While the thought of retiring from work is an exciting prospect for many, for others the endless free time can seem a little daunting. Some people choose to transition into retirement by reducing hours or taking a back seat, but if this is not an option for you, there are a range of opportunities you could consider to make the very best use of your new-found free time.
As many as two fifths of older people currently do their bit for the local community. Rewarding as well as fun, the most popular choices for women are helping at a charity shop, lunch club or with a children’s charity. While men often volunteer with health charities or a local football club. Organisations rely on the skill sets of retired people - Citizens Advice, for example, has 20,000 volunteers across England and Wales, many of whom are phasing into, or have started their retirement.
Get paid to surf
If you’ve got a computer or smartphone, there are a range of websites that offer earning potential if you’ve got time on your hands. Look out for online survey sites, websites that reward you for watching videos and reading emails, sites that pay you to look at ads and more. While the rewards are often small, they can add up – with some paying cash and others offering gift vouchers.
Become a mentor
Your skills and experiences could be invaluable to your community. Whether you offer the benefit of your knowledge in the form of business coaching or give up some of your free time to mentor people who don’t have their own support network, this is a great way to get involved and give something back.
Learn a new skill
Many people use retirement as an opportunity to further their education. From creative courses to computer skills and foreign languages, your local library will have details of classes in your area. The University of the Third Age (U3A) is another option. Via this network of learning groups, older people share knowledge, skills and interests in a friendly environment, for fun. These vary by area but include things like wine tasting, astronomy, belly dancing and lace making.
Think about befriending
With loneliness a key concern for the elderly, many councils have set up befriending schemes. Volunteering to visit others could be beneficial to you, too – by giving your own time you could get a real feeling of self-fulfilment as well as enjoying an opportunity to get out and meet new people.