Getting retirement right
How to get it right the only time around.
BY: Gerald Crawford
A good sign showing a person enjoying retirement completely would be someone who has no idea or no inclination to know weekday from weekend. This clearly shows someone who is focused on enjoying every day as is comes and is thankful for it. If you want to be one of these carefree yet productive individuals, the following tips might help you take the first step in your retirement phase with confidence and gleeful anticipation:
1) Trying school again
For most people, school was just some place they had to be. Excelling in studies is not always a given and this can actually create the unhappy phase in a person’s life. If you were one of these unfortunate people, giving the educational experience another try might be something worth considering. Now that you are older, more matured and certainly smarter, giving studies another try could yield totally different results. There have been many success cases, noted in the media, of people in their 80s receiving their diplomas, degrees and doctorates after taking up such ventures during their retirement years.
2) I can afford it now
If there was something you desired to study when you were young but were not allowed to do so for fear that it would not provide you with a bright and successful future, now is the time to indulge in this desire. It may be that you wanted to study something that was financially out of your reach or too time-consuming to consider in the past, but with retirement comes the luxury of endless time, thus giving you the perfect opportunity to not only realise your dream but to also decide if the path taken years ago was worth putting your dream on hold. Some answers are worth getting. You could learn guitar, or even consider picking up a new language or take a photography course.
3) Live & breathe anew
Most of your working life was rushing between work and family commitments. Rushing would probably be quite an apt word to describe most of any adult’s working life. Rarely do people stop to “smell the roses” and when they do, it probably comes in the form of a rushed vacation, and even these are few and far between. Retirement gives you the ultimate chance to seek and enjoy that long awaited and “endless” vacation. Taking in the sights that you once only rushed passed and really stopping to look, smell and taste is something most people only dream of doing when they are in the working phase of life. Going back to nature will not only help you “live” again but will also help you appreciate your life and surroundings.
4) Staying current & relevant
Many people fear that their brain will eventually become a lump of nothing when they retire. This is possible, only if you allow it to be so. There are many ways to stay well-informed and current without cost or energy. The Internet is a wonderful tool to use and does not require much effort on your part. Spending a few hours a day on the Internet can broaden your intellectual mind and expand your communication abilities in social settings. You can also find medical information to keep you aware about your health. You will even be the centre of attraction and the life of a party with your newfound Internet-savvy skills.
5) Staying vibrant with pets
Sometimes the most alarming thing about retirement is the prospect of being alone. With no daily routine to take up most of your day, depression and laziness are more likely to take centre stage in your life. Having a pet can and almost always, help you avoid these negative possibilities from becoming realities. Initially thought to be a nuisance, most retired people now actively advocate the pleasurable benefits of having a pet. Having a pet will help to keep you occupied and these loving creatures will always be willing to show their love and appreciation for you. Studies have shown that retired people with pets are more sociable, pleasant and vibrant to be around. So, if you find yourself leaning towards “grumpy”, it is time to consider a pet in your life.
6) Using your talents
Retirement for some comes too early, as they feel they still have a lot to offer society. If you are unwilling to retire but are forced to because of your age, fear not. It is not the end of the world but just the beginning. With the advantage of retirement, you now have the opportunity to impart your knowledge unto others without having to worry about someone stealing your job after learning the ropes from you. You will be able to happily teach others the secrets of success and be admired for your unselfish sharings. There are a lot of opportunities, especially in the education field for retired people to help out. Another option – volunteering your time and expertise will keep you young and relevant. It will also help to make you feel needed and respected. You could help out other seniors who are frail at nursing homes. Also, most smart young people realise experience is a valuable tool to have and you are the source to learn from.
Gerald Crawford (right) from Northern Ireland is a budding musician at the “ripe old age of 48” and runs a guitar blog. He was taught how to play the basics of guitar from his dad, Mervyn who was in an Irish band, and who still plays to this day. Gerald calls himself a “semi-retired baby boomer” with a bit of time on his hands.
(* PHOTO CREDIT (top photo): Dreamstime)