Fall is harvest time: Pumpkins, squash, and apples fill grocery stores, and if you have a garden your own produce might be ready to pick. Of course, not everyone has a garden – gardening can be too time consuming for people who work full-time or travel frequently. But, one of the things to love about retirement is having more free time to relax, adopt a hobby, or develop your social life. All of the above can be benefits of gardening.
A garden is not only beautiful, but functional. Growing your own vegetables can be a healthy habit, and may reduce your grocery bill a bit. An abundant garden may be something that a potential home buyer likes to see. Gardening can also be a good form of light exercise, and a way to enjoy the outdoors. Gardening may help you de-stress by lowering cortisol levels in your brain, according to the Journal of Health Psychology. Gardening can also be great mental exercise, as it involves close observation of plants and weather patterns, and decision making. It may require you to learn new skills, and keep up with information about insects, diseases, and the climate.
If you’re a creative person, a garden can be a space to design and create something of your own. Gardening in small spaces or harsh climates can be an interesting challenge and might force you to think outside of the box. And, choosing the colors and shape of your garden can stretch your creative muscles.
There are benefits to having your own garden, but it can also be a lot of work. Another option is to join a community garden. Not only will you not have to start from scratch, you can benefit from the knowledge of other gardeners as you go along. A gardening community may become a source of new friendships in retirement, as it can be a communal activity. Finding people with similar interests in the nearby area can help you replace some of the relationships and social connections you might lose after you stop working and achieve your desired retirement lifestyle.
Whether it’s physical, mental, or social stimulation you’re looking for in retirement, gardening can be an answer. If you haven’t thought about what activities you’ll do and lifestyle you’ll have in retirement, it can help to do so before you start financially planning. The professionals at Madrona Financial can help you create a retirement plan with your unique lifestyle goals in mind. Click here to schedule your no cost, no obligation financial review.