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Take Steps Toward An Active Retirement

Individuals who've budgeted and planned for it are retiring earlier than in the past. It's important to keep mind and body healthy to make the most of your golden years.

Potential retirees should make plans now to set goals for health and wellness when they no longer have to deal with the commute and punching a time clock. Just as you had the daily routine of getting up and going to work, so too should you have a daily routine and goals once you're retired. Daily goals can be as simple as signing up for a cooking class or walking around the block. Setting longer term goals are also ideal as it gives you something to work toward and breaks a large goal into smaller, more manageable chunks, for example, a goal of saving for a month long drive across the country, or learning to play a musical instrument.

Here are five other steps to take to enjoy an active, healthy retirement:

  1. Learn something new. Keeping your mind active goes a long way in staying alert as you age. Consider taking a class at a local college or senior center or even taking an online course. If you enjoy working with your hands, take a cooking class or learn a craft such as woodworking or needlecrafts.
  2. Keep active. Develop an exercise program that keeps you active and moving. You don't need to join a gym but you could sign up for a line dancing class, make it a point to walk a mile (or more) a day, or taking up a sport suitable for your age.
  3. Work a part time job. Now that you're retired from your fulltime career, it might be the time to look into a part time job in a field that you've always had an interest in. Work at a bookstore or a craft shop. If you enjoy gardening, plant a garden and sell the produce. If you're an internet whiz, consider teaching courses to seniors that aren't as web savvy as you are.
  4. Volunteer your time. Now that you're not tied to a 40-hour workweek, it might be the time to invest time with a favorite charity or at a local church. You may even become a room aid at a local elementary. Keeping yourself occupied and involved helps you age gracefully and will also help you form new friendships.
  5. Speaking of friendships, make plans to get out of the house and meet a friend for lunch or a movie. Keeping in touch with your friends gives you something to look forward to and keeps you involved in the lives of those you love.

Being active in retirement will allow you a better opportunity to be able to age in place and enjoy your golden years.