What to do in Retirement
for Michigan Senior

by Mary

I need some suggestions as how to cope with my newly retired husband who has no hobbies except watching t.v.

Thank you.

Wendy's two cents: Hi Mary, I'm also in Michigan... small world, isn't it!?

Your husband is probably just digesting the newly found "retirement" state, but watch him for depression. It happens, often, early in retirement -- until they discover and accept that they need to be active still (I think especially men)...

Why don't YOU suggest some outings (especially since the weather in Michigan is finally cooperating a bit)?

Make him your "Honey, Do..." list.. grin!

Check out the HOBBIES on the left navigation bar, think back and what did he enjoy doing BEFORE he got all wrapped up with family, work life, etc? Often that old hobby comes right back... more fun than ever!

Maybe you both sign up to volunteer somewhere (a friend and her husband do a few hours once a week at a local hospital and love it. They were even treated to a dinner at Xmas and a day trip as the volunteers... plus it FEELS GOOD to get out and help others.) Most places need volunteers nowadays in this economy! This is a document that lists Michigan Senior volunteer programs if you are interested.. check out your location.

Do a quick Google Search below for: Michigan Senior Volunteers and see what else pops up! It's not "work", it's fun and helpful to others...

There is much to do, you can't "sit in the rocking chair" throughout retirement (though he may need some "down time" to digest the initial retirement feeling)... but you can watch to assure this doesn't go too far.

Just support him through this.. its not always easy (definately not for me!)

Anyone else with suggestions? Wendy

Comments for What to do in Retirement
for Michigan Senior

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What to do In Retirement for Michigan Senior
by: Tracey Fieber

It's hard to just jump in to answer this question without knowing more about the life/circumstances that brings us to this point. I can't speak specifically about a situation without knowing more details (it wouldn't be fair to you), but I can provide some general answers. Let me know if it helps, or if you have further questions...

Sometimes, when people retire it's almost a grieving process that can occur. Retirement is something they've looked forward to for many years, yet when they actually arrive it's not what they expected. We say things like, "oh, I'll just enjoy life!" or "I would love to have the time to do what I want when I want". When we say those things, it's in comparison to not having the time to do those things on an ongoing basis. When we retire, although those things take up SOME of the time, it doesn't usually fill ALL of the time. This is where we need some structure, it's often through reflection or discussion with others that we 'figure out' how to fill our time so we remain happy.

Preparing ahead is ideal, yet it's not too late to start now. The first 1-3 years after retirement is critical, and can determine the fulfillment & success or failure in the years that follow. There are life coaches and retirement transition coaches who can help with this. Often the coaching is held over the phone to allow you to connect with your coach from anywhere in the world. You'll want to do your research to find a coach that is a good fit with you and your personality.

Remember, retirement is a process, not an event.

To help your husband, ask him what he'd like to do. Help him to see that watching TV is good for a past-time, but living life is about becoming engaged in life. Find out what interests him, and find ways that he can enjoy these.

Staying connected with others can help, and with technology there are many ways to do this. One gentleman I know purchased a computer when he was in his 70's, took his time learning how to use it (getting help when he was stumped), and now keeps his relatives updated on who's doing what. He even contacted a company and started booking bus tours for seniors, getting paid to do this while receiving a discount when he and his wife go on a tour.

I agree with Wendy, watch him for depression, and take steps BEFORE it happens. Preparing ahead is key to avoiding depression. And if you see signs of depression, get professional help. Don't wait to see if it gets better. Oftentimes intervention is needed before people realize it.

Communication is important, keep asking him for his input on many things. Getting him involved in his retirement can help pull him forward into his ideal life.

Let me know if you'd like to discuss this further. I offer a free 15-minute Retirement Strategy Session if you'd like more ideas or if your loved one needs someone to talk to.

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