3 Keys to Enjoying Retirement

July 10, 2024

Retirement is a lifetime mile marker that represents a big shift in priorities, time and resources. Many eagerly dive into the water and others consider putting it off as long as possible. Below are a few thoughts on how to enjoy retirement and make it an adventure.

Key #1 – Make a Realistic Plan

Whether already retired or it is in the future, do you have a plan for the next ten, twenty or thirty years? A study by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies found that the three most common words associated with retirement were “freedom,” “enjoyment” and “stress-free.”

How do you define those words? Will you be free from the constraints of a nine-to-five job or will you continue working part-time or even start a small business? Will you enjoy learning a new skill, invest time as a volunteer for a cause that is important to you or map out a plan for travel? Will you downsize and move to a retirement community, experiencing the relief of no longer needing to maintain your home?

However you think about retirement, decide what matters to you the most. Then make a plan for how to achieve your goals and fulfill your desires.  

Key # 2 – Find Your Purpose

What do you love to do? Have you always wished for more time to be creative? Do you want to restore furniture, learn to knit, take piano lessons or write that memoir? What social causes are important to you? Whose life might you be able to impact through service projects and volunteer work?

In their book, “Live Life in Crescendo: Your Most Important Work is Always Ahead of You,” authors Stephen R. Covey and Cynthia Covey Haller reference the crescendo, a musical symbol that instructs the musicians to play louder, building the sound. In life, say the authors, “Living Your Life in Crescendo means continually growing in contribution, learning, and influence. The mindset that ‘your most important work is always ahead of you’ is an optimistic, forward-thinking mentality that teaches you can always contribute regardless of what’s happened to you or what stage you are in. Imagine how life would change if you adopted the perspective that your greatest contributions, achievements, and even happiness, are not only behind you, but are always ahead of you!”

Design Your Daily Life

Design your day taking into consideration your new goals and purpose. What proven routines will you keep and what daily rituals and exciting adventures will you establish?

When you were working full-time or raising children, your schedule and priorities were probably clear and laid out for you. You had a job to do, and you knew what needed to be done to accomplish your goals. There was a structure to your day—work hours, kids’ sports activities and lessons, shopping, paying bills, home maintenance, vacation the same week every year. Most things had a time and place. For many, social activities included friends from work. Retirement may have caused much of what you took for granted to fade away. Daily structure, natural social connections, your purpose and even your identity— “I’m a teacher, engineer, nurse…” all shifted into “retiree.”

Yet the beautiful thing about retirement is that it can be purposeful. You are now in charge of designing your daily life. You can adopt a crescendo mentality and create the life you want to live.

Key # 3 – Find Your Place

Where will you live? Some people know early on that they want to move to a continuing care retirement community because of the amenities, benefits and healthcare services they provide. Others choose to stay in their homes as long as possible. As you make your plan, here are a few things to consider:


Where will you have the most opportunities to fulfill your purpose and the ability to engage in the things that matter most to you? Will you have access to volunteer and educational opportunities? Will transportation become an issue?

Social Connections

Do you have rich social connections? Research shows that social connections are key for maintaining physical and mental health, improving self-esteem and empathy for others and even increasing longevity. Will you be able to maintain relationships and develop new friendships where you live? Retirement community residents have built-in opportunities to connect with others through clubs, volunteer projects, church services and casual interactions in the dining room, exercise facility or simply walking through the community.

Access to Care

Do you have convenient access to health care? Whether you need immediate assistance during an emergency or longer-term care following a fall or medical event, do you have a plan in place for getting the ongoing help you might need? As part of a continuing care community, residents have the support they need as their care needs change. A team of caring professionals is on hand 24/7 to serve meals, assist with medications and physical therapy, provide laundry and housekeeping services and work with doctors to ensure that healthcare needs are met.

Wherever you may be on the journey toward retirement these three keys will hopefully provide guideposts to experiencing a joyful and purposeful lifestyle. We invite you to consider Frederick Living as you consider your next steps on your journey. Contact us today to learn more.

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