Day One of Retirement- Now What?

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Day One of Retirement- Now What?

by | Jan 13, 2017

Many of our clients are wondering if their spouses are going to say them once they retire and are under foot at home, “honey, I married you for better or for worse but not for lunch”.  So many people try to imagine their life after retirement without stress, responsibility and quotas but what is it that will keep them challenged, in-shape and continuing to live with a sense of purpose?

​A 2014 research study published in Psychological Science  tracked the physical and mental health of over 7,000 US adults ages 20- 75 for over 14 years and it discovered that those who felt they had a purpose or direction in life outlived those who did not.   Once you leave your career vocation, it’s easy to lack a sense of direction and feel there aren’t any meaningful goals to accomplish.    But older adults can still have career goals and direction, just in a different way, says E. Christine Moll, PhD, a professor in the department of counseling and human services at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York, and member of the American Counseling Association. Whether it’s having new, refreshed career goals working either in some capacity related to their former career, start a small business or volunteer with a non-profit that you’re passionate about.  

Continue in a reduced role at work.  If you love what you do, why quit completely?  Financially, this makes sense as well, continued income can put less stress on your retirement portfolio for income.    I’ve personally witnessed retired or (partially retired with a reduced role)  clients that have that continued sense of purpose, staying mentally and physically active with a sense of gratitude and making a contribution to others can really keep them on track to live healthy, productive lives. 
Many of our clients are finding purpose and meaning in a reduced role in their long-term career.  A surgeon client I met with recently grinned with jubilation as he described his new role working four, half-days a week, never on Fridays, no surgery and mostly triage work with patients.  He loves what he does, has no stress, he’s making a contribution and still having a healing impact on patient’s lives.   There’s also a lot more time for golf.  Another retired auto dealer is superbly focused on serving the community through his church, serves on several non-profit boards and volunteers regularly at more than one of them. 

Stay Physically Active.  A survey by Norwegian researchers published in 2011 in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise found that physical exercise at any level is associated with better physical and mental health, especially for older men and women. “If you’re confined to a wheelchair, you can still move your arms or even your eyebrows — that’s like doing exercise,” Moll says.

Continue Your Education.  There are numerous colleges and universities that permit seniors to audit courses for free.  If you’d like to hone your technology skills, why not sign up for a computer and social media classes?  Better yet, get your grandkids to teach you!

Pursue your hobbies or start a new one.  Whether it’s cooking, wine tasting, dancing, golf, tennis or curling, now you have more time to hone those skills.  You can only play golf so many days of the week but trying new things will keep you sharp and out of the rut and routine.  Yoga has become a popular and low impact exercise that many are finding provide more flexibility, better breathing and increases energy.

Challenge the Brain!  Some of the more robust games like chess, bridge, or poker with others in your social circles or church can keep that mind active and alert.  My mom did cross word puzzles and read books constantly into her mid 80s which kept her mind sharp as a tack.  How about learning a new language or memorizing poems, scripture or other inspirational quotables?  The sky’s the limit, make it a great season in your life!


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