For some, retirement is a welcome (and much-needed) extended vacation, but what if you miss tackling tough projects at work, or want to take this time to find your second calling?
The Executive Office of Health and Human Services (HHS), Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), and the Executive Office of Elder Affairs (EOEA) share information to help you find engaging things to do with your newfound freedom and stay active throughout your retirement.
Although it’s tempting to lounge on the beach or your back deck all day, Massachusetts boasts a variety of recreational activities you may want to try.
- Hiking — Many DCR parks have Healthy Heart Trails that are typically 1.5 miles or less in length. These quick hikes are a good way to get exercise while enjoying the great outdoors. If you’re 62 or older, you can pay a one-time fee of $10 for a Seniors MassParks Pass and get into DCR parks for free for life.
- Fishing — If you’re a Massachusetts resident and you’d rather spend your time outside fishing, you can get a free saltwater fishing permit if you’re 60 or older and a free freshwater fishing license if you’re 70 or older.
- Group Activities — Looking for other fun things to do? Visit a Council on Aging (COA) to find support groups, social gatherings, Tai Chi classes, and more in your area — as well as information on senior services. Find a COA near you to get involved.
If there are activities at local community centers or other organizations that you’re interested in, check to see if they offer a senior discount.
Working and Volunteering
Not quite ready to leave the workforce? According to the Administration on Aging (AOA), as of 2014, almost 20 percent of Americans age 65 or older were working or actively seeking work. Massachusetts offers opportunities for retirees to volunteer and work in various fields.
- Jobs — EOEA has resources to help you get a new job, whether you’re looking for full- or part-time work. You can find tips for writing resumes and cover letters, training opportunities, job posting sites, and more online. If you’d prefer to talk to someone in person, visit a One-Stop Career Center near you to get job hunting information.
- Volunteering — If you want to spend your time giving back to the community through volunteering, EOEA suggests various senior volunteer opportunities with different organizations in areas like disaster relief, education, and technology. You can also get involved with local boards and commissions throughout the state to attend hearings and help shape your community’s laws.
If you’d like to continue your education, Massachusetts offers many ways for retirees to keep their minds sharp and pursue lifelong learning.
- General Education — Brush up on your general education by taking Adult Basic Education (ABE) courses or attending one of Massachusetts’ 29 public higher education campuses. Whether it’s a high school diploma or a master’s, you can earn that degree you’ve always wanted.
- Vocational Training — If you don’t want to enter a degree program, you can take a vocational training course in a field that interests you and earn your certificate. Vocational programs are great ways to learn new skills.
- Non-Credit Courses — Dive into new subjects without the stress of tests or term papers by taking a non-credit education course. Lifelong learning institutes offer classes in a diverse range of subjects and locations to enrich the lives of seniors.
Massachusetts has services and resources to help you stay healthy, no matter what you decide to do during your retirement.
- SHINE (Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone) — The SHINE program is a health insurance assistance program for seniors with Medicare that connects you to a SHINE counselor. The counselors can help you understand your benefits and talk to you about your health insurance options. You can talk to a counselor in person or by phone. The SHINE regional office directory can help you find a counselor in your area.
- MassOptions — HHS’s free MassOptions service can connect you to programs for seniors so you can live independently. You can access Massachusetts services for housing, mental health care, transportation, food and nutrition, and more through MassOptions. To learn more, contact a MassOptions specialist by phone or online chat.
- 800AgeInfo — You can call the hotline at (800) 243-4636 or browse the 800AgeInfo website to find additional services available through your local Aging Services Access Point (ASAP). These services include personal care attendants, subsidized home care, healthy living workshops, and more.
- Senior Nutrition Program — EOEA offers services to help you eat healthy through the Senior Nutrition Program. If you enroll in the program, you can eat meals at communal sites or have meals delivered to your home based on nutrition program eligibility requirements. To apply for the Senior Nutrition Program, call EOEA at (800) 882-2003. They’ll help you find the agency closest to you so you can sign up.
By keeping your mind and body active through recreational activities, education, a new career, or volunteer work, you can banish post-retirement boredom and stay engaged for years to come.
How have you stayed active during your retirement? Let us know by tweeting @MassGov or commenting below.
Filing Property Taxes in Massachusetts posted on Mar 22
When you file your Massachusetts taxes this year, don’t forget about property taxes. Property taxes are filed and collected through the town or city where your property is located, not through the state government. The Department of Revenue (DOR) and the Massachusetts Court System provide information on who’s required …Continue Reading Filing Property Taxes in Massachusetts
Opioid Misuse in Massachusetts: What Parents Need to Know posted on Mar 15
The number of annual deaths related to opioid use in Massachusetts more than quadrupled between 2000 and 2015, according to the Department of Public Health (DPH). Parents should be aware that young people are at high risk of becoming involved in this fatal epidemic. According to DPH and …Continue Reading Opioid Misuse in Massachusetts: What Parents Need to Know
5 Women Who Shaped Massachusetts Politics posted on Mar 1
March is Women’s History Month — what better time to celebrate women who have shaped Massachusetts politics? From the first women elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives to the first female senator to represent the state in Washington, D.C., Bay State women have been shaping the …Continue Reading 5 Women Who Shaped Massachusetts Politics