Coping with Retirement Cynicism

by Tom Damron
(Plano, Texas)

Tom is married. His wife resides in Assisted Living with her twin sister -- both with Alzheimers - and yet LOOK at this mans courage!

Tom is married. His wife resides in Assisted Living with her twin sister -- both with Alzheimers - and yet LOOK at this mans courage!

Excitement! Exhilaration! Freedom! Retirement!

Those words describe what you feel as you fervently approach your retirement date. You have earned it through the time you have invested throughout your working chapters of life.

Now that you have reached the target you have eagerly aimed for, it sometimes comes with a revolutionary realization that can sap the pleasure of those years of yearning because if you are not careful it can become an emptiness that may bring on a feeling of low regard and respect.

You must be cautious and not develop a sense of joblessness about yourself in retirement. It becomes all too common to feel that your lifetime skills have been wasted and when that mindset occurs, it is followed by the feeling that you have been alienated from society over the fact that you no longer are using those skills for the common good.

No one needs or wants to enter their retirement years with a monkey of remorse on their back. Retirement is a critical evolution, a significant episode in life that calls for festivity, not morbidity.

The Question is -- how will you handle this momentous life conversion?

A. Don't make a big deal of it. Treat it as if it is an everyday happening.

If you are 65, you have already been doing many of the things that people do after retirement. You have been retiring daily for the last forty work years each day when you left work for home.

In reality, you already have sixty-five years of daily practice at retirement. So now when you arise each day you have an opportunity for a renewed force to go out and make a change for the better in your world.

Never forget that there is always a waiting prospect for transformation and improvement that needs your skills. The fact that you no longer go to an official workplace is not an end to your ability to ply your skills, it is nothing more than a shift from one stage of your life to a new stage for you. The transition enhances you both intellectually and morally which means it is worthy of celebration.

B. You have not lost your status as person merely because you aren't working any longer. Retiring does nothing to change your standing in life. In fact, it makes you an admirable success because of your life experience.

You retain your skills and are looked upon as one who achieved many years that provided you with numerous achievements throughout working life.

You now have the option to use your talents on your own timetable and to use them whenever and wherever you choose. ..You have become an independent and an entrepreneur with invaluable experience and professional abilities to offer to whomever is in need. You have suddenly become the 'Boss.' Make the most of it!

C. Keep in mind that you are not unique being a retiree. The 'Boomer' Generation has some ten thousand retiring each day and joining you. They have the same fears, the same concerns and face the same decisions.

Because of this large population of retirees, we are all living in a world of older, livelier, healthier retirees with the energy and knowledge to make great strides in changing our lives for the better.

You have to avoid deceiving yourself by feeling that you are too old to make a new career of retirement. There is a greater lack of restrictions for you to undertake a new career and work as a retiree if that makes you happy. Never say 'can't' because you can and if you do you will feel the inspiration that follows.

D. How do you achieve that goal? You do it by using and building on the knowledge you have already polished and honed before you retired. You have attained a broad source of knowledge enhanced by your prior education and long professional experience in your previous career. Don't hoard it, go forth and pass it on to others who need it.

You have the skills to educate the inexperienced people hungry to learn from those who have higher skills and broader knowledge of your profession. Share your knowledge with the younger generation by becoming a mentor and teaching them your skills.

This can be done in most communities through your own business, night classes at Community Colleges, sponsored workshops, or many non-profit agencies such as shelters for the abused, the homeless and others. You will derive personal satisfaction, keep your skills up-to-date and create a new job base for your community.

E. Make it you goal to become a distributor of merriment and happiness where ever you go. Learn a few yarns and tales to tell as a way for you to be an enriching authority in people's lives. Telling people how much they are relevant, helping them to realize their strengths and abilities, and guiding them with a story and a wide smile.

Visit those who are in assisted living homes, in nursing homes and in Alzheimer Communities. Most are elderly and love a good story teller and believe me, they will welcome you with open arms. They will feel relevant and wanted and you will leave them with your own elevated inspiration and happiness because you brought light into the lives of others.

F. Finally, Do everything you can to keep yourself occupied. If you remain dynamic and vigorous you will avoid the pitfalls of being enveloped by the feelings of despair, of being unsuccessful, and of living a pointless life.

If you follow at least some of the tenets set-out above in A through E you can rest assured, you will stay busy and be left with little time to feel sorry for yourself. You will sidestep any feelings of being distressed or disconsolate. Keeping engaged with life will keep you physically and mentally healthy to boot and that alone is worth the effort.

Comments for Coping with Retirement Cynicism

Click here to add your own comments

Bravo indeed
by: Gordon Kinghorn

This is a wonderfully articulate and well crafted article - an invaluable aide-memoire too for anyone who may be struggling with the transition from work routine to retirement woe.

I would suggest that all who scan these definitive lines, particularly those who may be experiencing disenchantment with their new-found, post-sixty status, take time to print off a copy and inwardly digest the logic contained within the prose - then read again - and again.

Read until such time you are prepared to cross the retirement Rubicon by meeting the aims of contained within, 'Coping with Retirement Cynicism'.

Super piece of work, jolly well done!

Wendy: Can anyone tell Gordon is from England with his "Jolly well done" (and the rest of his banter! OMG, a big smile crossed my face as I read this! You are a hoot Gordon... I know you are serious here, but so British nonetheless! :)

50+ Entrepreneur Movement
by: Joe W.


Congrats on putting together a logical retirement plan for seniors to think about and put into action.

I know that one of the main problem for a lot of seniors is the real need for 50+ Groups to get together physically, and and have the opportunity to discuss retirement or business ideas with older mentors/coaches in their own communities. The reality is that most seniors tend to work by themselves instead of getting help from others eg. technical help for their own projects. For my 'Seniorpreneur Project' I started working alone for approx. 4-5 years. Then, I partnered with a 'computer services' technical specialist. Now, I'm able to cover more ground and progress at a faster and better rate, as compared to what I could do all by myself.

It is a well know fact that the Younger demographic (18-39) years old is basically getting most of the help today. The main reason is that this young demographic is having some trouble getting any real full-time jobs. This forces many to create their own employment or to become an entrepreneur or small business owner.

Seniors have different expectations. Some want to write a book or paint pictures or create crafts or startup a small business, or whatever they want to work on in their pre-retirement or retirement life.

Personally, I have been researching this area for sometime and my goal is to hopefully get some 50+ group meetups or workshops on a regular basis, where individual seniors can get some help for their own retirement project(s).

Let's get more Seniors 50 Plus to become more active, creative, productive and prosperous in their pre-retirement or retirement life.

Thanks again, Tom.

Joe W.

Well said
by: Anonymous

My husband worked for 45 years and now has been retired for 46. His retirement life has been lived as you suggest and he is now 101, looks 80, continues to help and amuse others. I was amazed to see he could run when he was little behind schedule a couple of days ago...

Wendy: Anonymous, I really wish you'd write a whole story about your husband and his life at 101. Really sounds like an amazing guy! Kudos to both of you!

WOW.. Home Run, Tom!
by: Wendy

Oh My Goodness -- Tom Damron, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

You said it 100X better than I ever have!

Thank YOU for taking the time and effort to think this out as eloquently as you have.... and so down-to-earth too!

Folks, this is the real deal... seriously! This is what I am trying to say to Boomers with my new website.... it's time to give back, it's time to LIVE life as you were meant to live it.

Help others in your community -- or do the same online. Either way, help the world with that lifetime of knowledge stuck in your head, knowledge that could seriously impace anothers life.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Write Your Own Story Here (others can provide feedback).