How to Enjoy a Busy and Productive Retirement

When you no longer go to work each day, you will have hours of free time you need to fill. While relaxation might be enough for the first few weeks (months) of retirement, many workers want something productive or exciting to fill their retirement years.

Photo: Wikipedia

Photo: Wikipedia

You may have spent your working life looking forward to retirement as a time when you could sit back, relax and enjoy a leisurely life pursuing your hobbies and interests. For many people however, this is not an option. Your retirement income may not be enough to sustain your lifestyle or boredom could be a factor. So what are your options if you want to continue working and being a useful member of the community?

Voluntary Work

  • National Trust – The next time you spend a day visiting one of the nation’s stately homes and gardens, think about whether you would like to spend your free time helping others and playing a vital role in protecting our heritage.
  • Drivers – Volunteer drivers provide a valuable service to ‘out of hours’ doctors and other medical personnel, so if you are fit and active and hold a valid driver’s licence, this could be a useful and productive role for you in your local community.
  • Nursing homes – Care homes often rely on people living in the local community to take their residents out for walks and fresh air. For a fit and active retired person, this is a great way to do your bit for the local community.
  • Schools – Retired people are always welcome in schools because they have the time and patience to listen to the children read or help supervise other activities. If this sounds like a role you would enjoy, make enquiries at your local school and see if there are any positions available.
  • Charity work – Charities rely on an army of volunteers to run their shops and organise fund raising in the local community. For retirees this is a perfect opportunity to do something useful and help others less fortunate.

Home and Pet Sitting

One way to enjoy a well-travelled retirement is to become a house sitter. There are loads of fantastic house sitting opportunities for retired people with lots of time on their hands and the desire to visit new places. You can pick and choose where you go and as long as you are fit and active, there is no reason why you can’t spend a considerable part of your year living in other peoples’ houses for peanuts.

There is a big demand for combined house and pet sitters. Retired people are perfect for the job because they are free to travel at will and they have plenty of experience of taking care of a home. Often pets are thrown into the deal, so if you are used to dogs, cats, horses and even exotic pets, your options will be far greater.

Part-Time Retail Work

For those who need to top up their pension, there are plenty of part-time job opportunities available in the retail sector. Don’t assume that just because you are past the age of retirement that employers won’t look at you twice. More and more firms are realising the value of taking on older employees as they have a huge amount of experience to offer. Many large retailers actively recruit older people in part-time positions, so if you are comfortable with the idea of working a few hours per week, check out the jobs available at your local retail park or shopping centre.

Get Involved in Your Local Community

There are lots of ways for retirees to get involved in the local community. You could become a crossing supervisor for local school children or take an interest in politics and join the parish council. Or, if you have grandchildren at a local school, volunteer for the board of governors and put your years of valuable experience to good use.

But whatever you choose to do, there is no need to sit around thinking about stairlifts and home help options when you are fit and healthy. Instead, take charge of your retirement and make it work for you!

About the author: 

Harold Rigby has been lucky enough to travel all over the world since he retired. He takes on regular house sitting jobs and blogs about his experience.

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