Say No to a Boring Retirement with These Alternatives

by Vincent King · 3 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 are 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.

Fortunately, many people are living their golden years another 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 commercial driving license 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. (Moving to a non-English speaking country may be even better. You’ll be able to learn a new language, keep your mind active and your adventures interesting.) Move somewhere new and see the world as you never have before.

Living in an RV and traveling from place to place may sound like a dream, yet many seniors are making it their reality. 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.

Many retirees are taking on roommates, which can be helpful when you’re older and don’t have kids to help you. This experience doesn’t just save you 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?

Editor's Note: I've begun tracking my assets through Personal Capital. I'm only using the free service so far and I no longer have to log into all the different accounts just to pull the numbers. And with a single screen showing all my assets, it's much easier to figure out when I need to rebalance or where I stand on the path to financial independence.

They developed this pretty nifty 401K Fee Analyzer that will show you whether you are paying too much in fees, as well as an Investment Checkup tool to help determine whether your asset allocation fits your risk profile. The platform literally takes a few minutes to sign up and it's free to use by following this link here. For those trying to build wealth, Personal Capital is worth a look.

Money Saving Tip: An incredibly effective way to save more is to reduce your monthly Internet and TV costs. Click here for the current AT&T DSL and U-VERSE promotion codes and promos and see if you can save more money every month from now on.

{ read the comments below or add one }

  • Jon Sterling says:

    I have talked to several people who have a bit of a freakout as soon as they actually retire. The things that seem to bother them are that they are withdrawing from their retirements accounts instead of adding to them (quite a shift!), and they don’t know how to fill their days with fulfilling activities. Of course, those sound like great problems to have, but I thought it would be worth sharing in case someone else is in that boat and needs to know they’re not alone.

  • Ruth Cooke says:

    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!

  • jim says:

    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!

Leave a Comment