As you approach retirement, you may be thinking “I’m too young to be retiring.” Mentally you feel great. Maybe you become tired earlier than you used to, but overall you feel as if you’re still in your thirties. You can still take on the world.

Many people are still mentally sharp when they begin retirement, and they don’t want to slow down. So, what do you do with your time?

This phase of life is such an exciting time because you can do whatever you really want to do. Whether or not you have a strict budget, you now have time.

Here are some ideas of things to do for yourself during this exciting phase of life:

1- Sign-up for art classes. Look at local community colleges or community activity centers.

2- Spend time volunteering at a food shelter or your favorite charity.

3- Read that stack of books piled up over the years or downloaded to your tablet.

4- Learn a new language.

5- Organize your closets.

6- Expand your cooking or baking skills by experimenting in the kitchen.

7- Write that book you’ve always imagined writing.

8 – Grow a garden – whether it’s herbs or vegetables – whether you have a backyard or patio.

Working with many retired individuals one thing is clear – you have to schedule your time or else it quickly disappears. It becomes consumed by distractions.

When individuals first retire, they are amazed their day goes by very quickly. They don’t know how or why their time disappears. Many wonder how they were able to do everything while working.

The best way to take control of time during retirement years is to schedule things you want to do. And more importantly, stick to it. Learn to say “no” and treat your commitments to yourself as a job.

You deserve to be selfish during this part of life – you finally have time and are still in good health. Focus on your commitments to yourself. Stay PEF (positive, enthused, focused) and enjoy the journey of retirement.

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Niv Persaud, CFP®, CDFA™, CRPC®, is the Founder of Transition Planning & Guidance, LLC. Life is more than money. It’s about living the lifestyle you want and can afford. For that reason, Niv consults with clients on money, life, and work. Her approach capitalizes on techniques she learned throughout her career, including as a management consultant, executive recruiter, and financial advisor. Her services include spending plan, financial plan, divorce financial review, life strategy, and professional progression. Niv actively gives back to her community through her volunteer efforts. She believes in living life to the fullest by cherishing friendships, enjoying the beauty of nature and laughing often — even at herself. Her favorite quote is by Erma Bombeck, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say ‘I used everything you gave me’.”