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Planning Retirement Online

Getting Out and About

When we retire, many of us have plans to travel more and take longer holidays. Indeed, why shouldn't we, providing we can afford it? The world's our oyster! However, here at Laterlife when we talk about 'Getting Out and About' , the focus isn't so much on travel and holidays but on just getting out there, meeting people, getting social contact - and exploring our environment at the same time.

So it's about days out, being outside the home and all that entails. So what does it entail? It's important that, as we get older and certainly when we retire, we maintain our level of social contact. Most of us like talking and chatting to people and, not only that, it keeps our brain active. Whilst we're talking to people and interacting with them, our minds are being stimulated and, if we're doing something physical at the same time, such as walking, then we're keeping physically fit as well. We need, therefore, to get out and about in later life.

Getting Out and About links

Social contact doesn't get delivered through the letter box; if we're going to come into contact with people we need to close the front door behind us and get outside. So getting out and about can be anything from a day out to an extended holiday - and everything in between. If we're going to get out and about regularly then it makes sense to explore and exploit our locality; we can't for ever be flying off to some exotic location. One way of doing this is to undertake the following steps:

  • Get a map of your area and put a pin in it at the location of your house.

  • Draw a line out in any direction to somewhere you can get to in a two-hour journey.

  • Draw the circle so that you have your house in the centre of it, with the circumference a two-hour journey away.

  • Research all the places of interest within your circle - parks, museums, exhibitions, local walks and so on . (If you live near a big city, this could be a big job! London, for example, has the potential for endless days out.) The maximum journey time will be two hours there and two hours back, so it's a day out.

  • Go and see all the places of interest that you have researched.

Doing this will enable us to have days out and enjoy our local area, whilst getting the benefits of social contact and mental and physical activity. As well as days out, there are all sorts of weekend and city breaks that we can undertake that don't cost a fortune. Be proactive, look in the local and national press, travel agents and, of course, on the Internet, and you will find lots of short breaks that are available at good prices.

This Guide is really focussed on days out rather than longer trips out, but for both short breaks and longer holidays, visit our Travel section and see some of the opportunities that are available. Scroll down the first page of the Travel section and click on the links that are of interest to you. There is something for everyone! This Guide is also aimed at those of us who are lucky enough to have no problem with getting out and about. If you suffer from some kind of problem that prevents you moving around quite so easily, do still read this Guide but also go to our Guide to Ill Health in Later Life and, in particular the page on Independent Living.

So, for how to get out and about for the day, click on the links in the box above on this page and start to take advantage of where you live.

This Guide to What to do in Retirement is written by Retirement Specialist Dave Sinclair supported by members of the LaterLife team. As well as writing on retirement matters Dave is Training Director at LaterLife and responsible for the content and continuous improvement of LaterLife's Retirement Courses.
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