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Keeping Busy in Retirement

  • July 9, 2019
  • By 50 Shades
Keeping Busy in Retirement

Retirement! It conjures up all sorts of images. Recliner chairs, grey nomads, endless cups of tea, lawn bowls, afternoon naps and $10 roast nights at the local club – just to name a few! Until I reached a certain age this is how I pictured retirement because this basically describes my parent’s or even my grandparent’s retirements. How times have changed! I’ve asked some of my fellow retired bloggers to help me out in a collaborative post about keeping busy in retirement. I think you will be surprised with some of these responses.

Christine Aldred – BoomingOn

Keeping Busy in Retirement

Even in retirement, the days are too short

When I started talking about retirement, people would often ask, ‘But what will you do?’

The glorious answer to that is simple: whatever I want!

And now I’m here, it’s bloody marvellous, and quite, quite busy. So busy I’m putting strategies in place to help me use my time more effectively and get more done. The eternal list-maker still makes lists in retirement.

So what do I actually do? Firstly there’s the (big) kids and the grandkids, which is delightful but very time consuming. Helping, playing, hanging out, all with the luxury of time so there’s no stress and no pressure to be somewhere else. There’s time for travel, discovering this country and more of the enormous world beyond, and even being a tourist in my home town; there’s gym, long walks, movies, and visiting friends and family, coffee dates, sunsets to capture, and good food to enjoy.

I also spend great wads of time recording my favourite things in words and pictures, sometimes sharing that around as my alter ego @BoomingOn. Now that’s a time consuming endeavour—I think I need a whole new life to have time to contend with just photography and writing.

And that’s not even considering the ‘one day I will’ list—take piano lessons, learn bridge and tackle the piles of unread books, just for a start. Even in retirement, the days are too short. Way too short.

Jo Castro – Lifestyle Fifty

Keeping Busy in retirement

Retirement is akin to protirement!

I think for me, keeping busy in retirement is akin to protirement. 

When I worked I was involved in writing and promotion, and I still do that, but  these days I call the shots and sing to my own tune! 

I really love what I do, and to tell you the truth on the days I’m not writing and creating I get pretty grumpy. 

Facebook and Instagram take up a lot of my time too, so too does my blog Lifestyle Fifty, all of which have become hobbies gone mad to a certain degree. I love learning about and trialling new Apps, and in my old age have become much more of a Geek than I used to be.

Apart from my creative pursuits other things that keep me busy are my family and friends, walking every morning, bicycling, reading, spending time with my hubby, and getting involved in charity fundraisers with our Rotary Club.

Leanne Le Cras – Cresting The Hill

Keeping Busy in Retirement

I’m busy being “unbusy” and loving it!

Retirement is still very new for me; I wasn’t planning on retiring until my mid-60’s, but after an unexpected curve ball, I left my job in February with no idea about whether I’d be able to be “retired” without going crazy. Since then, I’ve discovered that being happily retired means discarding the “busy” mentality that’s so popular and swapping it for being delightfully “unbusy”. This means that I choose to do what makes my heart happy and discard the rest – it’s such a relief!

I’ve found the I never get bored and my days glide pleasantly along. I walk daily, do a Wednesday exercise class, and weekly Tai Chi. I also volunteer as a mentor at our local primary school. The rest of my week is flexible (such a nice change from the structure of work!) I coffee with a friend or two, read, do jigsaws, write blog posts, read other blogs, save pretty pics on Pinterest, pat my cats, do some household stuff, and generally live life on my own terms. I’m busy being “unbusy” and loving it!

Debbie Harris – Deb’s World

Keeping Busy in Retirement

I smile….a lot!

Kathy from 50 Shades of Age has asked for a few words about keeping busy in retirement and I’m happy to offer up some words from one of most popular posts – it’s one of those posts that just keep getting views!

Since being made redundant in December 2016 my days have changed dramatically. My days now consist of a few main activities:

  • I run or walk or ride my bike – I like to do this early in the day to get it done
  • I blog
  • I read blogs
  • I read lots of books
  • I do the ‘essential’ housework
  • I think of what to cook for dinner
  • I shop only when absolutely necessary
  • I wander around the garden admiring my husband’s handiwork
  • I socialise with others or I stay home all day, it’s up to me
  • I plan holidays, make bookings and check out things to do
  • I visit family, my daughters and my granddaughter
  • I try to learn new things, like using social media – it’s often said as you age you need to learn a new language to keep your brain functioning, well I can assure you that trying to keep up to date with social media is just like learning a new language
  • In summer I lie in the hammock and in winter I relax in my sunroom in the garden – life’s tough you know!
  • I smile….a lot

There is life after retirement.

Jan Wild – Retiring Not Shy

Keeping Busy in Retirement

Retirement has allowed me to craft my own life

The joy of retirement for me is having the choice to do what I want (within reason) and at my own pace, rather than having my time management driven by external forces. Retirement has allowed me to craft my own life in a way that I have never before felt able to do.

These days I principally use my time to manage my blog and social media which comprise my business. Doing so means I am continually learning new skills and meeting new people; I love it. I am also spending a lot more time taking care of my health: exercising, preparing and eating good food, making sure all my routine checks are up to date, taking care of my mental and emotional health and getting plenty of sleep. Of course I also have domestic tasks that need to be completed, some things never change. On a perfect day I also get to relax by our pool.

Read more about keeping busy in retirement HERE

Estelle Anderson – What’s On Watson’s

Keeping Busy in retirement

I simply love the freedom and the choices retirement offers

I cannot believe it, but I have been retired 3 years! The time has simply flown.

For the first 2 years we lived a nomadic lifestyle  travelling Australia in our caravan. This was a busy and very fulfilling time. We were continually moving and exploring new destinations. We most definitely had no time to be bored.

Since September 2018 we decided we needed a home base. Yes, travel remains one of our top “things to do” in retirement. But, having a home has tied us down. Planning and organising home renovations has kept us busy…. well sort of. Too often we seem to be busy waiting! Waiting for quotes, a tradesman, council approval… But, really, this frustration is only a hiccup.

Retirement has  been a time of discovery for me. I’m busy doing many things I never ever guessed I would do. I’m writing a blog (which really keeps me busy),  become a house sitter,  attend French classes, joined a camera club, attend yoga, and walk at least an hour per day. Then there is travel, family, friends and just daily life.

Am I too busy? No. I simply love the freedom and the choices retirement offers.

Jan Robinson – Budget Travel Talk

Keeping Busy in Retirement

It is important to embrace the future with something that brings joy and purpose

Our first trip as a couple without children was a week-long winter stay in Sydney. It was an inspiring eye opener for our future retirement.

After scouring blogs when planning trips, first to the south island of New Zealand and then a one-month sojourn in Vietnam, I decided to pay it forward by starting a blog of my own.

Budget Travel Talk came into being.

Travel blogging opened a world of researching, photo editing, writing and on-line friendships. Owning a travel blog meant I could manage my work/life balance perfectly leading up to retirement.

Blogging is not for everyone, but I feel it is important to embrace the future with something that brings joy and purpose.

After 60 years living in Townsville, our long held plan of living on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, came to fruition. Living in Retirement deserves a well thought out plan.

We couldn’t be happier with the outcome. The Sunshine Coast is a beautiful area to explore in our caravan and it’s close proximity to Brisbane offers cheap airfares to places like Hobart.

The promise of travel opportunities and new adventures keeps me feeling positive and happy in retirement.

Jill Harrison – Life Images By Jill

Keeping Busy in Retirement

There are so many opportunities I am loving the retirement life

Whoever said life in retirement was boring certainly wasn’t getting out and making the most of all the opportunities out there. I was amazed when a retiree I knew advised me not to stop work because she was so bored in retirement she went back to work!  Seriously? Like many other recent retirees I know, life for me has never been so busy, I have never regretted retiring, and I don’t know how I previously had time to work.

When I was given redundancy back in April 2014, I looked on it as a positive and called it early retirement. An exciting new future had opened its doors for me where I could explore interests in my life which working and family commitments had kept on the back burner.

So life for me now includes travel, bush-walking, photography, writing, eco-dyeing, Spanish dancing, paper flower making, volunteering in our local school library, relief work as a teacher-assistant, running a few workshops, promoting my art at a few markets, more time to spend with grandchildren and family, and exploring arts that interest me….they all interest me!… There are so many opportunities I am loving the retirement life.

Kathy Marris – 50 Shades of Age

Keeping Busy in Retirement

Retirement brings with it a sense of freedom

I actually retired five years ago when my husband and I decided to travel around Australia in our caravan for 7 months. Once we returned home I felt a little bored so decided to seek part-time work and fortunately I found a writing job where I could work from home with flexible hours. However earlier this year I made the decision to retire from this job as I was feeling over-stretched, suffering from some health issues and felt ready to take it easy.

Prior to retiring I created a plan for myself that included all the things I wanted to do but never had a chance to do when I was working. Things like spending more time with friends and family, pursuing hobbies and interests, travelling more, focusing on my health and volunteering with a charity were high on my list.

For me retirement brings with it a sense of freedom for the first time in my long working life. I no longer have to work to a clock or answer to anyone, and basically I can do whatever I want whenever I want.

After a month of being retired I’ve barely had time to scratch myself because I have been busy leading the life I’ve always wanted. As a consequence I’m a much happier and relaxed person and feel that I have so much to look forward to in my golden years.

How do you feel about retirement? Do you think you’ll have plenty to keep you busy?

If you’re struggling with coming to terms with retirement you can always seek professional help in the form of online counselling with BetterHelp.com. Making professional counselling accessible, affordable, convenient – so anyone who struggles with life’s challenges can get help, anytime, anywhere.



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By 50 Shades, July 9, 2019 Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
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50 Shades

Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.

  • Debbie Harris
    July 9, 2019

    Fabulous post with amazing bloggers doing fantastic things! Thanks so much Kathy, it certainly shows we can be busy, productive and relaxed in our retirement years. Nobody does it the same way so it’s great to hear from all these great bloggers. I forgot to mention that I also volunteer with Rotary and other local committees, so it’s a good mix of taking care of myself and helping others. Thanks again for asking for my thoughts!

    • Kathy
      July 10, 2019

      I agree! We are a group of amazing bloggers doing fantastic things! I believe voluntary work is a rewarding thing to do. I’ve been volunteering for a charity the past month and I’m really enjoying it. Thank you for contributing. xx

  • Theresa @ Fabinyourfifties
    July 10, 2019

    Loved this blog post! I am a few years from retirement and am very envious! Sounds like everyone is having a fabulous time and the recurring theme I saw was focusing on better health. Everyone seems to be exercising and taking the time to take care of themselves. I’m looking forward to joining you all one day!

    • Kathy
      July 10, 2019

      Thank you Theresa. I’m glad that we’ve convinced you how enjoyable retirement can be. We are a busy busy group of lady retirees and it is wonderful having the time to lead a much healthier lifestyle. I love that I have more time to focus on me for a change.

  • Jan Wild
    July 10, 2019

    What an inspiring bunch of women, and thank you for including me. I loved reading everyone’s approach to this fabulous time of life, such variety. Isn’t retirement grand@

    • Kathy
      July 10, 2019

      They do say variety is the spice of life! I think that we are all living our lives to the fullest in retirement. So far I’m embracing life in retirement and enjoying every moment. Like you I have some health issues to sort out. Thanks for contributing. xx

  • Jan
    July 10, 2019

    I loved reading this post Kathy and not just because I contributed. As usual I was inspired by the other women and what decides their days. Although there are a lot of similarities, there are differences too and that’s what makes retirement so damn appealing!

    • Kathy
      July 10, 2019

      I’m continually inspired by women of my age that are doing great things with their lives. There’s so much to look forward to and I’m certainly going to grab life with both hands to make the most of it whilst I’m still able. Thanks for contributing Jan.xx

  • Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au
    July 10, 2019

    Hi Kathy – this was a great post – so full of women doing retirement on their own terms and obviously thriving in the process. So lovely to be included and to see what others are doing with this time of life. I’m also rapt with how young and happy and bright and healthy everyone looks – Midlife really does rock doesn’t it?
    I hope you’re going to share this on #MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM xx
    PS: It’s so nice to see you back in the blogosphere :)

    • Kathy
      July 10, 2019

      It is a fantastic post! We’re all living rewarding and busy lives in retirement. I agree that this bunch of women of a certain age look young and happy. Retirement may just be the key to turning back the years! Thanks for being part of this Leanne. xx

  • Deborah
    July 10, 2019

    I love this. Of course I’m unemployed not retired so it’s a bit different for me and I don’t feel like I’m allowed to have fun / spend money etc..

    My mum (in her 70s) is super busy and rarely has days at home as she does a lot of classes (exercise type ones) and A LOT of volunteer work. She’s also the sort of person who’s always catching up with people from church etc… Her social life is far busier than mine!

    • Kathy
      July 10, 2019

      Your mum sounds incredible and I applaud her zest for life. I believe there’s plenty of ways to fill in time that doesn’t involve spending a lot of money. I seem to be spending less as I no longer have a job and income, but have found ways to entertain myself cheaply or at no cost. I guess my love of walking and photography keeps me happy, as does having coffee with friends. I never had time for this previously.

  • Estelle Anderson
    July 10, 2019

    What a wonderful post Kathy. I really enjoyed reading everyone’s contributions. What struck me is everyone is doing retirement just that little bit differently. There is no one for retirement. .Thank you for inviting me to contribute.

    • Kathy
      July 11, 2019

      It was a fabulous post and I enjoyed everyone’s varied responses. We all seem to be on the same page and that is making the most of the rest of our lives. Thanks for being part of it.

  • Janet Camilleri
    July 11, 2019

    Oh stop rubbing it in you lot!!!! Seriously though I feel like I’m only just getting started with my business and career after years taking lower paid/less brain hungry jobs to be more available for my family, so I’m not thinking about retirement for many years yet.

    • Kathy
      July 11, 2019

      Well you are a bit younger than us Janet and I must admit at your age I was still very career orientated. When the incentive to work dissipates and you no longer need the money to pay mortgages or support children, you do feel differently about retirement. I always imagined I’d work a lot longer but somehow lost my mojo last year when we moved to Northern NSW. I’m loving my new cruisy life and I’m sure you will to when the time is right.

  • Christine
    July 12, 2019

    I loved reading all about these happy, busy women making the most of retirement. It certainly can be a fulfilling time of life. Thanks so much for including me. Have shared and will pop on FB tomorrow. Life’s good!!

    • Kathy
      July 14, 2019

      I love the word happy! I had no idea that retirement could make me happier. I’ve always thought that having a career was required to feel ‘fulfilled’. How wrong I was! Thanks for being part of this Christine.

  • Jo Castro
    July 15, 2019

    Fabulous post Kathy. I loved everyone’s take on this subject, and have gleaned much inspiration too. Retirement is a time to widen not narrow our perspective I think, so thanks for this round up (and for including me too!).

    • Kathy
      July 17, 2019

      Thanks Jo. I so enjoyed putting this post together and reading everyone’s responses. We truly are kicking our heels up in retirement!

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