Heading into those twilight retirement years? Don’t be so down about it. It’s the beginning of a new life, not the end of one. Retirement has a great number of benefits for people. Can you remember the last time you were truly free to do what you like without the constraints of a job? Now you can unwind and find a new way to live life. That said, you have to plan ahead. Going into retirement with no forward planning isn’t going to help you at all. If anything it’ll make life just a little bit harder. Think ahead before you start winding up to retirement, you’ll thank yourself later. Here’s how you can plan for those next ten to fifteen years. Activities One of the biggest problems people have when it comes to retiring is that you don’t have a lot to fill their days with. Your former schedule used to be based entirely on your job, both on the weekdays and the weekend. When that’s taken away from people, they often find themselves a little bit aimless. You’ll be the same. The jobs you had to get done on weekends can now be done whenever during the week. That leaves people with a lot of free time. Sure it could be spent sat around watching television, but in retirement you have to get active. Sitting around and wasting away is going to impact negatively your physical and mental health. Find a hobby. Gardening, painting, chess. Something that engages the mind first of all. It’s good to have something that engages the body too. Maybe find a form of light exercise you like and turn that into a hobby. If you already play sports, you’re already in a good position to remain fit and healthy well into old age. Just have a series of things to try planned for when you get to retirement. Image credit Downsizing The family home is going to look pretty big and empty, especially in retirement. You have to think, do you really need a home this big? The likely answer is no. You could instead start looking at retirement properties for a smaller, more accessible home. Do this as early as possible, a head start means you can get moving as soon as work is done with for good. When you get older, things like stairs start to become trouble. That’s why retirement bungalows are so popular with retirees. Then again, maybe you’re handling stairs just fine and want a change of scenery. Move out of the big city, and go live by the sea. Not only are you relocating to a great new area, but if you have grandchildren, you’re going make them visiting you for Christmas a very exciting prospect indeed. Learning You’re never too old to learn. You can use this time and space afforded to you by retirement to personally enhance yourself. There’s no age limit on part-time courses and night school at education establishments. How about taking a cookery class to brush up your culinary skills? How about learning the basics of psychology and sociology? There’s so much you can do. Learning doesn’t have to stop just because you’re retired. You’ve spent decades working, when that’s over it’ll be time to broaden your mind in ways you didn’t think possible! The truth is; retirement is an opportunity. Sure you can use it to rest finally after decades of working, but you can’t spend the rest of your life like that. It’s all about occupying yourself, but on your own terms. Live life to the fullest.