In my mind, Kathe Kline is on the Cutting Edge of helping people consider how to Rock Your Retirement and create meaningful retirement lives. Her weekly interviews with retirees and individuals who study about and work in the retirement field provide an enormous pool of ideas for creating joyful and meaningful retirement years. After spending time with Kathe on the interview she did with me, I invited her to share her thoughts on this blog spot. Consequently, it is with great pleasure that I share Kathe Kline’s tips on things to consider about retirement.
Want to Rock Your Retirement?
Take a serious look at these suggestions.
Six Things to Consider when Thinking about Retirement, by Kathe Kline, Host of the Rock Your Retirement Show:
I’ve been thinking about what makes a good retirement for a long time. After a 25 year career in the Financial Services industry, I started a podcast called Rock Your Retirement. The show isn’t about money but explores the non-financial aspects of retirement.
Over time I’ve discovered that aside from the fun, there are six pillars of Retirement Lifestyle that can help someone Rock their Retirement.
Let’s take a look at the six pillars:
Friendship –To Rock Your Retirement
When we are working it’s a lot easier to make friends. We see these people every day, and it’s easy to grab a cup of coffee or lunch together. But…when we retire, it’s often at a different time from our friends. Then the ones who are still working have their busy lives. So it leaves us feeling lonely.
Many studies show that if you don’t have strong relationships you’ll actually die sooner. So keeping the ones we have and creating new ones is especially important as we age.
How do we make new friends after we retire? It was easy when we were kids because we were together for six hours. Same thing when we were working. Because we were together for so long we were able to find things in common with each other.
But after we retire that 6-9 hours with someone is probably only going to be a spouse. So what can we do to make friends?
All of us have opportunities to meet people. We see people every day. The trouble is, we don’t talk to anyone! And even if we do strike up a conversation, we might say, “Let’s get together soon!” and then never follow up. It’s not like we don’t mean it, but it’s our culture not to follow up on this. The funny thing is that if the other guy follows up, we are more than happy to oblige!
So follow up. Schedule that lunch or coffee right away. Don’t let the opportunity pass you by.
And if that’s not your thing, try Meetup.com. This site allows you to find people with similar interests to get together in person. Several of my guests have raved about it. Check it out to create some off-line friendships.
Your Purpose: Work/Volunteer/Hobbies will Rock Your Retirement
After over a hundred interviews on the Rock Your Retirement Show, I’ve discovered that all of us, no matter how old or what our mental capacity, need a purpose in life.
If you take a look at other cultures where people live longer and happier lives, you’ll notice that elders are respected. I wonder if it’s because they are also more productive? When I recently visited Jeju Island in South Korea, I was amazed at the women divers. The ones I saw all seemed to be in their 80s. Our guide said that they could have retired years ago, but most don’t want to retire because they would lose their sense of purpose.
We Baby Boomers can be productive now, even after we retire. Or heck, maybe you don’t want to retire! Or maybe you want to work part-time.
And it doesn’t have to be permanent. In episode 121, I interviewed Kelcy Fowler and Matt Moore of CoolWorks. Their website helps people (and they love Baby Boomers) get seasonal jobs. Imagine becoming a host at a National Park. Or working in the kitchen of a Dude Ranch.
If seasonal work isn’t for you, perhaps you have an expertise that is needed. Many retirees choose to consult in order to continue being productive while earning extra money.
If that’s not your thing, consider volunteering. This is one of the most often pieces of advice that my guests give to our listeners. There are several websites that can help you find a place, or start with your city government office.
Your purpose could be a hobby. Maybe you don’t have time to volunteer because you are creating scrapbooks for your 10 grandkids. That’s OK too.
But before you retire, consider what gives you a sense of purpose. If you are already retired, that’s OK, it’s not too late. Try new things. You’ll find it.
My husband has stage four cancer, so health is a big issue in our lives. You can read about what changes my husband made at http://LesHasCancer.com
I’ve made changes to my diet as well, as I struggle with my weight. And I don’t move enough. My doctor advised that I walk at least 10,000 steps per day, and each day I struggle to get there. Most days I don’t. So I continue to track and each week I get a little closer.
But honestly, among many Boomers, it’s not our health we are concerned with. It’s our parent’s health.
There are simple things that we can learn that can help. For example, in episode 111 we learned that a Urinary Tract Infection can cause signs of Dementia. And in episode 101 we learned those common medications that most of us take can also cause symptoms of dementia.
Understanding what easy changes to our diet and exercise routine can do for ourselves and our parents can certainly help us all rock our own retirement lifestyle
What do you consider family?
It might be your parents. Family could mean your siblings. Or you might consider your children in this section. What about your furry family?
With the exception of our furry friends, many of us have had conflict with family members. Or we just live so far apart that we never talk anymore.
Family is an important aspect of retirement lifestyle because they’ve been there from the beginning. They know your roots. Let’s reach out to our family members and strengthen those relationships if they need strengthening.
Or, you might have a great relationship with all of your family members. If that’s you, then great! You have one of the 6 pillars already handled.
Being married, having children (Denney 2010), and ties to religious organizations (Musick, House, and Williams 2004) have all been linked to positive health behaviors.
Studies also show that being in a good relationship (having a significant other) can improve our health.
But it’s not just any relationship. The quality of the relationship matters.
One study found that midlife women who had great relationships with their significant others had lower risk for cardiovascular disease compared with those in less satisfying relationships.
Learning how to either keep that relationship strong or find a relationship if we don’t have one is also an integral part of the retirement lifestyle.
If we don’t have a relationship and want one, we have to understand that finding a relationship when we are older isn’t the same as finding one when we were in our 20s, 30s, or even 40s. It’s different. We are different.
Regardless of whether you are religious, spiritual, or an atheist, you’ll benefit from adding this spiritual component into your lifestyle.
For you, it might mean meditating. It might mean reading your scriptures and trying to understand it. Or it might mean communing with nature. Clearing your mind of the stuff that clutters it.
If you act differently from your beliefs, you will find that your stress level has gone up and I believe that stress can cause illness.
Whatever it means for you, connecting with your spiritual side can bring great benefits, even if only calming your mind.
So yes, I believe that the spiritual side of you shouldn’t be ignored in retirement.
We all have areas we need to work on.
Perhaps you have the Significant Other or the Family pillar handled. But your weight might be out of control, or your parents might be weighing on you because their health is failing.
The Rock Your Retirement show plans to focus more on these six pillars to help our listeners create the best life they can. I hope you’ll come along for the journey.
If you want a little help tracking these six pillars, we created a 5 minute journal to help. You can get it at http://RockYourRetirement.com/Journal
And, if you haven’t already listened to the show, check it out on your favorite podcast catcher like iTunes, Stitcher, or I Heart Radio.
If you don’t know how to subscribe, go to RockYourRetirement.com/subscribe
–Adapted from http://RockYourRetirement.com/Pillars
A special thanks to Kathe Kline, our writer for the day.