The word retirement brings to mind furry slippers, a cozy armchair and a general slowing down in life. But it doesn’t have to: With people living fulfilling lives now for longer than ever before, active retirees are forsaking the slippers and making the most of their new-found leisure time to try things, and see places they might never have imagined 50 years previously.
It’s clear that adventure is no longer exclusively a youngster’s game. Retired seniors have watched the kids grow up and flee the coop and hopefully gotten the most out of their pension savings after decades working the 9 to 5: Don’t we owe it to ourselves then to kick back and see the world?
When planning your first major trip after retirement, you ought to consider: What is your acceptable level of luxury? Could you handle the exertion of backpacking through mountains, or do you prefer a gentler pace? If you’re planning with your spouse, make sure you’re both on the same page. Consider whether you are okay with spontaneity, if you get agitated in traffic, or mind if you don’t ‘do’ all the important sights.
For many active seniors, volunteer work provides the ideal combination of adventure travel and the opportunity to give something back to society. From teaching assignments in South and Central America, to aid work in Africa, the experience that seniors can bring to such situations is invaluable.
You don’t have to venture so far afield, of course: You could simply get an RV and enjoy the freedom of life on the open road of America. Take your home along with you and enjoy the ride.
Take advantage of off-season and mid-week travel
One advantage retirees have over their more sprightly juniors is that they no longer have to fit vacation time in around work and school breaks, long weekends, or public holidays, which are generally the most expensive times for plane as well as train fares. Not having any such ties to bind means that retirees can jump on that great rate when they see it.
Jump in the RV and tour those states you’ve never visited: America’s great little cities, such as Charleston, South Carolina, or Savannah, Georgia. Grab the opportunity with both hands and visit the world’s most notable landmarks, starting with the Grand Canyon and ending with the pyramids of Egypt.
Time to settle down?
Perhaps your itchy feet want to do more than just take a few trips, and what you really dream of is to move to a new part of the country. This could be for a number of reasons, from a desire to live in a warmer climate to being closer to one’s grandchildren.
It doesn’t have to be the nearest one to where you live now. See this as a chance to move to different part of the world, perhaps somewhere with all-year-round sun – such as Florida, Arizona, New Mexico or California. Yuma, Arizona, for example, is the sunniest city in the US, and an excellent place to avoid the winter blues, while Santa Fe in New Mexico attracts a more alternative living type of senior.
Cities such as Los Angeles offer much for the older crowd as well as the young. The state’s lack of taxes on social security payments can offset the higher living expenses of retiring in California. You’re right in the center of the action: Celebrities, local attractions, and of course the Pacific Ocean right there on your doorstep.
Some retirees are now taking advantage of the lower cost of living in Latin America. Ecuador and Panama are both extremely popular with English-speaking retired couples. Malaysia, with its great infrastructure, warm climate and thriving expat community, is also a very popular retirement destination.