Old Life New LifeThe EnCorps45 Monday morning leadership meetings often begin politely with: “So how was your weekend?”

This week, I began thinking since the kids live out of town, and I no longer attend high school football games or Mom’s weekends at college, how do I want to spend my non-working hours?

With rising longevity rates, experts suggest that Boomers retirement planning include a social retirement component outlining options for down time. Following are four areas to consider as you look ahead to fewer work days and What’s Next leisure time.

Strengthen family relationships and social connections. 

During prime working years, family and friends take a back seat to work, raising families and social obligations. As part-time work or full retirement becomes a reality, consider re-connecting with old friends, spending special time with grandchildren, planning dates with siblings or helping your children with projects around the house.

Schedule a regular weekly lunch date with your parent(s) or best friends. Join a book club. Volunteer for your favorite non-profit organization. Look for activities where you can make new friends.

Explore personal enrichment.

Check out classes at a local community center or community college. Perhaps you’d like to learn a new language or tinker with playing an instrument.

Find time to write out your bucket list. Then stop thinking and start doing! Consider:

  • Skydiving
  • Taking a pottery class or photography course
  • Selling unused treasures on Etsy or eBay
  • Working part-time at a wine store, specialty cheese shop, or favorite fashion store
  • Starting a support group for caregivers based on your personal experiences
  • Becoming a foster grandparent
  • Volunteering to work at an election day voting site
  • Mentoring a go-getter in your industry.

Further your education, formally and informally.

Keeping your mind sharp is important when work no longer occupies the majority of your time. Get another degree, or a first one. Attend classes, teach classes, listen to lectures online, be a guest speaker at your alma mater or at your grandchildren’s school.

Become an entrepreneur.

Start a business. Flip a house. Make your primary home or vacation home an Airbnb. Become a freelance writer or consultant.

Got other suggestions for social retirement? Share what’s on your bucket list in the comment section below.