Active Retirement Living

Life begins at retirement...
Author Unknown

OK, so you are officially retired, and what do you DO with all your retirement years? You want an active retirement, living life to the fullest, right?

If you have the right frame of mind, retirement can be a major transition that is anticipated and welcomed with all the opportunities it provides.

Don't Retire --

Instead RE-NEW or RE-INVENT yourself.
Be who you want to be!

You can't wake up the morning and just lay there.... well, you can but you can't simply opt out of life when you retire. It's just the beginning of your freedom years!

You are suddenly FREE to do what you want to do daily... get busy and do something!

Malcolm Forbes said:
"Retirement kills more people than hard work ever did."

I think he was absolutely right -- physically and mentally, you can't "retire" -- go for it and RE-NEW! Re-Invent Yourself!

Read the definition of "retire" from the Dictionary: " To withdraw from action or danger/retreat, to withdraw especially for privacy, the act of secluding or the state of being secluded." None of those sound like a thrilling retirement life to me!

OK, you are retired, so now what?

Anxiety and Depression first -- if you are just retiring, you face the BIG retirement decision before you even walk out that door. Please realize that you just might grieve when you first leave work. Yes, your employment, your work identity and personality, can be a loss... even if you couldn't wait to leave your last employer. Just be patient with yourself (or your spouse when he/she retires) and seek help if you fall into a depression.

Some retirees in one of my online retirement groups sent me this what not to do in retirement list based on many chats they've had... their thoughts to help you not make the same mistakes they did.

This is something passed via email on How to Stay Young!

Do you work or not? do you break free of the past and go in a totally different direction? do you find another similar job/volunteer opportunity to keep yourself busy in a phased retirement? do you tap into your true self and become your "pre-work" self, more creative (before the "earnings" worries began)? Who are you and what do you want to do for the rest of your life?

Incidentally, do homemakers ever retire? Here are some retirement stories from gals who volunteered their own life stories.

Did you take an early retirement? Was it a voluntary early retirement or forced retirement due to employer cutbacks or disability?

Simplify -- Is it true that you no longer want "things" and prefer to grow personally to experience what life has to offer you? Then, downsize and simplify! Many boomers do at this time of life. There are local Freecycle Groups in every area, you can post emails to the group to give your "stuff" away. Folks can use things you no longer need. I don't mean to give your life away, but clear away some of the clutter and give yourself some room to grow and breathe! It also helps towards an independant retirement.

Where you choose to retire may also help make the retirment transition affordable (now or later). Whether you look at the places to retire or retirement communities (condo villages or low-income apartments)... there are choices available to you if you just look for them.

Use your Brain -- Do you have a retirement hobby or maybe lots of them? Things you've done for years in your off-work hours? A hobby that takes you away from the home might be a good idea too -- for some of the married after retirement issues. I'm not being mean, just trying to say some time away from each other is good for you!

Many of us want to find psychological growth, and new spiritual things. Find a church that speaks to your soul, if one church doesn't quite feel right, try another.

Get books from the library to learn about any topic you choose.

Write letters, journals, your life story.

Take adult community classes. Do some senior travel (day trips via the local community programs or out of state travel with senior groups).

Work or volunteer to keep your skills updated, and the brain functioning. Do you have a skill to share as a mentor under the Retired Senior Volunteer Program? Think about talents from your youth that you never had time for (arts, music, study, writing, painting, fun stuff!)

Do you have the Retirement Living TV channel? Find retirement inspiration there too! There are lots of retirement magazines to read too!

Friendships -- We want less socializing and more close friendships. How important are your co-worker relationships? Many are only "work" friendships, and you don't realize that until you retire. Do you have a support system away from work?

Join a book club from your local library, or some church groups, or call upon an old friend you haven't made time for while you were busy working.

Do you want less socializing and more close friendships? Pick up that phone, or write a letter, to a long lost Friend... you both separated when work lives and raising families made it nearly impossible to keep up a friendship but you might just renew the friendship again!

Join my senior online email groups and find some friendship and chit chat from the comfort of your home.

You might also try my Free Senior Pen Pal Network... it's safe and secure to find more retirees to connect with online. Join my ezine and find out more!

Structure -- Do you need structure in your life -- a reason to get up in the morning? If you are one like that, you might NEED something in your life... part time work, volunteering, some sense of a time table on life. Do some community service -- give back to your community while you are actively able.

Best Wishes!!