Now that we are in, or nearing, a time with more leisure time at our disposal, what do we do with it?
It seems we Silver Surfers fall into one of two groups where we either enter this time with a plan for leisure activities or we dive in without looking. I would suggest that to do the latter is, at least, to chance financial waste, court a physical breakdown, and/or seriously jeopardize a good partnership.
Just from my own personal experience and from observing both happily engaged Silver Surfers, as well as others floundering, I have some very basic recommendations and considerations to offer as you plan on leisure activities in your harvest years.
I suppose the first place to look is at the activities you currently enjoy, but can only indulge part time. Do you like pottering in the garden? Playing a game like chess, bridge, or mahjong? Do you enjoy woodwork, cooking, dancing etc., etc.? Whatever you enjoy at present, could it become more than just a part time activity?
Now that you have one or even a few choices to consider, let’s look at what else we need to consider. If you are not single, what effect will this have on your partner? Is he or she thinking of entirely different choices that take time and financial resources? Is this something you are envisioning both of you doing? If so are you sure he or she shares your enthusiasm? The first place to start is with your life partner and to have an open discussion with your “best friend”. Ensure that even if you are not sharing the activity, that your schedules and finances allow you both to do what you want to.
Next, if your choice involves physical activity, even sitting for long periods, or a high level of manual dexterity or visual acuity, get you doctor to ok your choice after you discuss it with him or her.
If this is a relatively new activity to you, you will most likely need to take classes, read books, and get on-line instructions to get started or reach another level. Perhaps there is a nearby club or group of other, like-minded people who share your interests and could help along the way. Whatever you need, do you have the time, patience, finances, and local resources to learn or hone the skills that will enable you to reach the level of expertise you strive for?
Speaking of that, what are your goals for this activity? Do you want to become a ranked chess or bridge player, climb the five highest mountains in the world, or be a world class triathlete for you age? Do you want to be able to teach others your skill, master a language, or volunteer this skill at a local charity? Whatever it is write it down and see what it will take to get you there time wise and financially.
If travel is in your overall plans, does this activity travel well? Can you either take it on the road with you or leave it at home without any problems when your plans take you out of town?
As usual, this is meant to just open a thought process and discussion, as well as hopefully avoiding a painful false start or two. Each of us has myriad other considerations to consider. Whatever you decide upon, there are an almost infinite number of resources for further, specific research as well as many other Silver Surfers anxious to share their own experiences and skills with you. Enjoy!
A few places to start:
Ten Things to Do in Retirement
For Your Best Retirement, Know Your Level of Activity