Like most stages of life, the transition into retirement comes with its own rites of passage. A recent U.S. News article ("Retirement Milestones to Look Forward To," March 2015) lists a few:


  • Having "the talk" with your boss. There's nothing like telling your boss that you won't be coming in anymore.
  • Shutting down your work computer for the last time. Never to log in again.
  • The first time you answer the question, "So, what do you do?" As a retiree, you will get to create a new answer. You can talk about a new volunteer position, hobby or the new dream career you've begun. Or, you can quip about how you get to do whatever you want—whenever you want.


The first year of retirement can be full of excitement. As time passes, however, you may feel unsure of what to do next. Another U.S. News article ("How to Extend Your Retirement Honeymoon Period," March 2015) provides suggestions for prolonging the feelings of excitement beyond those first few months.


  • Allow for spontaneity. Before retirement, you probably had to carefully plan leisure activities ahead of time. Retirement can give you the freedom to try new things as you please. Embark on a one-night excursion to a bed-and-breakfast, have an impromptu picnic at a park you haven't been to in years or pick up the last couple of tickets for tonight's symphony.
  • Find out something new about your spouse. You may have been together for decades, but the responsibilities of daily work schedules may have distracted you from sharing some of your passions. The two of you might discover a new interest you can enjoy together.
  • Don't over-plan your future. Rather than planning every move for the next 25 years, try thinking just one or two years ahead. Who knows how differently your life might look ten years from now?


What retirement moments are you looking forward to, or what milestones have been your favorites?