You may have noticed on our Facebook account lately that we have talked a lot about hobbies and health, and there is a reason for that. Over twenty plus years of working in the financial and retirement industry I have literally helped hundreds of people into retirement. When people discuss retirement, it is almost always about will they have enough money to retire. While this is a very important aspect of being able to retire it often comes at the cost of forgetting to consider other equally important things to consider.
Today I am going to briefly discuss having a hobby or avocation in retirement. In a following piece I am going to discuss the need to consider your health, and in a subsequent piece I will discuss how to find what makes you happy.
In my eyes the most important aspect of a quality retirement is that the retiree enjoys their retirement, and usually that includes their spouse or partner. The actual enjoyment of retirement happens less frequently than most would imagine. Which is a tragedy in my eyes. I believe that if we are working toward a goal as big as retirement that when we get there it should be everything, we expected it to be. The number of people who do not think about what will fill their days in retirement is staggering. The concept of retirement as a goal is ingrained in almost all of us, but that concept is rarely fleshed out. By that I mean that most people do not consider what it is that they will do in retirement. The goal is to retire, but then what? When planning a vacation, we make sure that we have every last moment of our trip planned out, but when it comes to retirement many do not know what they will be doing the month following retirement. I have seen too many become bored and unfulfilled.
This is why I consider finding a hobby that you really enjoy so important. Unfortunately, in today’s society hobbies are finding less of a place in our lives. Which is very unfortunate as hobbies bring a lot of pleasure to a person’s life. It stimulates your intellectual curiosity and gives you something that you truly enjoy. During our pre-retirement years hobbies can be seen as a waste of time due to all the directions we are pulled in on a daily basis, again I find this unfortunate. But, in retirement people have lots of time and having something that you enjoy doing is going to give you satisfaction and fulfillment. Many of those who retire with a hobby actually turn it into an avocation. I currently have a client whose husband’s hobby before retirement was woodworking and he was quite good. In retirement he was able to pour his time and creativity into making wood bowls. Now, to say that he made amazing wood bowls is an understatement and I know people who have been fortunate enough to receive one of his bowls. Those fortunate enough to have received one use them as a display piece, because they are truly beautiful. Upon, his passing his wife and family had a coffee table book made up of the work he had done and it is as impressive as anything I have ever seen.
I had a neighbor who liked to garden before she retired, but was never able to spend as much time in her yard as she wanted before retiring. In retirement she is able to spend all the time she wants and has made every other yard in our neighborhood look plain, even the ones that are professionally done. She would tell me about the research she did regarding the plants and the differing requirement that they all had. She is engaged and happy.
The reason for these two stories is to give examples of how individuals were able to take what they enjoyed and gain fulfillment from it in retirement. There are only so many trips that you will take. Most of us will not be able to see their children and grandchildren all the time. Spouses and partners will benefit from you being happy and fulfilled.
Having a hobby that you enjoy will benefit you in more ways than you can imagine in retirement. It will keep you mentally sharp, take up your time, and might even get you out of the house long enough to give your spouse or partner a break.
Do you have a hobby or an idea for a hobby that you would like to share? I personally am an outdoorsy person and fishing has become one of my hobbies. I can only imagine what it would be like to be able to fish more often than occasionally.