkers, clients and colleagues is a key part of socialization. You’ll want to make sure you maintain or replace those social connections. According to the Center for Retirement Research, socializing may improve your physical and mental health during retirement.

How to do it: There are lots of options. Join book or movie clubs, take classes, find MeetUp groups in your area, meet friends or former coworkers for coffee or lunch, or stay connected with events in your industry.

  1. Find Ways to Be Productive

Work can give purpose and structure to your time. Depending on your job, you may have mentored coworkers, helped others learn or found value in your contribution. During retirement, finding other outlets where you feel productive is important.

How to do it: Volunteering for an organization you care about is an excellent option, whether that’s your local aquarium, an after-school program for at-risk children or a group like Meals on Wheels that brings nourishment and companionship to older people.

  1. Stick to Your Budget

During retirement, you may be collecting Social Security, a pension or taking money from your investment accounts. You’re probably on a fixed income, and that may be lower than your working income. You could face unexpected expenses like home or car repairs or medical bills. So, following your budget is crucial.

How to do it: If you’re not sure where your money goes, track your spending for one to three months. If you’re spending too much, you’ll want to look for ways to cut back. Since you’re not tied to a work schedule, you may be able to save money by eating out during the week instead of on the weekends and traveling at less expensive times of the year.

  1. Connect With Your Community

Sometimes, it can be tough to be involved in your community when the demands of your career take up so much of your time. It may be easier for you to be more active in local events, activities and organizations after you’re retired.

How to do it: Think about what interests you and how much time you want to spend on community activities. If you go away in the winter, you might want to attend — or even plan — a summer concert series. Or maybe volunteering in a local school or serving on a government committee is more your thing. 

  1. Think About Where You Live

Maybe you have deep roots in your city or town and want to keep your home for entertaining and family visits. Still, you might want to consider whether downsizing or relocating makes sense.

How to do it: Add up the costs of your mortgage, taxes, home maintenance and other expenses and see how they compare to downsizing or relocating. You might find that a condo or townhouse has the space you need for less money. Or it could be that a lower cost location in a nearby city or town can still keep you close to home. Many retirees use this time of life to relocate to a better climate or a lower cost-of-living area.

  1. Get Regular Physical Activity

Keeping your body moving allows you to do the things you’ve looked forward to in retirement, whether that’s playing with your grandchildren, traveling the world or keeping up with your pickleball partner.

How to do it: If you’re not in the habit of exercising, look for an activity you enjoy such as swimming at the local YMCA, joining group hikes or working out at a gym. Be sure to talk to your doctor first, especially if you’re new to physical activity or changing your routine.

  1. Stay on Top of Checkups and Preventive Care

You know what they say: An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. See your doctor, dentist, eye care professional and any other providers on a routine basis. Be sure to have all the screenings you need as well.

How to do it: Many people find it helpful to schedule all their yearly appointments at once, so they are on the calendar throughout the year. A lot of providers have online scheduling, so you can use their website or app to find a date and time that works for you.

  1. Learn New Things

Your work life likely gave you opportunities to stretch your brain and expand your knowledge. Keeping your mind active is essential in retirement as well. Mentally stimulating activities can help keep cognitive decline at bay as you get older, according to the National Council on Aging

How to do it: There are a lot of retirement hobbies that can strengthen your brain. The best options to learn new skills are centered around your interests. You could learn another language, take classes at a local college or university, write your memoir or study a musical instrument — whatever appeals to you. The Lifetime Learning Credit (LLC) can help you pay for higher education or vocational courses to expand your skills.

Retire With an Expert by Your Side

When you’re figuring out what to do when you retire, you may find that making the transition financially from work life to retirement can be tricky. You can count on a Farm Bureau Financial Advisor to answer your questions and guide you toward the best decisions for you and your family. Reach out and connect today.

Want to learn more?

Contact a local FBFS agent or advisor for answers personalized to you.