Retirement can either be cause for joy or a prospect filled with dread and uncertainty. It depends whether you view retirement as a fresh beginning affording wonderful new opportunities or as a downward spiral of decrepitude and futility. Attitude is all. Since it’s inevitable, surely the only right approach is to tackle it head-on with positivity and delight!
Beside your work skills, all the accumulated wisdom and experience you have of life makes you a person of considerable value to society, to your local community, to your family and to your friends. There is so much you can still do to forge a legacy that will far outstrip your life. longevity is broadly increasing so it’s quite possible you could enjoy 30 odd years yet of productivity. To put that in perspective, Shakespeare wrote his entire canon of plays and poems in just 24 years, 1589 – 1613.
The secret to retirement success is forward planning. The more planning – whether financial, practical or familial – the better.
• The most important thing is to ensure you have enough money to budget for the things you want to do. But you don’t have to be a millionaire and, by no means, does every worthwhile project need a heap of money thrown at it – for instance, reading the complete works of Charles dickens or Mark twain, visiting art and craft museums, penning an online blog, growing your own herbs and vegetables, photography or being politically active.
• The second most important thing is to keep yourself busy. Work out a daily routine for yourself of chores mixed with plenty of relaxation pleasure. have a project or a series of projects that stretch your talents and give you pleasure. Include something creative that will inspire or wow others, especially the younger generation.
• Third, keep healthy and fit. Mix cardio and strength with coordination and flexibility. If you smoke, stop. If you drink, curb it. If you’re overweight, lose it! obesity is the number one killer. It is the prime catalyst for a whole raft of health problems and pain to which you might never otherwise succumb. Don’t throw away a decade or more of truly productive and fulfilled time. Consider the unnecessary burden it places on loved ones who must care for you and think of their emotional pain to lose you and your love so early.
• Fourth, have a good party / social network. People who socialize generally fare better than those don’t. Of course, not everyone is a party animal but there’s no virtue in becoming an unapproachable loner. If you currently enjoy a limited circle, take up pastimes and interests that will increase it – a chess club, a health club, bridge evenings, bowling, voluntary or charity work, language classes, church choirs and so on.
• Fifth, don’t be a techno-phobe. You can do all manner of creative projects with the help of computers. Master that latest ipod, iphone, ireader or itablet and impress the younger generation.
• Sixth, don’t be a grouch and be trapped in archaic attitudes – keep open minded, take an interest in what young people are doing and their latest fads even if it’s only for good horror value and a laugh! It will help you keep connected with the fast moving times we live in and make it much easier to talk to and relate to the younger generation. They will appreciate the interest you show in the latest pop band, fashion craze or Christmas must-have toy. Stay young at heart.
• Seventh, travel. Combine beaches and spas with intellectual stimulus by taking an active interest in the culture, history and architecture of the country you’re visiting. learn a few basic words. Consider local destinations and day-trips too just for the fun of it. If could be a factory, a farm, a church, a view or a shop. Take a friend or two to share stories and jokes.
• Follow a solid anti-aging strategy and fill your life with vitality.