Although I posted previously in January, I wanted to revive this thread because it's so important.
First, my recommendation to everyone is to not wait
until you're retired or almost retired to start thinking about it. I started planning my retirement when I was 40 and read "Get a Life: You Don't Need a Million to Retire Well." https://www.amazon.com/Get-Life-Dont-Mi ... +life+book
Up until then, I thought retirement was all about having a lot of money. It's not. Once again, it's only about having enough!
I consider myself successfully retired, but if you want a good life, retired or not, you need to put thought and effort into it. Here are some of the components of my own retirement:
When I retired at 66 I started learning a new
instrument, the flute. In 5 years (I'm currently 71) you can get pretty good on an instrument if you spend time at it. I urge you to try it!
I've composed and performed music of different genres pretty much all my life.
I play piano as part of a jazz combo (piano, bass, drums, vocalist). Yesterday, we presented a House Concert at the home of a friend, and 36 people attended. Life doesn't get much better than that.
In my mid-forties, I once again became serious about working out. This morning, I did 5 sets of 10 pull-ups, squats, pushups, and a series of front and side planks. I walk 3 miles a few times a week. You gotta eat right, take care of your body, and try to stay in good health, my friends!
DW and I have done a lot of great traveling in our lives, Europe, China, Galapagos, S. America, Mexico, etc. On my own, I've taken the train across Canada, and also RT across the US. Now we've been enjoying cruises--Panama Canal, Alaska, Mexico, Canada to Florida, Greek Islands, etc. We have a 2 week SF to Hawaii cruise planned for November, and a 111 Day World Cruise reserved for January 2020.
4. Giving back
As a musician, I perform at retirement centers and a Memory Care facility on a regular basis with the singer in my band. If you've known people with dementia, you'll also know they often respond to music, particularly the music of their youth. That's what we play. And very often they DO respond in remarkable ways.
a. Recently I completed a 2,644 mile 170-day walk across the US, and am writing a book on the experience. It was a once-in-a-lifetime event, and I learned much about the American people, the great country we live in, and my body and myself.
b. My first novel, co-written with a friend, is being published in 2019. We worked on it for over 2 years.
c. Reading--I'm always interested when someone says he/she has finished reading all
of Mark Twain or Steinbeck, etc. I began a 7.3 year project to read the Talmud in English and will be finished in 1.5 years.
d. Education--I got a degree in music when I was in my late 50s. I've been studying Spanish both in classes and on my own for years.
e. Taking up a new skill, whether it is dance, music, art, photography, cooking, goes a long way. It's never too late. I'm signed up for a Total Immersion swimming workshop in a few weeks, and am excited to try it.
Being with others, both younger and older, is really important. I socialize with friends, and also as part of my religious community on a regular basis. I formed a men's discussion group 30 years ago, and 5-10 of us meet every 2 weeks for dinner and talk. DW and I have an International Dinner group we formed years ago, and we meet quarterly for a potluck dinner based on a particular cuisine.
I am part of the flute section in a community concert band, and although I'm certainly the weakest player in the section, I hang in there and do my best, and enjoy performing with the other 35-40 people in the band, most of whom are also retired.
I don't miss the profession I worked in for 37 years, although it was satisfying and rewarding at the time. But retirement is a totally different game. The limits on what you can do are set by yourself. Hope you enjoy yours!