Ah, retirement. The day you’ve literally been working your entire life for! Retirement is much more than a single event, but is a life change that will alter the course of your future. Many of us have visions of what retirement will look like and for many it is a time to “catch up” on all the things we are too busy for when we are establishing careers and growing families. Ideally, retirement should be a time in your life where your children are grown and you don’t have the responsibility of a job or going to school — hard-earned “freedom!” if you are approaching retirement and are feeling unsure of what to do now — we get it, you’ve always had a purpose and retirement leaves you wondering what now? — we have some ideas to help.

At Pine Hills Retirement Community, we are a full-service retirement center for retirees who are looking to kick back and relax on a golf course in South Dakota. We offer the resort-style amenities that make our residents feel like they are on vacation and well cared for, after all, they deserve it! We are located in beautiful Hot Springs where there is plenty to do and every day offers something new. We have had the pleasure of helping many seniors reach their retirement goals and live out the best part of their lives.

1. Cross things off your bucket list.

No, we are in no way implying that retirement means the beginning of the end, but why wait until you’re dying to live? Many people create a “bucket list,” or a list of things they want to do before they die. We make lists because we can’t always just go do what we want. Families and careers force us to be practical, save our time, pinch our money. Retirement is the golden years where you can let your hair down and do all the things you’ve wanted to do, without the “but…” We aren’t suggesting throwing caution to the wind, but we are saying, check out your list and start doing the things you’ve never had the chance to do before. You want to climb all 96 United States 14ers, what’s holding you back now? You want to take a culinary arts school, but your job always got in the way? Welcome to retirement!

2. Read the books and watch the shows.

Speaking of lists, chances are that you have a list of books left unread and shows left unwatched because you just didn’t have the time. Maybe you were in school, reading books that were assigned, right up until the day you reverted to reading children’s books to your toddlers. Taking the time for leisure reading seemed like the last thing you wanted to do between the chaos of raising your family and climbing the corporate ladder. Retirement is the time to revisit your summer reading list and television watchlist.

3. Exercise — for fun!

If you have always exercised, keep it up! For those entering retirement who were not previously active, retirement presents a great opportunity to change that. Exercise has been proven to be effective at extending life, reducing chronic pain, helping to manage chronic diseases, and improving mood and libido. If you’re not trying to look great in a bikini, there’s no need to diet and overdo it in aerobics classes — which if there is anything your 20s taught you, that’s not healthy anyway — but you can engage in fun exercise. That’s right, fun exercise! Take up bike riding, dancing, tennis, or golf, whatever gets you moving with your heart pumping and your lungs working.

4. Travel

What held you back before? Lack of time, responsibilities, job denying vacation time? Those days are behind you and the world is your oyster. Of course, in our list of things not to do is blow your savings, since you’ll need to live off of it, but travel! See the things you haven’t before, join a travel group, take a cruise, or simply drive from point A to point B with no time constraints and stop along the way to explore.

5. Indulge in your hobbies and learn a new one.

Our hobbies are the things we love to do and set aside when responsibilities require us to. Perhaps it is sewing, carpentry, bird watching, or photography, retirement is the time to take the time to give your hobbies all the undivided attention you didn’t have the time for while you were managing a career and a family. Don’t have a hobby or you’ve always made your hobbies a priority and don’t feel short-changed? Pick up a new one! It is never too late to learn something new. Maybe you’ve always wanted to know how to golf or write your memoir, retirement is the perfect time to take on the challenge.

6. Volunteer

Volunteering is a great way to stay active and involved. Many retirees find it refreshing to give back to a community or an organization they support, without the obligation of putting in 40+ hours a week. Volunteering lets you offer your time and skills to something you believe in while making a difference.

Retirement is the golden years, something people who’ve worked their entire lives strive to reach. During retirement, your responsibilities and obligations decrease and your leisure time increases. Use your time to your advantage and live the life that was put on hold in your middle ages. At Pine Hills Retirement Community, we are prepared to offer you a comfortable retirement with all the luxuries you deserve. To schedule your tour, contact us today!