active retirementFall 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 great things 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[1], according to the Journal of Health Psychology. Gardening can also be a great mental exercise, as it involves close observation of plants, weather patterns, and decision making. It may require you to learn new skills and keep up with information about insects, diseases, and the climate.

Your retirement should be what you want it to be, and so should your garden. 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, but you can also 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 the lifestyle you’ll have in retirement, it can help to do so before you start financially planning. We can help you create a retirement plan with your unique lifestyle goals in mind.