The days of your demanding career are behind you - your time to relax and unwind has arrived. But who says retirement means you have to slow down to a stop? Taking up hobbies, making new friends, learning new skills – retirement can be as active and varied as you make it. So having somewhere to do all these things is pretty important, right?
A 65-year old male can look forward to an average of 18 years in retirement*, so with all that time on our hands, it makes sense to have some space of our own. The modern man cave is the equivalent to the traditional garden shed, but they tend to be bigger, better – and warmer.
A man cave provides sanctuary. It is somewhere to escape to when we’re getting under the wife’s feet – or when screeching grandkids have reached the kind of high pitched levels that soon only dogs will hear.
Some people carry out extensions for the explicit purpose of creating their man cave, but your man cave doesn’t have to be huge. A converted garage, basement or a spare bedroom will do perfectly for the job.
Wherever you find or make the space, the important thing is to have enough room for all the tools, gadgets, games and personal touches that will make your man cave an ideal hangout for retirement.
So what do you need to do to create your man cave? First, consider the size and current state of the room you are planning to build or convert. A budget is paramount, and a plan of what you ultimately want to achieve is central to this.
To give you some inspiration why not take a look through these five ideas to creating the perfect man cave for your retirement.
The Modelling Man Cave
No not the Cindy Crawford version. Today’s model cars, trains and planes are superb and offer endless hours of entertainment, combining huge degrees of both skill and patience. Perhaps you used to tinker with the real deal before you took retirement, but getting under the hood every day at home isn’t so practical.
Model cars or other forms of miniature transport might be just up your street, and is a perfect size hobby for the smaller man cave. For beginners, there are a wide range of starter model kits that will allow you to practice and fine-tune your skills, choosing from a variety of materials depending on how realistic you want the finished miniature item to appear.
The Sports Bar Man Cave
Every discerning sports fan needs a large flatscreen TV to cheer on his favourite team in comfort – a pleasant distance away from the baying crowds in town. But your man cave needs more than a TV in it to achieve real man cave status.
It needs a bar – a fully stocked one, complete with bar stools, LED lights, beer fridge, bar runners and drip trays – the finishing touches are key. If wine is more your thing, then don’t forget the wine cooler to achieve the perfect temperature for your favourite drink while you enjoy the game in style.
Atmosphere requires company of course, and you won’t be short of that when your friends catch glimpse of your sports bar. Keep the party going after the big game with a jukebox and a pool table (see below for more ideas on that one).
For a genuine sporting touch, hunt for signed memorabilia online to adorn your walls. Think signed football shirts, rugby balls, boxing gloves or cricket bats from your sporting heroes. To continue the theme, consider using your favourite team’s colours to enhance your man cave when you come to decorate it, too.
The Games Room Man Cave
Enjoy hosting games nights? Don’t limit your man cave imagination to just a darts board – although it is a good man cave staple. With a bit of thought your man cave can offer a fantastic array of entertainment for you and your friends to pass the evenings.
Think pool tables, pinball machines, Poker and Blackjack tables or a table-football machine. And remember, you can pick up used pieces on eBay and other online selling sites for much cheaper than specialised stores.
The Workshop Man Cave
For when a tool shed just won’t cut it anymore. A man in retirement with a love of DIY needs room for his tools, a work bench, and enough covered space to carry out woodwork projects even in the wettest of weather. A converted garage is an ideal man cave for DIY enthusiasts as the large open door will provide plenty of ventilation when you’re in action.
Many people in retirement enjoy taking up more DIY for a number of reasons. It saves money of course, and improving our DIY skills is a great way to pass a free afternoon – but really, it’s all about the satisfaction of making something with our bare hands.
With neatly displayed tools adorning the walls for ease, a dedicated work bench at the ready and all the space needed to let your imagination run wild, you will be amazed at all the clever woodwork and DIY projects you could soon be tinkering with!
Could the right retirement income product help you?
Thanks to the recent pension freedoms, those of us aged 55 and over are free to access our pension funds to spend however we choose.
Many retirees are choosing to use some of their money for home improvements, including extensions to give that bit more space to maximise their use of their property.
If you are over 55 and planning to access your pension fund either as cash-lump sum, a regular income, or both, then speak to one of our retirement income specialists today.
Speak to a specialist in retirement income today on 0800 652 1316.
*Office of National Statistics 2014