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Retirement is a journey --- looking for my next stop.

by JoAnn
(Connecticut)

I retired at 63. My husband was beginning to show signs of cognitive decline and my company offered a retirement incentive so it seemed like a no-brainer at the time. I realized I was retiring without specific retiree plans.

Over the next several years, my role as care giver steadily increased until it was my full time job. Last year my husband died suddenly and after the all the activity around putting affairs in order, etc., I now find myself in need of a purpose.

The question is how to figure that out. I know I don't want to go back to corporate life, but can't figure out what it is I want to do.

Comments for Retirement is a journey --- looking for my next stop.

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Life
by: Craig - Minnesota

First off, I am still caregiving a spouse with dementia, but were I to become a free-agent tomorrow, my purpose in life would be met by volunteering at our local VA medical center.

Unless you have urgent financial requirements, I see no need to go back to the corporate grind. You have developed many valuable caring skills in recent years and they can be put to good use in helping others.

You would be doing so without the stressors and obligations of spousal caregiving. You do your bit for a few hours and then go home to continue your day with leisure activities.

Helping others gives a quality purpose to your retirement.

Thank you
by: JoAnn/ CT

Thank you for our comments. It is nice to know that others have passed through this process.

JoAnn

Retirement is a long journey
by: Anonymous

Hi JoAnn: I heartily agree with Wendy's comments to you. I would like to add that sometimes we don't know how to get out of the cage that defines us, even after the door has been unlocked.

I retired last year and always have had a regular exercise schedule. This helps your mind and increases endorphins. I prefer water aerobics classes and always sign up at a rec center or fitness gym. Interacting with all the many swimmers is a social occasion itself. We always joke around in the pool and often made friends or sometimes went to lunch after. Morning and evening classes are available.

Your health is an important aspect of retirement. Also take some short trips as Wendy suggested -- travel and seeing new places opens up your imagination in a big way.

Good luck to you on your exciting new journey!

You have just joined the "big leagues"
by: Elna Nugent, Lenox, MA

JoAnn:

It is now and in the next couple of years that you are going to find out what you are made of. And you may be surprised. We use a small percentage of our abilities in our former workplace. Now you are challenged to use more.

As soon as you make friends with your unknown remarkable self, and realize you can be fun to be around, you are going to find out that some of the ideas and dreams you had in your youth may start to beckon to you.

This is the time of life where you begin to do-- not what you think you should be doing -or what you ought to be doing- or what family and friend thinkyou to do . It is your time to live and become the person you "really want to be". Enjoy.


You will find your way...
by: Wendy

JoAnn,

Your retirement days were put off until now....you simply moved from one job (working) to another (caregiving).

Now, give yourself some time to Breathe. Call some friends and renew friendships, do lunch, short day trips, whatever to get some friends back into life again.

Consider what you liked to do before LIFE got in the way. Did you once dream of painting? Do you like to work with kids? Do you feel the need to travel? Volunteer in a Library simply because you love books, thus book readers?

It will come to you... just give yourself time!

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