Are You Bored in Retirement?
4 minutes to read
December 3rd, 2018 by Dean Ferraro
You can be bored in retirement... Really!?
You spent a majority of your life on this planet working for others.
You could have been a mother with a house full of kids, a busy executive, a stressed small business owner or any number of things we do in our younger years to pay the bills and "bring home the bacon."
Then after living for 40-50 years of doing things for others, suddenly you have a lot of free time and not a ton of extra income,
being retired is a huge transition.
Your spending habits during your working years can't be the same in your retirement years.
During our working years, expenses come at us fast.
Yet we have the working income to pay them off quickly or put them on the credit to be paid off later:
- Vacations can be saved for
- Money can be donated to charity
- Birthday presents can be bought online and mailed to loved ones.
Going out to dinners out on the town, money comes, money goes.
"Money talks, mine says buh-bye." -every person on Earth.
The lavish spending habits of our younger years can't continue, in most cases, when the spigot of wages or business income is turned off in retirement.
Smart investors save as much as they can during these "fat" years of income for the inevitability of the "lean" years in retirement, yet they still feel the pinch when the need for monthly income starts to drain their retirement accounts.
After realizing their previous spending habits are too much in retirement, they tighten the financial controls and become hyper-vigilant of any expenses.
That's when some retirees go into a sort of financial isolation.
Sitting in your home watching TV and drinking coffee doesn't cost much, but it's BORING!
Slowly watching your life savings drain away without any income to replace it,
The next logical step some retirees do is to cut back drastically on the things they used to do to save money.
- No more dinners,
- no more going out,
- no more expensive vacations,
- driving less to save on gas.
Except there's a problem...
You end up cutting off your social life to save money.
Did you know that isolation in retirement years isn't good for one's health either:
"Man is by nature a social animal." -Aristotle
and being bored in retirement just doesn't work.
So what is a retiree to do? Stop spending money all together and be bored in retirement?
Nope, you just have to meet your new friend: TIME.
When you were younger you had almost NO time.
There were bills to pay, things to fix, kids to feed, jobs to work.
Time, during all that activity, was a valuable resource and seldomly available.
Money, however, being earned on weekly basis would usually would cover all the expenses stress-free.
Money in your younger, working years was in abundance and time in short supply.
In retirement, the equation is reversed:
You have lots of time and money is in shorter supply.
Instead of activities that cost money, it might be time to start looking at free things to do to "spend" all that free time.
The transition is from spending your money to spending your time...
Does that make sense?
So how do you spend your time?
Maybe you donated to various charities during your working years and now those amounts are stressing your budget, eating into funds needed for stuff like food, housing, utilities or debt servicing.
Since the money isn't flowing in, maybe it's time to donate your free time to those charities?
"I used to give $50 a month to the ASPCA, now I volunteer one hour a week with them doing the phone-a-thon from my home, talking to other animal lovers to raise money." - GREAT IDEA!
"When I worked I always easily donated $100 to the Children's Reading Project but now that money feels like a lot more. Instead, I read books to kids at my local library on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
The best part: they only ask me to do it whenever I want to put my name on the schedule." - EXCELLENT!
Side effects of volunteering include: a sense of contributing to your community, making new friends, meeting new people and sharing your expertise.
Avoid being bored in retirement by donating your TIME instead of your money, your pocketbook and your local community will thank you for it.
Look for local places to volunteer to:
- animal shelters
- law enforcement/neighborhood watch
- political parties
- your senior center
- your church
- Volunteer Income Tax Asssitance by the IRS