(StatePoint) Despite the promise of ample free time, retirement is not something everyone looks forward to with happy anticipation. Many approaching this life stage worry that the unstructured time will be tedious and unfulfilling.
But there’s no need to fear a life of greater leisure.
There are many ways to make the most of one’s years after leaving the workforce, points out Sidney Silverman, a retired trial lawyer of 43 years and author of a new book of memoirs, “A Happy Life: From Courtroom to Classroom,” which he wrote when he was 76.
“I wanted to write only about my retirement but how could I do that without telling what I did before retiring?” says Silverman whose book details his career and active retirement, during which he enrolled in graduate school, tried his hand at tournament chess and wrote two books.
With this in mind, he is offering several tips to help make retirement the highlight of your life:
• Stay Active: Don’t let health problems become an excuse to sit around and stare into space. Take stock of how you feel, and seek activities consistent with your physical and mental strength.
• Take on New Hobbies: It’s never too late to discover new passions you didn’t have time to pursue when you were working. Test your fondness. Whether it’s woodworking, music, photography or fishing, now that free time is plentiful, jump in head-first and pursue what you love.
• Volunteer: If unstructured time makes the hours of the day feel endless, look for volunteer work that will keep you as actively engaged as when you worked.
• Keep Learning: You’re never too old to stop learning. There are many colleges eager to admit seniors. All you need is the will to learn, advises Silverman
• Stay Upbeat: Don’t be gloomy. Avoid making what ails you the focal point of every conversation. Books, politics, sports, investments, real estate, and your family are all healthy stand-in topics.
• Try a Second Career: Become a published author or launch your own part-time consulting business, tutoring or catering company. For example, Silverman tackled the challenge of writing his memoirs as well as a novel entitled, “What Money Can Buy,” that satirizes the practices of financial firms which tossed our country and the world into economic chaos. It explains the causes of the Great Recession and satirizes the political scene that followed.
• Find Your Peace: Your career was the time to stress out about deadlines, and workflow. Retirement is the time to put that aside and think about that book you’re reading, your golf swing or the next meal you want to cook.
More tips can be found in Silverman's new book and online at www.sidneybsilverman.com.
As Plato once said, “There are different stages in a man’s life.” By staying active, you can make retirement your best life stage yet.
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