6 Things You Might Do on Your First Day of Retirement
Besides saving, planning, and being practically prepared for when you end the working phase of your life, how will it actually feel? What will you be thinking? What will you do?
Most of us who start planning early, though we're diligently preparing for that time, can't fathom what it will be like to actually hang up our careers and have time to "putz" around the house.
Ending such a large part of your life, your work, is almost sure to bring about some predictable feelings and emotions.
Here's a taste of what those thoughts might revolve around, and what you might do.
1. Get a Part-Time Job
If you haven't already made plans, this is likely to be the first thing on your to-do list.
Having free time is something that is often longed for by those who have little or none of it. Yet the reality we face as adults is that free time is deceptively attractive, yet tends to let us down. Once we get it, we're restless and in need of something to keep us busy.
A part-time job with easy hours, possibly in something you're already experienced with can be a great way to ease out of the workforce and into your retirement.
2. Spend Time (and Possibly Money) on Your Hobbies
One of the best perks of retirement is the opportunity it affords you to do something you love.
A loose schedule, fewer demands on your time, and a predictable budget will have you thinking about whatever it is that you've always wanted to do but only got to enjoy in small portions during your working years. (See also: 10 Awesome Money-Making Hobbies)
Fishing rods, hunting gear, mountain bikes, cookbooks, a full bookshelf, a garden, or whatever else you've longed to spend your time on will finally get some attention.
Your first day of retirement could spent, at least in part, planning how to engage these activities more often.
3. Miss the Routine of Going to Work
It sounds strange, but even the most difficult jobs can have a kind of comforting routine to them and will often cause sadness or frustration when they're gone.
What's more, if you liked your job and have just left for good, then you'll almost certainly experience some disappointment on that first day. You'll miss going to work.
Isn't that part of most life changes though?
Even if the change is good and you have all this new time for yourself and for the things you love, not going to work will be tough at first.
Yet you'll adjust and acclimate and won't be able to imagine going back.
4. Start Exercising More Often
You might have long prepared yourself to face the reality of old age, as you aren't likely to be younger than 55 (probably older) by the time you retire.
But that isn't likely to stop you from spending some more time maintaining your health.
According to what your body permits, regular exercise will be far more appealing with extra time to spare and the leisure to get to the gym or your local health club. Particularly if you were an active person before retiring, your health can be a hobby in itself.
5. Keep a Tighter Budget
Depending on your streams of income, retiring means your available spending money will be fixed and predetermined. Thus living expenses will need to be more closely watch and monitored so that you don't run short. (See also: How Cash Flow Allocation Helps You Retire)
That alone can be a completely new feeling, as you're relying on income that you've either already earned, or that you're getting in the form of social security or a pension.
How can you stretch it then?
You stretch it by managing your expenses and keeping a cap on what you pay out. Just because you aren't working doesn't mean you're not managing money.
6. Feel a Sense of Relief
Despite all the difficult emotions and the changes, having your entire working career behind you will undoubtedly be visited by a sense of relief; a deep and relaxing exhale.
You've finished a major portion of life's race and the rest is mostly a cool down phase.
Life still moves, but at a much slower pace.
This should be a relief to you, both in a physical sense and an emotional sense, making your life far more relaxing than it had been previously.
Some people look forward to retirement, even from a young age. Others find it scary, intimidating and an unfriendly reminder of the quickness by which life passes.
But like all stages and changes life brings, it has both benefits and drawbacks; pros and cons.
Thus your first day of retirement is going to be a complex set of mixed emotions. Some of these will be positive and joyful, while others will be negative and hard to process. A lot of it depends on your personality, health and how you feel about what you accomplished.
You can look forward to the positive and be prepared for the negative.
We're privileged to live in a time when we don't have to work ourselves into the ground to survive.
So the opportunity of retirement itself is worth being thankful for.
Have you retired? What were some of the thoughts that ran through your head when it was all new to you? Please share in comments!