Retiring TO something––and not retiring just to end the drudgery of your life’s work is an essential––and much too often neglected––process for retirees and potential retirees. The average life expectancy for people in their 50 and 60’s today is well into the 80s. Your years of retirement will far exceed those your parents and grandparents had to enjoy this special time of life. However, these “golden years” won’t be enjoyable if we don’t have interests and activities that inspire and delight us.
I’m prompted to consider this point today because readers have written with concern about their husbands’ unhappiness in retirement. Usually, along with that concern, came the observation that he has no special interests or hobbies beyond something as passive as watching television all day long.
What we choose to do is our own choice––and one of the beauties of retirement is that we can set our own agenda and schedule––but most of us benefit more from activities that bring fulfillment and keep us engaged. Those activities could include charity work or could be educational like travel or taking classes. And, they can be just plain fun like playing golf or going fishing.
Activities that keep our minds and bodies sharp and give us a sense of purpose contribute to those “golden years.” Without active engagement with something that matters to YOU, the experience of two or three decades of retirement could become tiresome––no matter how much financial planning you have done.
Whatever your age or number of years in or to retirement––today is the best day ever for you and your spouse to look at what activities would make your retirement years fulfilling and joyful. If you have a grumpy spouse who doesn’t seem to know how to become engaged in healthy activities, help him or her identify what could bring a smile to their world.
Recently I initiated a contest for a free download of the book, Survive Your Husband’s Retirement. Based on feedback from people who are looking for ideas on becoming involved in meaningful and engaging retirement activities, I’m extending the offer for one more week. In the comment section below, tell us about your activities and how they have benefitted you. Those among the first to respond will receive access to the download of Survive Your Husband’s Retirement when it is released this summer. You’ll do yourself a favor by winning the book––and more importantly, you will probably help another retiree move beyond the doldrums!
For another “take” on retirement planning go to Keeping Active by Dave Bernard.
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