How do you plan to spend your retirement? You’ll be surprised how many men secretly fear the end of their working lives. Work gives us purpose, status and an identity which, when your career draws to a close, can feel like quite a loss.
Guys with active, fulfilling lives in retirement stay healthier and live longer than those who, for whatever reason, feel they have nothing to do. To help you to make the most of your golden years, we’ve put together a few of our favorite blogs and websites for inspiration. Here’s how to fill your days with fun, adventure, and healthy living. Retiring? You’re just getting started…
“What if you could take up activities – like tennis, hiking, golf – or even surfing or rock-climbing… activities you once loved but haven’t been able to enjoy for years?” You can, says Brian Stecker – mastermind and motivator-in-chief at Boomer Fitness. Even if you haven’t exercised for years.
If you live near Portland in Washington, a visit to Brian’s gym could be the new start you’re looking for. But even for those who live far away, there are plenty of online training programs and advice to help you on your way. Just getting started? Check out Brian’s top exercise tips for older men – your journey begins here. Fancy taking on a 5k run to get you started? Brian has all the advice you need to help you prepare.
Most of us guys take at least a passing interest in beer. Now you have some time on your hands, why not try brewing your own? Homebrew Academy gives you all the help and advice you need to get started, including online brewing courses for newbies, improvers, and experts – and with a strong community feel, you’ll also benefit from plenty of friendly interaction with fellow aficionados.
How about a tasty American light lager to get you started? It’s an American staple whose heritage comes from the Germanic brewing tradition. Forget mass market beers. Using this brew recipe, a step-by-step process and consulting helpful photos along the way, you’ll soon be making your own mash and weighing out hops to produce your own delicious beer. Cheers!
Have you ever tried growing your own sweetcorn? Steve Wood, of Senior Gardening, explains all – the former teacher and farmer used to sow at least two acres of it each year for roadside sale. In fact, from building your own raised bed to tips for harvesting tomato seed, you’ll find answers to your all gardening-related questions here.
“I grew up in the ‘big city’, just a few blocks from the Indiana State Fairgrounds. But even as a kid, I still grew strawberries and sweetcorn in a bit of our back yard.” Now Steve turns a lifetime’s gardening in Indiana into a senior-specific blog with much to interest both seasoned sons of the soil, and those of us taking up a trowel for the first time in our later years.
“Just about everything you can build starts with knowing how to build a basic box,” says Steve Ramsey of Woodworking For Mere Mortals. The good news for beginner woodworkers, is that Steve covers the build with an informative Youtube video and complete plans. And it doesn’t stop there – with projects from outdoor planters and patio furniture, to making bespoke furniture for the home, Steve offers something to inspire every aspiring woodworker.
Maybe now you’re retiring, you can finally realize your ambition of setting up your own garage woodworking workshop. It needn’t cost a fortune, says Steve: “I started acquiring low-end equipment and used tools I found at yard sales. These were some really cheap tools. But you know what? They worked fine.” What are you waiting for?
Planning the trip of a lifetime when you retire? How does Venice to Paris on the Orient Express sound? “For a few brief days, you can be pampered and pretend to be the movie star or royalty who traveled in such style in the early part of the last century,” say the editors at Getting on Travel, a site dedicated to addressing the needs of the over-50s who like to travel in style. After all, adventure should include more than just a touch of luxury, don’t you agree?
What about a journey off the beaten track without ever roughing it? This slow barge trip through France’s Burgundy region is a must. Take in the stunning attractions of the French countryside, while enjoying “a roomy cabin, lots of gleaming mahogany, bicycles for guest use, a hot tub for additional relaxation and a fully stocked bar.” This is the site to visit when you’re planning incredible vacations throughout your retirement years.
If you’ve always dreamed of owning and restoring a classic car, retirement offers the perfect opportunity to finally wield a wrench with serious intent. Chances are you’ll need some help to bring your project to fruition – the Classic Car Restoration Club is a great place to start. Membership gets you access to videos covering everything from rebuilding your windshield washer pump to chassis work and everything in between.
Check out the members’ rides for inspiration. Whether you’ve always wanted to own a 1970s Camaro, or a ‘60s Thunderbird, you’ll find plenty of gleaming paintwork to admire here. With new videos every week, an active community of car enthusiasts, and regular live Q&A sessions,CCRC is a must for all you budding car guys.
What’s the best golf ball for seniors? According to Rob Green at Hitting the Green, if you’re swinging at 70mph or less – a little down on the 90-100 mph the pro’s manage – you’ll benefit from using a low compression ball which flies straighter and with less spin than a standard ball. The feel takes a bit of getting used to but, “with longer shots, you should feel that the ball ‘compresses’ more as you hit it – a good feeling that adds to the pleasure of hitting long shots.”
For a sport that keeps you fit and active and gets you outdoors, golf is tough to beat. And with the help of Hitting the Green, you’ll find all the information you need to get you started. From the best golf clubs for beginners to a wealth of tips to help you improve your swing, this site is a must for beginner golfers and those who’ve already caught the golf bug.
“Simplify, minimize, and live every day as if it’s your last. You never know what tomorrow will bring!” So says Ingrid – she and husband Al took to RV travel like the proverbial ducks to water, and in 2013 sold their house and hit the road full time. Where are they right now? Hayward, Wisconsin, site of the Lumberjack World Championships, but tomorrow they could be on their way anywhere.
Join these happy travellers as they journey to Arizona, Wyoming and everywhere in between. If you’re thinking of taking your retirement on the road, Live Laugh RV is a must. Wondering how much it costs to RV full time? For a run down of all the relevant RVing expenses, Ingrid provides as comprehensive a set of accounts you could wish for.
Fancy fighting it out with the colonists at Cantigny Park, Wheaton, IL? Historical reenactment must surely be one of the most rewarding retirement hobbies there is. Get a real sense of what it was like to fight in the American Revolutionary War – living history is more than fun, it’s also a great way to learn about our shared heritage and offers opportunities to educate younger generations too.
The North West Territory Alliance is a voluntary Revolutionary War reenactment organization with over 500 members from states stretching from the Northern USA and Canada, to Tennessee. Would you like to try reenacting before committing yourself? “Be our guest,” say the NWTA which “welcomes non-members to guest with us at up to two events before deciding to join.” Now where did you leave that musket??
For those seeking an action packed retirement, you can’t beat section walking on the US long-distance trails network which offer some of the best hiking anywhere in the world. Thinking about taking on the Arizona trail, or walking sections of the PCT or Appalachian trail? You’ll find details of all the 100-mile-plus footpaths in the US, and there’s even a section on walking in Scotland should you be tempted to cross the pond.
A resource without equal, Section Hiker is a labor of love for the creator, Philip Werner, who is happy to answer your hiking questions – although with such a wealth of information on offer, it’s hard to see what he might have missed. From health and hygiene on the trail to the best tents, hammock and tarps, Section Hiker has it all.
If you’re wondering what to do about the rising costs of long-term care insurance premiums, check out episode 100 of the Retirement Starts Today Radio podcast. Retiring without the funds to support an enjoyable lifestyle is no fun for anyone, but with this site and podcast, you’ll have access to all the retirement financial acumen you could wish for.
An Iraqi combat veteran who served in the North Dakota Army National Guard for 8 years, including a 15 month deployment to Iraq in 2003, Benjamin Brandt is a certified financial planner. He’s also the Founder/President of Capital City Wealth Management, a North Dakota fee-only financial planning company. Why worry about money when you can take charge of your finances today?