SO NOW WHAT?
Many ask themselves after they have relocated to their ideal destination, what’s next, what can I do?? This is the “million dollar question”, and the answer is quite simple, you can do a million things. Planning is the key to the experience or new path in your retirement. Think about what things interest you now. What could you do, would like to do, and always dreamed about doing. This is not to say that you need to sky dive or climb a mountain. It’s about new choices, new endeavors, things you wanted to do, but never had the time. Plan with your significant other a list of organizations that you would like to be part of, whether part-time or full time. Below are a few of the popular choices in enjoying retirement.
BACK TO SCHOOL
Many retirees go into community programs offered by the local college or university.
Go back and take courses in the arts and sciences. Popular courses include:
• Computer Sciences
• Art and Sculpture
• Horticulture and Botany
• Child Education
After completion of one or several of the courses you are then able to:
• Teachers Aide
• Assistant Coach
• Outreach Programs
Many of these university programs offer an audit style of grading, so there is no pressure on the academic side. The college may also provide full tuition or support for books and materials. Many programs will give you a designation or credit towards a degree as well.
NEW TO THE HOOD
Since the mid 2000’s many of your peers have chosen to live in planned retirement communities (55 and over). This type of community has all the structure you may need to help in establishing your life long goals at this stage. So many reasons for the attraction to planned communities by retirees for organized club activities like:
• Water Sports/Aerobics
• Health and Fitness Centers
• Outdoor Clubs
• Walking/Biking Trails
• Clubhouses and Amenity Centers for meetings
• Cooking Facilities for lessons and gatherings
Planned communities will make the process of meeting others with the same goals much easier. Planned communities will also allow the availability for those who want to be more involved in neighborhood civic duties like joining:
• Home Owners’ Association
• The Architecture review Board
• Community designated security
• Golf Rangers
The Master Planned Communities bring together dozens to hundreds of retirees with similar interests. This fact can also make the transition a lot less stressful if you are concerned about meeting new friends.
Another popular route to take is to join town or city civic organizations. Many of these clubs are volunteer based. Popular choices include:
• Lions Club, over 45,000 clubs and 1.35 million members.
• Rotary Club, with 1.22 Million members to bring humanitarian service.
• Fraternal Order of Police, for those who have served, over 325,000 members.
Local level and more intimate sized organizations that may include your interests:
• Boys and Girls Club
• Local Gardening programs, like the County or state Aboretum
Many of these types of organizations have formal functions to raise funds for their charity of choice, so it will allow you to get dressed up and spend the evening in a formal dining and dance situation. It is always good to have a few nice suites, or a tux. It is not all flip-flops and Tommy Bahamas if you retire on the coast. Again, search the desired organization of choice on line and contact them to establish a point of contact prior to your relocation.
OFF, OFF AND AWAY
Depending on your finances, many retirees choose to do some traveling. As a matter of fact, another popular request to have within at least an hour of the new retirement destination is an international airport, or at least one that will have several flights to an international provider. Whether it is traveling in the US, packing a bag with sun lotion and hitting the Caribbean or spending a month in Europe, this may be a major priority for you and your loved one to embark during retirement. Again, some of the master planned communities will have a travel club that may get group discounts on flights, accommodations or cruises. Bon voyage!
Speaking of airports, many municipal airports have flight training schools as well; another popular and desired goal is to learn to fly.
WORK A LITTLE OR WORK A LOT
Many retirees that were surveyed have suggested that work is just “in their blood.” Believe it, there are some popular retirement areas in the US that are having incredible growth stages. Those who are coming out of the major metropolitan areas may find that these retirement destinations have opportunities to get into the work force. New growth in popular retirement areas allows you to accept gainful employment. Popular working choices include:
• Office Management
• Administrative positions
• Handy-man or handy-woman
• State and county jobs
• Associate professors or lecturers
• City or county government
Many businesses in these new growth areas are looking for the experience and the dependability of a retiree. Don’t ever underestimate your skill sets, even in a new environment!
THE ANIMAL KINGDOM IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD
Many communities that you will visit are pet friendly. You will find bark parks for dogs, riding stables at equestrian communities. A new trend emerging is pet sitting. Whether for an hour, the day, or if the owner is out of town for a week, pet sitting is on the rise. It is known that interaction with an animal is good for reducing ones stress and improving overall health and wellness. Neighborhoods will have facilities as well as kennel clubs, i.e. the Lab Club, or the Bischon club. This will also give you the opportunity to join a pet adoption organization. Who knows, you may end up with a new best friend.
CHILD AT HEART
Do you want to feel the energy of the young in your neighborhood or community? Many of the retirees have chosen to get involved in positions that allow them to interact with the younger generation. Such opportunities include:
• Child care provider
• Volunteer teachers aide
• Scout Leader
A few hours a day with a young one will make you feel young at heart!
No matter what you decide to do upon your retiring, one thing holds true that you learned during your working careers; and that is setting goals is important in making progress with your future. Ask yourself these questions and get a jump on some of the organizations that will facilitate your goals if you know for sure your geographic destination for retirement.
What do you want to accomplish during retirement? (Be flexible)
Where do you want to go?
What do you want to do?
What experience do you want to have with the new endeavor?
What do you want to learn, and what would you like to teach?
What can you do to improve your health, both mentally and physically?
Who do you want to spend time with? Neighbors, friends or relatives?
No matter where you end up, remember to plan and to talk to others in the area you plan to retire. Be open-minded, but have a plan. Remember, you are probably not the first one to do this, so have fun and ask a lot of questions.