Would be expat retirees wondering how to fill their time

Would be expat retirees wondering how to fill their time

Would be expat retirees wondering how to fill their time

One question would-be expat retirees seldom ask themselves is ‘what shall I do all day’? Making the transition from a busy working life, regular social occasions, family meetups and celebrations, shopping trips and all the day-to-day tasks which need to be done to the reality of retirement can be a tough call, especially in a new culture with an unfamiliar language. Lounging on a beach during the day and at a bar for half the night is fine for a fortnight’s holiday – but for the rest of one’s life?

Just like the rest of your life, retirement is what you make it, wherever you choose to spend your new freedom and well-earned pension pot. Many retirees decide on an apartment rather than a house, as it’s easier to take care of and there are immediate neighbours to call on in cases of emergency. For those used to living in a small town before retirement, a condo block may have a similar feel, especially if it’s favoured by the local expat community. Even so, filling the day with something other than sitting watching the waves can be tricky for new arrivals.

To some extent, it’s all about choosing your retirement destination carefully as regards your social as well as practical needs, in a similar way to what a generation of US citizens have done with favourite retirement destinations in Mexico as well as other popular South of the Border countries. Due to its location, Mexico was the first country to become the destination of choice for thousands of retired Americans, and it’s now attracting Europeans and Brits as well, with a developed expat community and lots to do as a result.

Simple pleasures are the first to fill in time, such as finding a spot serving morning coffee and fresh fruit as well as a chance to chat with other retirees. Finding a local expats’ association gives a host of choices on how to fill the day as well as a good number of evenings. Many expat retirees enjoy learning new things, with the local language the obvious place to start. Having time to read, or even to write about your new experiences on your own website or on social media can start a whole new way of life and also help other newly arrived expats to adjust to having time on their hands.

Volunteering is another way to use your time, whether it’s at a local dog shelter, with a group of environmental workers, teaching English or just helping out where needed. Asking yourself what your dreams used to be could plug you into your own creativity, whether it’s in painting, creating a glorious garden or taking yoga or other health-improving classes. Once you’ve mastered a useful command of the local language, getting to know the locals can open all kinds of cultural doors normally unseen by the average expat retiree. Perhaps the most important aspect of retirement is simply learning to be with yourself.

Related Stories:

Latest News: