17 things you should definitely look forward to in retirement
For many people, thinking about retirement can bring feelings of anxiety, unpreparedness, and hesitation. For others, the thought of retirement may seem like more of an unrealistic daydream than a future reality—but we want to change that way of thinking here at PAi.
The beginning of retirement marks the start of a new chapter, not the end of the book. And whether you’re already nearing your golden years or you’ve got plenty of time left in your career, these 17 things will certainly make you look forward to your future retirement.
1. Finally throwing out that annoying alarm clock that’s been waking you up for the last 30 years
Whoever said “ignorance is bliss” has never gone to sleep without setting an alarm the next day; that’s true bliss. And in retirement, that’ll be your reality almost every day. So long, snooze button!
2. No one’s around to tell you what to do anymore
Except your spouse, of course. Gone are the days of your boss micromanaging you; now, you can run your own ship and only have your significant other to answer to.
3. Speaking of your spouse, you’ll have plenty of free time to spend with the fam
Family is one of the most important things in life, but we often have to prioritize our careers during the work week over family fun, like watching the grandkids’ flag football game or band recital. In retirement, you’ll have more time than ever before to make sure you don’t miss out on making any of those special memories.
4. You can finally kick back and truly r-e-l-a-x
If you’ve ever had a case of the Sunday Scaries, you know how real workplace anxiety can be. And is there anything more relaxing than knowing you have a permanent ‘Out of Office’ set on your calendar? We think not.
5. Having the freedom to choose how you’re going to fill your day
You’ll certainly still have responsibilities to attend to in retirement, but the majority of your days won’t be completely filled in for you. You’ll have endless options for how to spend your day, with no ‘clocking in’ required!
6. Being able to say “Peace out!” to nasty weather
Live somewhere where it’s obscenely hot in the summer or freezing cold in the winter? Lots of retirees fondly refer to themselves as snowbirds—flocking to the north when it gets hot and to the south during winter months. You get the best of both worlds!
7. Getting rid of your stuffy business attire
Does anyone actually enjoy wearing a suit, tie, blazer, or pencil skirt to work every day? Retirement gives you back the freedom to dress how you want—so hit up your local thrift stores and donate all those rigid clothes you never want (or have) to wear again.
8. Never having to sit in rush hour traffic again
The last thing you want to do after spending a long, hard day in the office is sit in a big traffic jam on your evening commute. Not having to go to work means you can skip rush hour and say goodbye to the many hours spent listening to other drivers honk and yell, and say hello to a nap and some TV time instead.
9. Having the time (and energy) to become the socialite you were always destined to be
Think back to elementary school; you got to spend all day hanging out with your friends and didn’t have too many worries in the world. Life is even better in retirement: you don’t have to ask if you can go to the bathroom and your friends have extra free time to hang out because they’re retired, too! Plus, there are plenty of clubs or societies you can join to meet other people your age who share similar interests.
10. Marie Kondo-ing your life
We’re not just talking about Marie Kondo-ing your closet, either—we’re talking your whole life. Does that activity bring you joy? No? Then don’t bother! You spent many years doing things that probably didn’t bring you joy—there’s no need to keep that up in retirement.
11. Giving back and volunteering
If you’ve always dreamed of being more hands-on in your community, retirement will afford you with the perfect opportunity to become a volunteer or mentor in your area. Volunteer your time at the local homeless shelter or become a mentor to a younger professional who worked in your field as a way to give back.
12. Having time to learn new things or take classes you’ve always wanted to take
Many people wish they had the time to be a life-long learner, but between working full-time, taking care of growing kids, and finding time to unwind after a long day, there often aren’t enough hours left to devote time to learning something new. But with fewer time-consuming responsibilities in retirement, you’ll have plenty of time to take classes at your local college or learn that skill you’ve always wanted to master.
13. Hello, senior discounts!
We don’t even have to tell you the benefits of this one. You’ll be eligible to get a senior discount at many of your favorite stores and restaurants once you hit age 55 (some allow you to receive discounts as early as age 50), so you can get the most bang for your buck while out and about.
14. Taking unlimited naps whenever (and wherever) you want
Your family may enjoy giving you a hard time for “resting your eyes” while watching TV in the recliner, but being retired gives you the perfect excuse to take that much-needed nap—anytime, anywhere.
15. Saying “buh-bye!” to those coworkers
We all know the type. Whether they’re putting your stuff in Jell-o again or just causing headaches for you in general, setting your permanent OOO will make you feel better about any annoying coworker.
16. Having lots of time to perfect new hobbies
Always wanted to become the shuffleboard champion of your bar league or school all your friends on the back nine? You’ll have plenty of time to practice when your days are wide-open, and realistically, your spouse will want you to get out of the house for a few hours anyway.
17. And finally, seeing the world…at your own pace, of course
Retirement opens up the door for travel opportunities aplenty, so feel free to get out and see all that the world has to offer—but don’t be afraid to go at your own pace. Americans often envision taking lots of vacations and trips in retirement, and while we’re all for that, don’t feel like you need to keep up with the Joneses’ who always seem to be trekking across the globe.
Focus on living within your means during retirement to feel comfortable and financially-secure, but also don’t be afraid to book that once-in-a-lifetime trip if the opportunity presents itself.