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Leaving a full-time working role can be a challenge for many people when they reach retirement age. While the thought of a relaxing lifestyle and being able to do whatever you want, whenever you want, is appealing initially, many retirees quickly become bored and are left wondering, “What do I do now?”

Retirement these days seems to be more of a slow transition. There are a number of benefits to working, including a feeling of contribution and being appreciated, the satisfaction of learning, relationships and interactions with colleagues, daily routines and a sense of purpose.

The key to a positive retirement is to wind down a bit without losing these valuable benefits. Here are some ways you can maintain the best of both worlds.

Start a new business

This might seem to contradict a relaxed lifestyle, but a business can be run under your terms. You can use your years of experience and expertise to work with a select few clients, work part-time, consult casually, or even provide coaching.

Run a mentor program

Volunteering your time and expertise through a mentoring program, or a mastermind group is a fabulous way to stay involved in work and give back to the next generation at the same time.

Join a board

Joining a board of directors keeps you involved in business and maintains your network of colleagues and peers. Again, your expertise will be welcomed and you’ll be able to contribute on your terms and feel appreciated.

Turn your hobby into a business

Running a business doesn’t have to be based on what you did when you were working full-time. If you’re passionate about the French culture, you could run some French language tutoring classes. If you’re an animal lover, you could pet sit or walk dogs. Combining a small business with an active lifestyle in this way is incredibly rewarding both physically and mentally.

Get online

If technology doesn’t intimidate you, getting online opens up a whole new world of opportunities. You could run tutorial session teaching other retirees to use computers and the Internet. You could start an online community for over 55s in your area to meet up and socialise or join in with organised activities. Staying connected to others in this manner is beneficial for everyone.

Retirement is no longer a distinct moment when you are suddenly no longer working. It’s much more of a dynamic and fluid process where some people reinvent themselves and go through a phase of transition. You can remain in business, be fulfilled with a sense of purpose and enjoy a low-stress lifestyle all at the same time.

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