Adjusting to retirement life can be a little jarring. Now that you have a copious amount of free time, you have to decide what do with it. Do you travel? Start a band? Flip some houses?

If you’re unsure where to start, consider these 3 methods to a happier, more fulfilling retirement.

Awake Your Inner Child

“Follow your passion” is the classic, cliché mantra of the millennial generation. The blatant irony of a 27-year-old sitting on their parent’s couch in their underwear, half-watching CNN, half-scrolling through interior-decoration photos on Pinterest and still expecting a paycheck to magically appear is hard not to chuckle at. (Sadly, some of them do make decent money this way.)

But previous generations weren’t encouraged to always follow their passion. One study found that roughly 78% of adults did not end up pursuing their childhood dream job. But now that you’ve left the work force—you can. With more free time and (hopefully) some cash reserve, you have the opportunity to chase that old dream of yours. And it’s important you do.

Many retirees report loneliness and boredom as major pitfalls to retiring. Pursuing a brand-new endeavor can relieve stress, introduce new friends, keep your mind sharp and can even add years to your life. Doing what you’ve always wanted to do can give you a fresh breath of life that can make retirement the breezy, feel-good time it should be.

Don’t have a passion? That’s fine. Try starting your day with activities you enjoy. No, I’m not talking about a Judge Judy marathon. Start journaling, exploring historical markers, joining a yoga class…something that exploits your talents and interests in a way you find meaningful and personally gratifying. It might lead to some self-discovery and even new acquaintances.

Work till’ You Die

Ok, this sounds morbid, but many retirees report much higher levels of satisfaction if they continue to work.

And those who never developed appetites for anything else outside of their careers might find themselves drowning in boredom. Consider that working has been shown to delay age-related diseases such as dementia. Not to mention, it’s a great remedy to feelings of isolation at home. It can also help you to feel useful, mentally stimulated and of course provide extra cash flow. In other words, keeping that job might help retain sanity and financial stability.

Holding a part-time job could allow you to delay social security as well. And the longer you delay, the bigger your paychecks will eventually be. You can also hold off dipping into your IRA or 401K, allowing more time for growth. Overtime, that can really add up.

So, find a job you like. Find something that aligns with your personality. And reap the benefits of even just a few extra years in the workforce.

Have fun. Stay Healthy.

“Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory.”

Bad memory is inherent with old age. But bad health doesn’t have to be. Staying active, eating non-processed foods, and spending time with loved ones is key to longevity and a happy life. At least that’s according to Dan Buettner, a National Geographic explorer whose work and research led him to five locations around the world—known as the “Blue Zones”—where people live longer than the rest of the world.

He found that residents in these Blue Zones were physically active all day, ate a balanced diet and held a strong sense of community. In places like Okinawa, Japan, much of the populace sit on the ground instead of chair—so they have to stand up and sit down constantly. They often walk everywhere they go and, while at home, they stay active with gardening or home upkeep. All the while they socialize with friends and family—often people they’ve known since childhood.

With a tight-knit community, an active day-to-day and a natural diet, people tend to live longer and report much higher levels of satisfaction. And that makes sense. Think back on your fondest memories. The times you felt happiest has always been with a loved one. Combine that with some good food and a little exercise, and someday you might find yourself playing cards with some fellow centenarians.

Retirement can be a tough transition. But we can help.

From rolling over your 401k to establishes reliable retirement income, we can help fine-tune your retirement to keep it oiled and running smoothly. And it all starts with a conversation. Our knowledgeable advisors can answer your questions and address any concerns you may have. And our consultations are always free.

Want to talk to a live person? Call (972) 535-4040. An advisor will be happy to answer any questions and help you find the best way to achieve a better return on your investment.