“Retirement” – what are some things that come to mind? Free time? Endless summer? Daunting costs? Officially old? The mere word “retirement” can stir up as many viewpoints – and even controversy – as politics or religion.
Some people count down the days until their retirement, excited to stop working 5 days a week; excited to be in absolute control of their own schedule. Some people think of retirement with dread. They may feel like they haven’t saved enough – it does cost quite a bit. They may look upon retirement as something they’ll be forced into, kicking and screaming by their children or co-workers. They may view it as “throwing in the towel” on making contributions. Still others scoff at the mere idea of retirement, thinking it’s not even an option. This is a valid view since the standard retirement age continues to be pushed back.
Whatever your stance is however, here are a few things you can expect from retirement communities in Bellevue.
1. Time for that Novel
In retirement communities, you are given the gift of time, and for many people that time is spent on hobbies and recreational activities they didn’t have time for during their working years. That activity might be painting, drawing, taking up an instrument, singing, or – as is the case for many people – writing that “novel”. It may be a memoir, but why not give fiction a go? Many acclaimed writers of our time didn’t meet critical success in their lifetime and still some didn’t start writing until they were deep into their golden years (see Charles Bukowski).
No excuses, you have the time to write.
2. Time to Take Risks
Many people play it safe during their working years. They take a job they like, not love, but never stop thinking about what they want to do. Yet if you’re already approaching retirement, you can finally pursue those dreams. Although we often hear about the young billionaires, there are plenty of people that didn’t find their niche until they were receiving a senior discount. You can start a business, learn a new skill, and audition for plays, movies, and television.
3. Time to Travel
You don’t need to enjoy flying to enjoy travelling. Most people don’t use their paid vacation days. Even the ones that do seem to fear taking time off for no pay. What’s worse is that when people retire, their money may not be refilling, so again they refuse to travel. But you can never let that stop you. If you’re retired, travel. Whether it’s within the country or out; whether you enjoy everything about your destination or it just makes you appreciate home more. You should travel and most retirement communities encourage you to do so by even offer multi-day trips from the community.
4. Time to Pursue Liberal Arts
Especially if you’re retiring in Bellevue, you’ll finally have the opportunity to sink into the liberal arts. Bellevue is of course home to Bellevue Art Museum (BAM) and because they feature local artists, you can talk to them yourself. If you’ve never understood why a painting or sculpture is revered, ask! You don’t need to be at work, you don’t have a deadline, spend your time! It’s yours now.
5. Time to Get Physical
Many jobs are sedentary and we spend a good 40 years seated at a desk. Of course, there’s no excuse for not exercising, but in retirement there’s REALLY no excuse and retirement communities are well aware of this. Retirement communities in Bellevue offer a slew of activities – so there’s no saying, “I can’t do that” when there’s always something you can do. There’s water aerobics, spin classes, hikes, yoga, Tai Chi, power walking, and dancing. Finally, you have the time to focus on you!
6. Time to Get in Touch with Nature
So many people complain about kids spending all their time on their cell phones… but is it any different from seasoned adults constantly thinking about work? Almost everyone, at one point or another, gets lost in their job and it can blind them from their friends and family. Hopefully it’s not all the time, but it can happen often enough where it’s a problem. And how many of us grew up with “grumpy” dads who, on family vacations, never seemed to embrace nature? He was probably thinking about the next destination, the workload when he returned, and how much all this would cost. Stop thinking about it. You now have time to invest in nature and where better than Bellevue’s botanical gardens?
Like with art, learn about plants – everything is fascinating when you take the time to learn about it.
The point of retirement is to give you the freedom and liberty to do whatever you want, so do it! Rekindle that childlike wonder of asking “Why” and approach everything with an insatiable curiosity. Money can often get in the way of us really exploring the world around us, but remember you can always make more money and “you regret 100% of the chances you don’t take.”