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What are the potential positives of retired life?

After spending 30 or 40 years in work, planning for retirement is your opportunity to make time for the things you’ve always wanted to do but never had the chance. Maybe you’d like to travel, take up a new hobby, or simply relax and spend time with family and loved ones. The potential positives of retirement are limited only by your imagination and resources.

Travel broadens the mind

For many people, the positives of retirement are the freedom to do what they want to do, when they want to do it, without thinking about the pressures of work.

Retiresavvy member David Sanders started his retirement by taking a leap into the unknown – travelling the iconic Route 66 across America.

He says: “Four weeks and 5,000 miles - that was the way to kick off retirement. Yee haw, as they say in Texas. Start as you mean to go on.”

Take up a new hobby

Of course, there are also things you can do closer to home. You might want to spend your time in retirement exploring a new hobby.

When retiresavvy blogger Anthony Black retired, he used the opportunity to immerse himself in the world of photography – something he’d had a passion for his entire life, but never taken ‘seriously’. Anthony joined his local camera club and has also enrolled with the Royal Photographic Society. He combines his love of photography with clubbing.

I left my job as a deputy headteacher and began pursuing my passion for photography – Anthony D Black

“I left my job as a deputy headteacher and began pursuing my passion for photography,” Anthony says. “This was going to be the start of a real journey; an adventure I could pursue without worrying about work.”

Keep learning and meet new people

Keeping busy in retirement can be a challenge, but luckily there are community groups of all shapes and sizes to help you stay mentally occupied and meet new people. You might like to join an organisation like the Women’s Institute (these days, men are allowed to attend as guests!) or U3A, the University of the Third Age.

U3A is an informal, member-run movement that lets people in the ‘third age’ come together to learn in a fun, convivial environment. U3A promotes learning and knowledge for the enjoyment of it - there are no exams or certificates, and classes are structured as self-help groups where everyone gets a say.

Barbara Lewis, U3A’s national chair says: “When I retired, I asked myself ‘What do I do now?’ I took a break and sat on the sofa for a year catching up with my reading. Gradually, I thought: ‘What do I do next? There’s got to be more.’

“Then I heard whispers about something called the University of the Third Age. A new U3A was opening close by and I jumped at it – and the experience changed my life.”

Fulfil ambitions and self employment

But if you’re not ready to fully give up work, potential positives of retirement might be the opportunity to change track. From retraining as a personal trainer to making artisanal dog treats, retiresavvy members are forging new careers following their dreams.

Richard and Julie Arme quit their jobs in the City of London to pursue a quieter, more tranquil existence, setting up a glamping site outside York.

Richard says: “It was our dream to create a 'green' holiday experience that would also be a peaceful romantic retreat and so we were delighted to see it come to fruition.”

Far from being an end, retirement is an exciting time of new beginnings that offers you the chance to do what you want to do. Julie Arme adds: “Don’t allow yourself to drift aimlessly, there's a lot more to be achieved in retired life!

“Working in retirement suits us, because we’ve adapted work to provide us with the lifestyle we want. We are in control, and no longer part of the rat race. This is very empowering.”

This article has been commissioned by retiresavvy and any opinions voiced are the author's own.

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