5 Trips Every Retiree Should Consider

Post by Nancy Parker

Retirement. It’s a driving focus on the minds of many individuals who are eager to spend their remaining days relaxing after working themselves so hard. While many are anticipating retirement, there are a great deal of people who really don’t have any idea what they want to do with the time. The world is open to exploration that is perfect for those who are retired or are about to be.

1. The Caribbean – There is more to the Caribbean that several beautiful islands. Coastal cities such as Belize are just as wondrous and inspired as any of the magnificent locations in the area. Crystal blue waters and a temperate atmosphere makes the Caribbean one of the world’s most naturally majestic locations to visit. Millions of visitors frequent this locale on a regular basis to enjoy the tropical life if even for a short amount of time.

The warm tropical climate of the Caribbean can be attractive to those of any age. Although a great deal of the entertainment available in this paradise is focused more on the young, fine dining and exclusive resorts can make anyone feel comfortable. Senior citizens could relax along the beach and take in the magnificent scenery of crystal blue waters and amazing sandy beaches that stretch seemingly for miles. As many retirees prefer to play golf, tee-off in the Caribbean for a truly unique experience.

2. Alaska – There are many people in the world who misunderstand Alaska and assume that it’s a cold and barren landscape. In actuality, Alaska has some of the most breath taking experiences available for anyone looking to involve themselves in something unique. Areas such as Glacier Bay give constant reminders of how much of the Earth had been carved by these mammoth constructs of ice. Wildlife, the mixture of green plant-life and towering snow-covered mountains, and more await visitors in Alaska.

Millions of people have been quoted as saying that Alaskan cruises have been one of the most memorable and enchanting vacations they have ever been on. For a week, you are exposed to the natural beauty of Alaska both on and off the ship. It is a relaxing way to witness the glory of Alaska without having to backpack or trek through the wilderness. Wild animals such as bears can be seen in Denali National Park, humpback whales are commonly making appearances to those in ships, and the grand Mt. McKinley can be seen from over 100 miles away. As you are retired, a great deal of time can be spent taking in everything Alaska has to offer.

3. Europe – The European Union isn’t as large as some may assume. Most of the countries are smaller in size than most places in the United States. A road trip through Europe could open one to the brilliance of different cultures and histories all tightly connected. With this diverse collaboration of many countries, it is an impressive feat that they can reside so close to one another without more of an upheaval. It is a testament to tolerance and patience on the behalf of the inhabitants of Europe.

One of the advantages to visiting Europe is that you can visit many countries and cultures in a short amount of time. The European Union is a tightly knight collection of various countries. Tours of all kinds are available for leisurely travel throughout the Union. Relax and let these tour guides show you the various cultures and people. Join other senior citizens in a relaxed manner of exploring Europe without the stresses of making deadlines or schedules.

4. Hawaii – Although it may seem over stated a great deal of the time, Hawaii has a splendor that attracts millions of visitors to her islands every year. Active volcanoes are a constant reminder of how the island chain was developed in the first place. Clear ocean waters and a diverse marine life are just a small fraction of what the Hawaiian Islands have to offer.

You don’t have to jump on a surf board and ride the waves in order to enjoy the sites the Hawaiian Islands have to offer. One of the greatest benefits of retirement is the ability to enjoy Hawaii without having to worry about getting back to work. Forest trails, beaches, and island cruises can make for a comfortable vacation without over exerting yourself. The Hawaiian Islands has a diverse collection of beauty and magnificence that can be enjoyed in your waning years regardless of health needs.

5. Cross Country – Some people feel that until you experience what is in your own back yard you cannot even begin to understand other locations. Cross country trips in an RV can be one of the most liberating experiences in life. While in retirement, there are no time constraints so you have the luxury to spend as long as you want in each location to experience what the United States has to offer in natural beauty.

One of the biggest reasons why many retired couples take to the road is because it can be a comfortable and convenient way to enjoy the scenic United States. There are no time constraints or children waiting back home. It can be quite the liberating feeling to know that there is nothing to hold you back as you pack up a Winnebago and head to locations you previously only wished you were able to visit.

The possibilities of exploration are vast on this planet. Retirement can give you the opportunity to experience more of what it has to offer. Even something as simple as loading up a Winnebago and exploring the countryside could provide great clarity and experiences of nature that you never dreamed were possible. The time spent in retirement should be enjoyed to the fullest while exploring this planet.

Nancy provides feedback on all elements of the site www.enannysource.com helping us to really make sure that we are making it as easy as possible for caregivers to sign up and find work. In addition, she spends quite a bit of her time on freelance writing tasks.

6 Secrets to Make Retirement Years the Best of Your Life

Post by Gerald Crawford

After a lifetime of working for a salary and following the corporate work ethic, the concept of retirement represents boundless freedom to most people – freedom from rush-hour traffic, freedom from stress, freedom from tiresome bosses and colleagues, freedom from schedules and meetings, and most of all, the personal freedom to spend your time as you wish.

You may have dreamed of spending more time on the golf course, or travelling, or with your family and loved ones, or pursuing new hobbies, or simply relaxing more. But handling this freedom is not always as easy as it seems. After a while, unless you take charge of your life after retirement, you may find yourself once again constricted – this time by boredom, by domestic drudgery, even by the unexpected demands of a spouse or partner on your time. And unless you plan for them, you may find the fulfilling activities you hoped would make your retirement years happy and meaningful, simply do not happen by themselves. Remember that as an employee you have had other people plan a major portion of your waking hours for many years – now it is your responsibility to schedule your day and ensure that you stick to your intentions.

Here are some suggestions to help you make the most of the riches of time that come with retirement.

Find your personal creative outlet

You may never have thought of yourself as an artist, but retirement gives you the freedom to explore entirely new directions, and you are under no pressure to make this hobby financially rewarding – you can simply do it for fun. You can start with some paintbrushes and watercolours or oils, but whatever medium you choose, it is certain that getting creative will be a very enriching experience, and may even, as some believe, lengthen your life expectancy.

Explore the digital world

The world has changed since you first entered working life: A whole new world has sprung up consisting of online communities, blogs, Facebook groups, YouTube videos, Skype, and new and fascinating websites are being added every day. With the help of your PC or laptop you can download the latest music releases, play chess with someone on the other side of the globe, or lose yourself in a role-playing game. In fact, this world is so extensive and diverse, you need never leave your home to learn new things and have new experiences.

And immersing yourself in the internet need not be the unhealthy, deskbound activity it seems at first: You can use the worldwide web to get some exercise in your living room, from yoga and various dance routines, to playing one of the many fitness video games available online.

Get in touch with nature

Technology may be mesmerizing, but reconnecting with nature can be equally enchanting. Fresh air, open skies and sunlight are healthy and good for you, physically as well as spiritually. Start by gardening, if you have access to a patch of soil, or taking a daily walk to the park. In fact, walking is one of the single most beneficial activities for all human beings, and walking in nature – the beach, a riverside promenade or nature trail – will uplift your spirit at the same time as it exercises your body.

And there are other activities to explore in the great outdoors, such as fishing, cycling, and bird watching. For years you have had to limit adventures in nature to weekends and peak holiday times – the very time when the crowds descend on resorts and nature reserves. Retirement is the time to take advantage of weekday and off-season visiting times.

Spend some time volunteering

Not working may well seem to be the whole point of being retired, but spending a little time working for others and sharing the knowledge, skills and experience you have gained over a lifetime can be incredibly rewarding, and will provide you with intellectual stimulation as well as social contact and job satisfaction, some of the things that are experienced as real losses by the newly retired.

There are many opportunities for volunteering at welfare organizations, the local library and hospital, charity shops and fundraising groups.

Lifelong learning

If you live close to a university or college you may consider enrolling for a course in something that has always interested and excited you, such as a foreign language, philosophy or psychology. Or if you have always wanted to learn and master the blues guitar now is the perfect time with hundreds of guitar classes available online. Investigate a nearby adult school where you could attend classes in subjects such as cooking, photography or any number of crafts. And don’t forget to check out the availability of the broad collection of courses offered over the internet.

Animals keep you connected

One great way of making your retirement years energetic, vigorous and enjoyable is to get a pet, or, if you already have a pet, to devote more time to it than you were able to when you were still working. The advantages of human-animal interaction are numerous: There are health dividends, as well as emotional and social benefits. A dog will demand to be taken for a walk, and a cat will provide sociable companionship to someone who is alone for most of the day; in short, they encourage involvement with other living beings and the outside world, and will richly reward all affection that is lavished on them.

20 Ways to Stay Busy in Retirement

From my US News & World blog

Keeping busy in retirement is important to our general well being and sanity. Once we are no longer part of the working world, it is now our personal responsibility to fill the days with creative endeavors.

[See The 10 Best Places to Retire in 2012.]

The good news is that we are only limited in what we can pursue by our imagination. However, if we do not plan ahead, the seemingly boundless opportunities may fail to satisfy us. Although many retirees claim they are busier than they were while working, others face boredom and months with little on the calendar to look forward to. In such an environment it is easy to lose your sense of purpose, become bored, and potentially find yourself fighting depression. This is not how retirement is supposed to be.

Some people have more than enough interests and passions to fill every moment of retirement. But others may welcome a little help keeping busy. Here are twenty things to do in retirement:

[See Why Baby Boomers Will Have a Great Retirement.]

  1. Plant a garden – flowers or vegetables
  2. Learn a new language
  3. Pick up a guitar or other musical instrument
  4. Write a book – not necessarily to sell, but to share your thoughts
  5. Document your family history with pictures and stories
  6. Create photographic works of art – consider using modern software and services like Shutterfly
  7. Dust off your old fishing pole
  8. Go back to school and take classes you want to
  9. Donate your time
  10. Fine tune your landscaping to show off your abode
  11. Try your hand at selling the fruits of your hobbies at a local art festival
  12. Test your artistic ability by painting or sculpting
  13. Mentor a youngster
  14. Travel to a location where you can test your newly-learned language
  15. Drive an RV across the country or wherever you choose
  16. Learn to cook – as extravagantly as you wish
  17. Try coin collecting
  18. Learn bridge or other social games
  19. Travel near or far
  20. Research and build your family tree

[See Why Early Retirement is Not for Everyone.]

When it comes to keeping busy in retirement, the real measure of success is the quality of life we experience. Try to set up activities that will make you feel satisfied with how you have spent your time. A little advance planning can help you to make your retirement years worthwhile and meaningful.

Dave Bernard is the author of Are You Just Existing and Calling it a Life?, which offers guidelines to discover your personal passion and live a life of purpose. Not yet retired, Dave has begun his due diligence to plan for a fulfilling retirement. With a focus on the non-financial aspects of retiring, he shares his discoveries and insights on his blog Retirement–Only the Beginning.