Opportunities in retirement

Being retired may mean you have more time to do the things you've always wanted to. Or you might want to look for new ideas to do things you never knew you'd enjoy. In any case, there's a range of opportunities you can enjoy in retirement.

Changes to your lifestyle

Retirement is a challenging new phase in life. While it ranks high on the scale of stressful life events, it also provides the opportunity to enjoy a new lease of life. You are likely to enjoy the freedom to develop new interests but on the other hand may feel lonely, isolated and bored at times. An important step is to plan your goals and work towards them.

If you're still working, why not ask about retirement preparation programmes, perhaps including different working options? Some employers provide a range of seminars, workshops and useful information for future reference.

Age NI campaigns to highlight the potential of the retirement years. Age NI's handbook, 'Time for Retirement' covers finances, travel and holidays, health and community involvement.

Volunteering opportunities

Voluntary organisations recognise that older people bring a wealth of skills and expertise to volunteering. By passing on your skills and learning you can make a difference to people’s lives. Volunteering is also a good way to make new friends and improve general levels of health and fitness.

Become a coach or mentor

Older people's skills and experiences are highly valued in communities. You can put your work experience to good use by becoming a mentor or coach. In return you can develop your own inter-personal skills and stay active and involved in your community.

Learning for fun

Learning can be fun and a great way to relax and socialise. It doesn't have to be formal and you don't have to learn for a qualification. Free courses are easy to find and if you're learning just for fun, you can choose anything you find interesting – whether it's a new hobby or a subject you already know something about.

Develop hobbies and interests

If you have access to the internet, there are websites devoted to interests and hobbies, from gardening or sports, to bird watching or dancing. You may like to share your hobby with others, and it's worth thinking about joining associations like Outdoor Recreation NI.

Working part-time after you retire

Reaching State Pension age doesn't mean you have to give up work - paid or voluntary. You can choose to keep on working while taking your State Pension entitlement, or delay your claim and get paid more later on.

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