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12785422_lAfter years of 40 plus hour work weeks and the struggles of raising a family, many dream of retirement. Retirement brings time to enjoy the activities that have been put on the back burner for years. While the freedom can be exciting, idle hands can also be overwhelming and leave many looking for purpose while enjoying independent senior living.

When planning your retirement fantasies, it is important that they are within your budget and means. With a limited income, be sure you can spread your savings through your retirement years. Also, factor in the need for long term care in a retirement community when the time comes. The cost can be covered through long term care insurance, reverse mortgage, veteran’s benefits, home equity or personal savings.

View the US News retirement readiness calculator at http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/features/calculatorfor an estimate on how long your retirement savings will last.

No matter your budget, you can find enjoyment and purpose in your retirement years. Here are a few of our suggestions:

Volunteering is a great way to spend your free time. Without the limitations of a full time job, you have the ability to give back to your community and help those in need. From caring for a loved one to helping churches and other charitable organizations, there are a variety of ways you can give back to your community.

Money can be a little tight for many following retirement. A part time job can be a great solution for many seniors. Not only will it allow you a little more financial freedom, but it can help you to keep your suddenly idle hands busy.

Pick up a brush or hammer and take on the remodeling projects that have been looming. Improving your home can increase its value when the time comes to downsize or move to a retirement community.

Public Service:
Why not get involved in public service? There are many ways you can serve your community. Run for office, serve a civic organization or simply write letters to your congress men and other elected officials.

Find a Hobby:
Did you have dreams of sewing or learning a second language? Retirement is the perfect time to learn new skills or develop a new hobby. Whether its cooking or sewing, there are countless activities waiting.

You are never too old to learn a new skill. The possibilities are endless when it comes to the new hobbies you can dive into. Cooking, sewing, or gardening, what interests you?

Seeing the Sights:
Whether its visiting family or seeing the 7 Wonders of the World, retirement is the perfect time for traveling. Enjoy bus trips, cruises or even the local attractions that you may have never had time to enjoy. Without the constraints of vacation time, you are free to spend as much time as you’d like exploring.

Stay Active:
Staying active can help you to feel better both physically and mentally. Whether it’s enjoying activities with friends or going on a daily walk, recreation can help to keep you young.

Enjoy the Arts:
Why not take up reading in your spare time? If its been a while since you last enjoyed a book, the local library provides countless options. TV and movie streaming services provide entertainment for a few dollars per month.

Be Creative:
You don’t have to be an award winning artist to enjoy picking up a brush or working in the garden. After all, the purposes in these hobbies are to relax you, not make you millions. Whether you are an artist or a musician, enjoy the creative arts.