Say No to a Boring Retirement with These Alternatives

by Vincent King · 2 comments

Retirement. After spending 50 years in the workforce, you’re supposed to walk away, sit in your rocking chair, and live on earnings that aren’t enough to fund your habits.

It’s supposed to be easy: flip the switch and go from being a productive member of society to, well, not.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Seniors today are living longer, healthier lives, and loving their retirement via “alternative retirement” lifestyles.

Alternative retirement means telling the Man to take his rocking chair and use it for firewood. It means living life on your own terms and taking no one’s flack about what you should be doing with the rest of your life.

Don’t want to stop working? Don’t.

Want to see the world? Do.

Don’t want to curl up on a bed and watch the next 25 years pass you by? Don’t.

Want to create the art that you never had time for before? Do.

Retirement isn’t about stopping living; it’s about shifting into a new frame of mind. It’s about appreciating your wisdom and your new lease on life. (Even better, you get to sit back and laugh at everyone else make the same mistakes you did!)

Check out these ways that retirees are taking control of their retirement.

Examples of Alternative Retirement Lifestyles

Get licensed

Many seniors are getting their CDL and hitting the highways. Singles and couples are seeing the country — and making money doing it. Some married teams are saying their marriages are better for it, since they must rely on one another and help each other solve problems while on the road.

Pursue your art

Retirees are moving to artists’ villages where they live and develop the art they’ve always longed to create. Imagine spending your days soaking in the beauty of the world around you, then translating it into pieces that speak to buyers. Remember that art can be sold, and contribute to a healthy retirement income.

Get sunny

Florida used to be the retirement locale of choice. More and more seniors are moving to places like Belize, where life is cheaper, but English is still spoken. (One advantage of moving to a non-English speaking country: you’ll be able to learn a new language, keeping your mind active and your adventures interesting.) Move somewhere new and see the world as you never have before.

Workamp

Living in an RV and traveling from place to place may sound like a dream, yet it’s what many seniors are doing. To supplement their income, they’re taking on odd jobs in the places they camp, a practice called“workamping.”

They may serve as park rangers, or even maintenance crew, in exchange for a place to stay and some extra cash. Or they end up working the ticket counters at area amusement parks to earn their salary. Options for workamping are broad and rewarding.

Cohabitate

Many retirees are taking on roommates, which can be helpful when you’re older and don’t have kids to help you. This experience won’t only save money — it’ll also make your senior years a little more exciting and fulfilling.

Now that you’re moving into exciting times and locales, the next step is to find your passion. Whether it’s art, travel, reading, teaching, exercising, or cooking, it’s your time to make sure you love every day of your retirement.

Remember: it’s your job to find the things that speak to your soul and take part in them.

Leave stress and worry to the people who aren’t smart enough to know what they’re doing (or smart enough to care) and enjoy your alternative retirement.

Have you thought about an alternative retirement? Which option speaks most to you?

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

jim December 30, 2013 at 4:30 pm

I can’t wait to retire. I’m getting an RV and traveling the US of A for a solid year. Probably will hit Canada too. Great ideas!

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Ruth Cooke January 2, 2014 at 7:41 am

Good list, but I’m wondering why volunteering isn’t mentioned. New skills, new friends and a whole lot of fun. Endless opportunities to help others and help yourself!

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