Ready to retire but wondering what’s next? We’re here to help. Our "Top Four" list of retirement activities will help you as you transition to this new stage in life and ensure you make the most of it!

Retirement is an exciting change and a welcome one for so many people. Having worked so hard you now have the opportunity to relax and spend your time doing things you enjoy. Congratulations! As with all change, you’ll want to be prepared. Planning your retirement can be overwhelming, but with a little thought, you can ensure this new time in your life is as rewarding as you deserve.


1. Volunteer or work

It might seem counter-intuitive, but retirement is a great opportunity to get back to work. This time, however, you can do anything you like. There's no need to go back to a 9-5 office environment, instead set up that business on the side like you've always wanted, whether that's a market stall once a week selling your famous homemade cakes or walking the neighbourhood dogs. Alternatively, you could choose to volunteer. Use the skills you've gained during your working life or learn new ones to give back to your community and do something that really matters. Retirement doesn't have to be all about twiddling your thumbs, it's about realising those dreams that got pushed by the wayside because of work.


2. Explore

When you're working, holidays are a mixed blessing. Taking time out is a great way to recharge, but invariably they require lots of organising and it can be a struggle to get everything done before you leave, not to mention the mountain of work that's waiting for you when you return. Travel in your retirement can be far more leisurely. With so much of the world to explore, why not join rising numbers of retirees in travelling the world? 2014 - 2016 saw a rise in over 13% in the number of over-65s travelling overseas. There are now many specialist tour operators experienced in travelling with groups of older travellers who want a different experience from the gap year students 30-50 years their junior. Speaking of gap years, why not take one yourself? Now is a great time to see all of the sights you’ve longed to see. Rent a camper van and travel cross country, don your hiking boots, or set sail on a cruise. There’s something for everyone out there.


3. Learn

Moving from work to retirement is an ending, but it is also an exciting new start. A growing number of retirees are using their fresh start to go back to school or college, to learn more about a topic that has always fascinated them. If a degree seems too much, why not develop non-academic skills? Take an art class; learn pottery; practice creative writing or learn how to cook exciting new dishes. Learning new things can provide you with excitement and stimulation.


4. Get active

Juggling everything when you're at work can make it difficult to live the lifestyle you want to lead, and it's not unusual to enter into retirement a little less healthy than you might have hoped. If you're lucky enough to be in good health, now is a great time to play more sport, to create a habit of regular exercise, or even to start going to the gym for the first time. It's never too late to invest in your body and mind.


Click below to download our guide to releasing funds for retirement and discover three of the most popular methods for releasing funds to spend in your retirement.releasing funds for retirement