Just In Time For Retirement

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The older I get the more I accept the significance and gravity of the familiar adage “time flies”. From a day-by day perspective things feel about right – only occasionally does a 24 hour period slips through my fingers. Even looking back on the most recently passed week I feel I can account for the majority of moments passed. But the incredible speed at which years are now streaking by is a bit concerning. Here it is 2018 – where the heck did 2017 go?

In my early days it took forever to get to that next year older. How I wished I could accelerate into teen years and then jump to that magical 18 and finally pass the threshold of the sacred 21 years old. Time sure did not fly for me back then. These days I would be quite happy to decelerate to a slow, steady, memorable trickle of days going by.

It feels as if time runs at a different pace at different times in our lives.

Way back as a youngster, time was an insignificant component of daily life. I never worried about wasting time. I did what I wanted for as long as I wanted or until called in for dinner. Time mattered when it came to school, dinner time, popcorn time and bedtime. There was no need for a watch to keep me punctual. Because little stress was associated with being on time the day could be enjoyed wandering a bit, playing a bit more, and enjoying all along the way.

When I entered the work force things changed big time. Getting to work on time was essential if I hoped to keep my job. Being late to meetings was unacceptable and a tardy quarterly report could put you on the streets. Everything was on a schedule as I came to understand the true meaning of deadlines: basically get it done or you are dead.

Along with time pressures and deadlines comes the stress we all learn to cope with else sacrifice our health and sanity. Scurrying around madly in hopes of getting critical tasks completed on schedule introduced a constant level of anxiety – there just wasn’t enough time in the day. And that anxiety often followed you home, gnawing away at any chance for quality sleep and quick to re-enlist the minute you got up.

As a parent a new aspect of time emerges. While previously obsessed with one’s own time or lack thereof, as parents our time no longer belongs solely to us. Suddenly what is most important to others in our brood takes precedence. Scheduling becomes an order of magnitude more challenging with multiple lives involved. We surrender to the impossibility of being two places at once though often times find ourselves pulled and stretched in many directions. Where does the time go?

Is there any hope to slow down to a more acceptable, saner pace?

If you are fortunate enough to survive to this point mentally and physically intact, you may be in for better times, saner times, more reasonable times. Retirement time is a brand new experience and at least for me proved worth the wait.

Once retired you are no longer driven by external forces toward someone else’s ultimate end. Rather than struggling to survive the moment you can focus on living those moments. Instead of a flurry of vague scenes days begin to contain real content, filled with memories worthy of being remembered. Finally you have time for yourself.

Rather than worry about tomorrow you are free to concentrate on today. This moment – now – is what matters. You will never be right here again so make the most of right now. As the saying goes, “life is like a coin: you can spend it any way you want but you can only spend it once.”

It can take time to adjust to a new pace. Even six years retired I still find myself getting wound up when driving in traffic. Decades in Silicon Valley left me conditioned to rush hour traffic and the helpless panic felt arriving late for an appointment.  I still fight that reflex to push and get there as quickly as possible. Now I have time. Now I can go with the flow and get there when I do. But old habits die hard.

In retirement, you have time to focus attention on important little things. A thoughtful card given to a spouse, ample time to reflect upon your life and passions, relaxing wanderings in the park with nothing hanging over your head, a call to family of friends too long neglected. Now you have time to do something nice for someone. Now you have time to do something nice for you.

It is interesting as you focus on the quality of the moments rather than respond to in a knee-jerk fashion to outside stimuli you may face other challenges. For example, instead of wondering what time it is I sometimes find myself wondering what day it is. I joke with friends “I’m happy if I can keep the month straight!” How wonderful is it to not worry about approaching deadlines or responsibilities, to live the day as it unrolls before you, to go with the flow and wander wherever.

Yes time does fly. And yes it seems to do so even faster these days. But it is not just about the length of the day, it’s what you do with that day. Time may scamper quickly by. But memories we make are forever alive in our minds. Make the most of your hours.

LoveBeingRetired.com

Finding Ways to Relax Your Way Through Your Retirement

Written by Carol Trehearn

Retirement often comes at the end of a long and stressful working life. You may well have spent forty or more years working hard in stressful conditions, so it is important to reward yourself with some relaxation after all the years of hard work.

This can be harder to achieve than you may think. Your life is likely still full of responsibilities to your family and friends, and you will want to start planning for older age by looking at new stairlifts and ways to stay active to make the most of your retirement years. Finding the time to relax may be easier in retirement, but it can be difficult to find the right place or activity to give you some peace and quiet to enjoy.

Here in this quick guide, we are going to look at three ways any retiree can get a little extra time to themselves or with their partner to relax and enjoy some of the time that retirement gives you.

Follow Your Passions to a New Hobby

You may well have had passions and interests through your working life that you never had the time to properly enjoy while you were committed to your job.

Now you have more free time, you may well find it more relaxing and enjoyable to pursue your hobbies and could even make some new friends and acquaintances along the way. Consider looking for a club or organisation close to you where you will find like-minded retired people who share your hobbies.

Make Sure You Take the Right Breaks

Taking a well-earned break and visiting a relaxing spot is a great way to get a little extra peace and quiet in your retirement.

There are some fantastic and relaxing hotels and resorts across the country that can give you just what you need to recharge your batteries after decades of hard work and stress. A few days away in a hotel that offers spa treatments and fine dining can be an excellent way to enjoy your retirement.

Take the Stress Out of Home Living

A great way to invest some of your retirement earnings is to hire some help at home. Having a regular cleaner or even a cook visit your home to help with some of the daily tasks can take a lot of the stress and responsibilities away from home living.

It doesn’t have to be every day or even every week, but having someone that will come round and do some of the chores for you can take a lot of the stress out of daily life and free up some of your time for you to enjoy some hobbies or take a trip away.

After decades of hard work, everyone deserves to find some time to relax and look back over their distinguished career.

Retirement can give you a lot of free time to enjoy, even with commitments to friends and family. You owe it to yourself to make the most of the opportunity with some relaxation time to yourself or with your partner.

Hopefully, this quick guide has given you some inspiration, and some information, that will help you find some extra relaxation and peace in your retirement.

Frugal Retirement Living Tips for Seniors

Written by Holly Clark

Time has passed, and your working days are behind you. As you come to terms with the new reality, you start grappling with the fact that the savings in your bank may not last you as long as you thought they would. Even if your pension payments amount to as much as a million dollars, your spending habits can drain your account fast. Before that happens and you are left at the mercy of handouts from your family, learn a few frugal retirement living tips for seniors. They will make your sunset years as comfortable as if you are still receiving a salary.

  • Downsize

At 30 years, that five-bedroom house was a good idea as you planned to have lots of children. Now that they are all grown up and have left the nest, it is time to move into a smaller house. That way if you are renting, the rent will be much less. Still, even if you own the home, the cost of maintaining it will reduce. Additionally, you can sell the excess stuff that you have accumulated over the years for extra cash.

Moreover, you might have bought two cars; one for your partner to make reporting to work in different parts of town easier. However, as retirees, you will probably be spending most of the time together, so one vehicle makes sense. You can, therefore, sell the extra car to reduce the cost of insurance payments.

  • Look out for discounts

Just because you have retired, it does not mean you have to live cheaply. Instead, you can get high-quality services and products at pocket-friendly prices. If you are adventurous and have been saving for a trip in your old age, then take advantage of off-peak discounts and travel to that much-anticipated destination. That way, you will get to travel without draining your savings.

Further, you can still celebrate your love with your loved one without breaking the bank. Hotels are always giving offers to customers for tasty meals so you can have that dinner date you have been postponing for weeks. Besides, most stores offer senior discounts, and unless you ask, you will not know. Therefore as you go out shopping for everyday items, ask about any senior discounts available.

  • Eat meals at home often

Dining out may seem like a lovely idea when that lobster looks delicious from the window as you pass by your favorite restaurant. Unfortunately, it will cost you heavily, especially if you make it a habit of eating out. Enjoy home-cooked meals and when you go to the grocery store, shop for products that are on sale. Also, buy items that you need in moderate quantities, and when you cook, serve what you can comfortably eat to avoid waste.

  • Take advantage of free leisure activities

You might wonder how to fill the free time because as much as you enjoy watching television, cable TV can be expensive unless you get the basic package. Besides, staying indoors is not an option since you need to stretch your legs and socialize. As such, you can visit your local art galleries and museums. Not only will you learn and probably make new friends, but best of all is that they are free leisure activities.

  • Reduce health-related expenses

Your health in retirement is going to be quite an issue since your risk of falling ill increases. Whether you are on Medicare or Medicaid, if you are planning on having elective surgery, then it may not cover the cost. Therefore plan on having such operations after meeting your annual deductible. Moreover, with free medical checkups being offered once in a while, take advantage of such screenings for preventative measures.

Jane Byrne from FirstCare Kildare points out that as a patient ages, medical check ups are essentially being done regularly. This is not only to secure that the patient’s health is in tip top shape but also help inform the caregiver on how to properly attend to them.

  • Cut down on taxes

Taxes will reduce the amount of money for your expenditure. Therefore if you can avoid them, your savings will last longer. The property you have accumulated can result in high taxes; so if the state you live in allows for seniors to freeze their property, do so. All you need is to apply for this option, and it will cushion you from any tax increments.

  • Schedule your withdrawals

You might be tempted to withdraw all your pension as a lump sum, but that will only increase the chances of spending it all. Therefore, do not keep lots of cash in hand. Instead, arrange with your bank to be sending you to check once a month to enable you also track your taxes.

Retiring does not have to be a painful process in which you deny yourself all the things you were used to in your working days. With these frugal living tips, you can have the best of everything without spending too much money or becoming a burden to your children.

Tips for Improving Your Memory

Written by Stephanie James

You might start forgetting things as you grow older. It can be very frustrating because it reduces your level of productivity during the day. Fortunately, it is possible to change your situation.

With the brain’s neural plasticity and synaptic pruning, you may strengthen the necessary neural connections. This means that you can improve your cognitive skills and memory even as you age.

Below are natural and simple ways that you can use to do it.

Practice Mindfulness Meditation

Meditation comes with extensive benefits that include enhancing one’s memory. Whenever you meditate, your brain’s cerebral cortex thickens because blood flow to the region increases. Consequently, it improves your learning and concentration abilities; enabling you to remember important things more often.

For starters, here are some meditation tips that can help you get better at it:

  • Create time to meditate
  • Find a calm meditation space
  • Close your eyes and detach from your thoughts
  • Make it a routine

Make Time for Exercise

Physical activities are essential not only for maintaining a healthy body weight but also for your mental health. Exercising increases the amount of oxygen in your brain and strengthens the effects of useful brain chemicals like acetylcholine. It also facilitates neuroplasticity. Therefore, heading to the gym more often or jogging in the morning can help to improve your memory.

The following are some efficient ways to make sure that you don’t skip your physical exercise:

  • Always drink water to stay hydrated
  • Exercise whenever you feel ready
  • Look for an exercising partner or trainer
  • Set your fitness goals

Cut Back on Alcohol

Minimizing the amount of alcohol that you drink can improve your memory. Research shows that drinking a lot of it comes with neurotoxic effects on your brain. It might even destroy the hippocampus; the brain’s part that is involved in learning and creating new memories. Therefore, refrain from excessive alcohol consumption to maintain a healthy brain and prevent forgetfulness.

Are you looking for ways to avoid going to your favorite bar every day? Here are some basics:

  • Keep yourself busy whenever the urge to drink kicks in
  • Stop keeping alcohol in your room/house
  • Avoid friends who encourage you to drink
  • Set a limit on the amount of alcohol you consume weekly

Get on a Regular Sleep Schedule

Getting adequate sleep is also a practical tip for improving your memory. It allows for memory consolidation. Hence, your short-term memories become stronger, and you can remember them for long. People who don’t sleep well have poor memories. To avoid being one of them, you can:

  • Try to have consistent sleeping and waking times
  • Avoid consuming a lot of caffeine especially later in the day
  • Stop having long daytime naps
  • Refrain from eating late at night
  • Shower before you sleep

Eat More Fruit; Berries are Highly Recommended

According to a study done by Harvard researchers, eating blueberries and strawberries prevents memory loss that comes with aging. A blueberry is rich in flavonoids which strengthen your brain pathways. They have even been recommended for people living with Alzheimer’s disease and those who want to lower their risk of dementia.

Be Mindful of the Level of Sugar Intake

Poor memory has been associated with taking a lot of sugary foods. Eating a lot of sugar is known to worsen conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. This is because it reduces your brain volume; lowering your capability to store short-term memories. To boost your memory, avoid taking foods and drinks with a great deal of sugar.

Regardless of your age, it’s always a good idea to get ahead of memory loss and work on ways to improve it! Don’t remember what you had for breakfast yesterday? The tips that we have provided above can help your memory improve and ultimately improve multiple areas of your life.