What do you picture when you hear the word “retirement”?
Socializing? Traveling? Volunteering? Getting another job?
In truth, there’s no right answer to that question. All of the things we listed above are all ways older Americans spend their time, according to the American Time Use Survey.
In other words, retirement is not the end of the road for seniors. We’ve written before about aging in place, but once you’ve resolved to stay at home, what will you do with your time?
Here are some of the ways you can make the most of this new stage in life.
1. Enjoy your meals
The survey found that older people had more time to linger over meals, devoting an hour and 25 minutes each day towards meals (compared to an hour and 15 minutes for the rest of us).
That means no more hurried lunches or breakfasts that consist of that banana you grab on your way out the door. Take your time, and savor your meals. You’ve earned it.
2. Do some volunteer work
Volunteers are the backbone of a lot of organizations, and senior citizens are the backbone of the volunteer corps.
“If you look at most commercial hospitals, most of those hospitals would not function without people age 65 and older who work as volunteers. That would also be true for community libraries and community art centers,” Geoffrey Godbey, author of Time for Life: The Surprising Ways Americans Use Their Time, told U.S. News and World Report. “A lot of the institutions of government and of charities are served by older people doing volunteer work.”
3. Books and TV
Most Americans spend less than 20 minutes a day reading. But for older people, reading is much more popular activity, with seniors between 65 and 74 spending nearly 30 minutes a day with their nose in a book. And when we get past age 75, that number jumps to an hour a day.
Seniors also spend more time watching TV than younger Americans, an average of roughly four hours a day compared to two-and-a-half hours for everyone else.
4. Work around the house
By now you’ve noticed a theme running through our list: As we get older, we have more time to get things done. For example, retirees spend two and a half hours a day on housework, gardening and food preparation, compared to the hour and 44 minutes younger Americans devote to these tasks.
And this doesn’t have to mean you spend your golden years folding laundry. Maybe you can use this extra time to grow the roses you’ve always wanted to grow, or to perfect your chocolate cake recipe, or take up a hobby like woodworking..
5. Hit the road
Among the more popular senior trends we’ve seen is a willingness to get out and explore. Whether it’s taking short day trips, voyaging overseas or buying a camper and trekking cross country, you’ve reached the time in your life where you can travel without worrying about getting back to work.
6. Go back to work
Reaching retirement age doesn’t have to mean you stop working altogether. Unfortunately, you may find you need to keep working part time to support yourself. But retirement can also give you the chance to embark on a new career in a new field, and try something new.
Are you looking for ways to make your home more livable after you retire? Pennsylvania Stairlifts can help. Our stair lifts, chair lifts and platform lifts can grant you new levels of freedom and mobility at home, so that you can enjoy your retirement and explore new things. Contact us today to learn more