Retirement as an Opportunity
Some people revel in newfound freedom that comes with
retirement. Others experience a sense of loss associated with ending a career
that may have lasted their entire working lives.
In either case, the average person, retiring at age 55 or 60, can look forward
to another 20 or 30 years in retirement. This is a rich opportunity to find new
challenges and forge a new identity.
First, you'll want to make sure the bills are paid and that you have enough
money left over to do those things you didn't have time for during your working
Taking advantage of discounts that are available to retirees makes your dollar
go further. When you turn age 50, you can join AARP, a non-profit nationwide
organization. For $12.50 a year in fees, AARP offers many discounts for the
Education and travel. This is a good time to take that Italian class at the
local community college, visit the pyramids of Egypt or take that river-rafting
trip. You can often find discount rates for tuition and travel packages if
you're over age 55. You can also take advantage of off-peak rates and seasons.
Community and volunteer work. Your town is likely to have several non-profit
organizations looking for part- or full-time volunteers. These organizations
sometimes have to sacrifice their community services if unable to find the
skills and experience that new retirees often have. Community and volunteer work
is a chance to put your skills and experience to work in exchange for the chance
to shape an organization.
Paid work. A service- and information-based economy offers retirees a broader
range of work opportunities today than ever before. Many companies are willing
to offer arrangements that include working from home, flexible hours and
Family life. Retirees have more free time to spend with a grandchild than the
child's parents often have. The bonds that develop between grandparent and
grandchild benefit the mental, spiritual and emotional health of both sides of