RULES FOR AN EXCELLENT RETIREMENT
by Tom Damron
1. It's time to use the money you saved up. Use it and enjoy it. Don't just keep it for those who may have no notion of the sacrifices you made to get it. Remember there is nothing more dangerous than a son or daughter-in-law with their ideas for your savings. Enjoy the present moment. The sand in the clock may run out at any moment.
2. Stop worrying about the financial situation of your children and grandchildren. You've taken care of them for many years, and you've taught them what you could. You gave them an education, food, shelter and support. The responsibility is now theirs to earn their way.
3. Keep a healthy life with moderate exercise (like walking every day), eat well and get your sleep. It's easy to become sick, and it gets harder to remain healthy. Keep in touch with your doctor; get tested even when you're feeling well. Stay informed.
4. Always buy the best, most beautiful items for your significant other. The key goal is to enjoy your money with your partner. One day one of you will miss the other, and the money will not provide any comfort then. Enjoy it together.
5. Don't stress over the little things. You've already overcome so much in your life. You have good memories and bad ones, but the important thing is the present. Don't let the past drag you down or the future frighten you.
6. Regardless of age, always keep love alive. Love your partner, love life, love your family, love your neighbor, your surroundings, your country. We are never old as long as we have intelligence and affection.
7. Be proud, both inside and out. Don't stop going to your hair salon or barber. Do your nails; go to the dermatologist and the dentist. Keep your perfumes and creams well stocked. When you are well-maintained on the outside, it seeps in, making you feel proud and strong on the inside.
8. Don't lose sight of fashion trends for your age, but keep your own sense of style. There's nothing sillier than an older person trying to wear the current fashion among youngsters. You've developed your own sense of what looks good on you - keep it and be proud of it. It's part of who you are.
9. Read newspapers, watch the news. Go online and read what people are saying. Make sure you have an active email account and try to use some of those social networks. You'll be surprised which old friends you'll meet. Keeping in touch with what is going on and with the people you know is important at any age.
10. Respect the younger generation and their opinions. They may not have the same viewpoints as ours, but they are the future and will take the world in their direction. Give advice, not criticism, and try to remind them of yesterday's wisdom that still applies today.
11. Never use the phrase: "In my time." Your time is now. As long as you're alive, you are part of this time. You have been younger, but you are still you now, having fun and enjoying life.
12. Some people embrace their golden years, while others become bitter and surly. Life is too short to waste your days in the latter mode. Spend your time with positive, cheerful people, it'll rub off on you and your days will seem that much better. Spending your time with bitter people will make you older and harder to be around.
13. Do not surrender to the temptation of living with your children or grandchildren (if you have a financial choice, that is). Sure, being surrounded by family sounds great, but we all need our privacy. They need theirs and you need yours. If you've lost your partner, then find a person to move in with you and help out only if you feel you really need the help or do not want to live alone.
14. Don't abandon your hobbies. If you don't have any, make new ones. You can travel, hike, cook, read, and dance. You can adopt a cat or a dog; grow a garden, play cards, checkers, chess dominoes, and golf. You can paint, volunteer or collect certain items. Find something you like and spend some real time having fun with it.
15. Even if you don't feel like it, try to accept invitations to Baptisms, graduations, birthdays, weddings, conferences. Try to go. Get out of the house; meet with people you haven't seen in a while, experience something new or even something old. But don't get upset when you're not invited. Some events are limited by resources, and not everyone can be hosted. The important thing is to leave the house from time to time. Go to museums, go walk through a field. Get out there.
16. Be a conversationalist. Talk less and listen more. Some people go on and on about the past, not caring if their listeners are really interested. That's a great way of reducing the desire to speak with you. Listen first and answer questions, but don't go off into long stories unless asked. Speak in courteous tones and try not to complain or criticize too much unless you really have the need. Try to accept situations as they are. Everyone is going through the same things and people have a low tolerance for hearing complaints. Always find some good things to say as well.
17. Pain and discomfort go hand in hand with getting older. Try not to dwell on them but accept them as a part of the cycle of life we're all going through. Try to minimize them in your mind. They are not who you are, they are something that life added to you. If they become your entire focus you lose sight of the person you once were.
18. If you've been offended by others, forgive them. If you've offended someone - apologize. Don't drag resentment around with you. It will make you sad and bitter. It doesn't matter who was right. Someone once said, "Holding a grudge is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die." Don't take that poison. Forgive and move on with your life.
19. If you have a strong belief, savor it. But don't waste your time trying to convince others. They will make their own choices no matter what you tell them, and it will only bring you frustration. Live your faith and set an example. Live true to your beliefs and let that memory sway them.
20. Laugh. Laugh A LOT. Laugh at everything--laugh until you leak--that makes it even funnier. Remember, you are one of the lucky ones. You managed to have a life, a long one. Many never get to this age; never get to experience a full life. But you did. So what's not to laugh about? Find the humor in your situation.
21. Take no notice of what others say about you and even less of what they might be thinking. They'll do it anyway, and you should have pride in yourself and what you've achieved. Let them talk and don't worry. They have no idea about your history, your memories and the life you've lived so far. There's still much to be written, so get busy writing and don't waste time thinking about what others might think. Now is the time to be free, at peace and as happy as you can be!
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