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Creative and Flexible Ways to Stay Engaged Post-retirement

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Some methods of engagement that allow for this varied approach and that allow you to be in control of your own time include:

  1. The Gig Economy: Freelancing after Retirement

The gig economy refers to economic activity that involves the use of temporary or freelance workers to perform jobs. Post-retirement, you could participate in the gig economy as a freelance consultant, accountant, etc. India is currently the second fastest growing freelance market in the world: if you market your skills right, you could find freelancing offers you very promising opportunities. A Forbes report found these seven industries to have the fastest growth in terms of freelancing opportunities:

  1. Accounting, Finance, and Bookkeeping
  2. Customer Service
  3. Digital Marketing
  4. Therapy
  5. HR and Recruiting
  6. Computers and IT
  7. Real Estate

Freelancing enables you to decide your own schedule and time commitments: you can decide how many weeks a year to work, how many hours you want to work, and whether to do it remotely or in-person. This flexibility can enable you to do everything else that you had on your retirement list: traveling, spending time with family, etc. Also, you can set your own rates as well as choose which people or companies you give your time to. If you invest in upskilling and specialize in certain fields, your value as a freelancer will go up further. The gig economy thus offers a great opportunity for retirees to stay engaged professionally while still retaining control over their schedules.

2. Creative Activity

Creative activity is often associated entirely with the arts, and thus seen as a difficult space to enter in old age. However, any activity that involves coming up with an original solution to a problem or challenge can be called creative. Two benefits of pursuing creative activity post-retirement are:

  1. By the very nature of the process, creating something requires trial and error. It requires the creator to be open to making mistakes, to starting again. This automatically increases how flexible you can be with your projects.
  2. Producing something new can give someone a sense of capability and purpose. Whatever the nature and quality of the product, the process of creation alone can boost your image of yourself in retirement.

Creative pursuits you can take up are things like organizational or volunteer work as well as content creation. During your years in a professional career, you will have developed a very specific skill set. Applying those skills in a different setting/industry is also in many ways a creative activity that will keep you alert and adaptable well after retirement.

3. Mix and Match

To figure out the kind of lifestyle that works best for you in retirement, it is important to try out different things. You could work as a freelancer for some part of the month, pursue something creative on the side, and spend time with your family/working on domestic chores: the important thing is to do whatever feels right for you. This right fit may be ever changing. Mixing and matching ensures that you give yourself the freedom to figure out this new phase of your life. It also keeps you active and energetic because you are using your mind in different ways. Don’t hesitate to give yourself the flexibility you need to design your retirement your way.

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