Retirement is, indeed, supposed to be our “golden years,” but often as not, they turn out to be a disappointment for many. Retirement – Those Golden Years is a collection of articles highlighting the good life after retirement. Having been retired for seventeen years, I feel like I can speak from experience. Things have gone right for me, and things have gone wrong. Together, we’ll examine our retirement years from several perspectives: financial security, physical well being, mental sharpness, social involvement with others, and spiritual enrichment for a peaceful outlook on life.
Most people fail to think ahead when it comes to financially planning for retirement. There’s nothing worse than running out of money before you run out of month! We will examine ways to prepare ahead of time for those retirement days, realizing that whatever we save ahead of time is not withdrawn all at once, so it continues to make more money for us throughout our retirement. We’ll look at budgeting and planning how to stretch our retirement dollars. We’ll even explore different part time jobs you might want to consider as a way of supplementing your income so that you can enjoy the finer things in retirement like traveling the world!
Our physical well being covers a wide area of information. Of course, we want to stay well, so everyday wellness will be examined often. We’ll look at diet and exercise as major contributors to our physical health. Then there are the common health issues that seem to come up in our later years. We’ll want to examine ways to deal with joint discomfort, heart issues, rheumatic conditions, diabetes, and others. I’ll look for some of you to suggest topics for us to study together.
People sometimes shy away from discussing anything about mental health because they associate it with people who are mentally dysfunctional or mentally challenged. Most of us think we’re “okay” mentally, but if we want to stay that way, we need to nurture our mental health. As we age, things often start to become fuzzy. We find it hard to remember people’s names—-people we’ve known all our life! That’s scary enough, but then we walk into the kitchen to get something, and when we get there, we can’t remember what we went for! That’s when panic can set in. Self doubt rears it’s ugly head, and we think we’re “losing it” entirely. That’s usually not the case, but a wise person will make a point to do things that keep his/her brain active and alert. We’ll look at brain games and puzzles that help in this area as well as factors that might affect our mental health.
It’s easy to withdraw into our own little world when we retire. If our friends are still working, we seem to lose everything we might have had in common with them. This leaves us feeling worthless and having no purpose in life. That’s why it is important for us to look at social interactions and how they help us. We’ll want to find many ways of expanding our social experiences with others, keeping those friends close instead of letting them drift away. Maintaining a healthy social outlook can help us avoid becoming bitter and crochety in our old age.
Last, but certainly not least, is our spiritual self. Within each one of us is a spiritual being. This is that little voice inside our head that speaks to us as we think. It is the essence of our soul that reaches out to a higher being. Whatever your spiritual beliefs may be, growing them is vital to your enjoyment of retirement. We have problems confront us every day, and having the means to resolve them and find peace within our soul, is very important. Here we will be bringing words of wisdom and hope to one another in order to feed this inner spiritual need.