Playing Games in Retirement

When we are young we love to play games don’t we.  Any kind of games from ones we have made up to more formal ones.

Then as we get older and more serious we stop playing games in lieu of more serious stuff.

But in retirement, I have found that myself and other retirees love to play games!  I started playing bocce ball at our senior center and had a great time, playing as much as three days a week.  It was just fun!

Then I started race walking and enjoy the competition of racing again.  I never thought I would be in a race again!  It is exhilarating.

Card games and table games are extremely popular with retirees, so it doesn’t have to be all about sports.  Rather than watching the Wheel of Forturne or Jeopardy on TV, more and more retirees are playing games themselves. There is so much to choose from.

Playing games keeps your mind active, makes you more creative, is great for social life and can add to your physical fitness.

Where can you find games to play with others?  I would recommend getting started where I did and that is to find your local senior center and go visit. Ask for their activity schedule and just go and take part.  Don’t worry, someone is there to show you how to play and they would love to have you join.  It is free also.

Moving to a senior community or especially an active adult community is a wonderful opportunity to play games.  They have the facilities like a club house and the ball fields on which to play games like softball, pickleball, bocce, tennis, horse shoes and more. Plus the residents are looking for new friends to play these games with and would love to have you join them.

There are other organizations that I discovered that provide great venues for getting involved in senior games. I attended The National Senior Games in Minnesota last year and saw people over age 50 compete in everything from track and field, basketball, pickleball, archery, and many more.  They have a state senior game in every state and local meets too.  Find your state senior games here.

The USA Track and Field has a Master division for athletes over age 30 up to over 100!  I just returned from the USATF Masters Indoor Championship in Albuquerque NM and saw a 98 year old man set a national record for his age group.

USATF’s Masters programs offer a variety of competition and fitness opportunities in track & field, long distance running, and race walking. Competitions generally take place in 5-year age divisions. Age divisions begin at age 30 for track & field and race walking, and at age 40 for long distance running.

So if you want to have fun again playing games, do a little exploring of these resources and you will be very glad you did!

Top 5 Retirement Searches

Having a web site and a company named “Retirement Media”, naturally I am interested in what retirement related information is searched for on the Internet. Well, according to our friends at Google, here is the answer.

Retirement Calculator – is one of the most searched for retirement terms. People must be looking for an online financial calculator that will help then plan their path to a secure retirement.  The Vanguard Retirement Nest Egg Calculator seems to be one of the best.

Retirement Age – Since there is no mandatory retirement age, I bet people are searching for the age which they can get their full social security benefits. The best way to learn your full retirement age (also called normal retirement age) for full social security benefits is to visit the Social Security Retirement Planner. You may be able to start receiving your social security benefits at a reduced amount as early as age 62, but most experts suggest waiting until your full retirement age if you can because your benefits will be more.

Retirement Plan – could mean just about anything, but I bet most people are looking for a financial plan so that they can at some point reduce or stop working and have enough income to support their retirement. Financial advisers and brokerage firms can help with that but getting a financial education yourself is the best way. That takes a lot of effort and last a lifetime. For some non financial retirement planning tips see Planning for a Successful Retirement.

Retirement Home – Us boomers are looking for a home for our retirement. Maybe a one level ranch style with no steps with low maintenance. Universal design and a great floor plan sounds good to me. Oh friendly neighbors too. See these retirement homes for sale or for rent.

Retirement Community – is a general term that includes Active Adult Communities, Senior Apartments and even Assisted Living.

These terms make perfect sense to me, with ten thousand people a day reaching retirement age people need the information for their retirement.


Retiring Takes A Lifetime

Retiring is a process. The process may start when you get your first job and sign up for a retirement plan like a 401k or IRA. That’s probably the first time you will even think about your retirement.

Some people work on their plan for their retirement plan their whole life. Saving is slow to start with if you only save when you have extra funds.  Starting a saving account and paying yourself first is something successful people learn.

Being consistent with your saving plans and especially not spending your savings is key. When one changes jobs, many people’s downfall is cashing out their retirement savings and spending it.

Once you accumulate a certain amount of savings, you will need to think about how to get the best return on your savings. CDs are a good first option, but many people like the stock market and some like real estate. The object is the grow your saving without loosing it. That is hard to do.

Then you live your life and at some point it is obvious some people’s plans for retirement are coming along nicely; others not so much. The question the financial industry bombards you with is: Do you have enough saved for retirement? That is a question that is hard to answer even if you have been saving you whole life. Who knows.

The financial planning part of retiring continues with money management including retiring from a job, on-going saving and expense control. You will be spending some money on housing, insurance, medical bills, entertainment and travel.

There is more to retirement than just the financial aspect. You will be making decisions about where you will live and what you will be doing. What passions will you develop. What new friends will you make. You will likely have friends and relatives that have problems, sickness and death. All of the above was not covered by you pre-retirment planning. Like I said it is a process. You won’t know what retirement truly feels like until at least a year after you retire.

You can spend your time doing what you want and that is nice. Time flies by. You will not have to worry about what you will be doing. Your focus turns from making a living to living. Keeping a calendar helps. Participate in activities every chance you get. Enjoy people. People are nicer when they are retired. Enjoy your retirement, this is what you have been looking forward to your whole life.

Robert Fowler,
retried and loving it. 🙂