How To Avoid Retirement Burnout

It sounds hard to believe, but after the initial honeymoon period you may start to feel dissatisfied with your life in retirement. Twenty years is a long time to spend catching up on sleep and watching TV. And many people are unprepared to take on the responsibility of filling their days with more meaningful activities. While a suddenly blank calendar and no place you have to be often sounds great to overscheduled working people, it can also get boring or lonely if the absence of activities continues for an extended period of time. Without a reasonable amount of variety, challenge and newness, retirement could turn out to be far less enjoyable than you hoped for.

After working so hard to get there, it is important to stay active and engaged in retirement. Here are a few ideas to help you avoid retirement burnout:

Keep challenging yourself. No one wants to find themselves mired in a boring routine with nothing to look forward to. Although it may feel safe to remain within the familiar walls of home, it may also lead to boredom and laziness. You can avoid such a debacle if you try to keep challenging yourself. Experimenting and doing things for the first time helps keep life interesting and fresh. New experiences often require new skills, and developing those skills is an important way to stay sharp and on top of your game. Just because you may be less physically nimble does not mean you have to spend your retirement doing nothing. Do what you can safely manage, but keep doing something.

Stay engaged and building new relationships. Once you retire you will find yourself with more free time than ever before. You may choose to spend some of that time with friends and family. Relationships can be strengthened and new memories will be created with the people you engage with in retirement. In addition to renewing existing relationships thisCouple Holding Hands on Swing Set can be a chance to branch out and meet new people. Since your interests will likely change once you depart the working world, getting to know new people who share your new interests can keep things interesting. Whether you prefer one on one face time or a group gathering, a little variety in the people you interact with can help you avoid burnout.

Broaden your horizons. After six or more decades of living, some retirees may feel they have done it all. With little they have not yet experienced, they settle into a life of repeating what they know and are most comfortable with. But experiences you may have viewed as boring in the past could deserve a revisit. In my earlier life, I had no interest in opera. Then my wife took me to an Andrea Bocelli concert that changed my mind. Today it’s not uncommon to hear the soft lilt of an exquisite Italian tenor playing in our home. It never sounded interesting back when I was working full time, but now I have discovered an unexpected new passion. Whether it is music, sports, the theater or even dining out someplace new, retirement can be an excellent time to broaden your interests.

Do some good. The idea of doing something for others has always been interesting to me, but I never made time to do it during my frantic working days. I see retirement as the perfect opportunity to give something back to the community. During my second act, I will have the free time to contribute, and there is always a need.

Stay young at heart. Have you ever met someone who spends their life acting the way they feel rather than the age they are? Although wrinkled on the outside, some retirees maintain an exuberant carefree attitude far younger than their years. Often their zest for living exists in spite of physical limitations, but they choose to stay positive and enjoy life. A positive attitude can help you to better cope with the challenges that come with aging.

From my blog for US News & World

Why You Shouldn’t Wait To Retire

Many people use 65 as their target retirement age. At that age you can begin to receive Medicare to cover your healthcare needs. However, most people now need to wait until 66 or 67 to collect unreduced Social Security benefits. And if you decide to call it quits at 65 you can expect to enjoy 20 or more years of retirement.

Today’s 65-year-olds are largely healthy and likely to live longer than earlier generations. But that doesn’t mean they’re not starting to feel the wear and tear of an aging body and mind. And it is not going to get any easier. None of us will ever be any younger than we are today. Even if you don’t feel old yet, you are growing older with each passing day. As your body ages your options to explore and experience new things tends to become more limited. Older adults just cannot do all the things they used to.

The first challenge of retirement is the transition out of the workforce. People who find what they do interesting and inspiring may choose to stay on the job and continue doing it for as long as they can. Or they might try to shift to part-time work and gradually phase into retirement. For other people retirement is a time to finally get away from all Red umbrella in windowthe stresses of the workplace and move on to something new. When the sole motivation for working becomes the paycheck at the end of the week, the promise of days far removed from the stress of work is a welcome sanctuary.

The lure of retirement can be a strong one. The sooner you retire, the sooner you have the chance to live a life doing what you really want to do. Before you can undertake such a move, it is important to make realistic and sufficient financial preparations to provide for the lifestyle you want to maintain. But once you are comfortable financially, you can flip the switch and transition into your second act. Here are some examples of what your retired life could be:

  • While you are still relatively young you can undertake the adventurous journeys you contemplated but never had time for while working. If you are able to retire with your health and stamina intact, you will be able to travel to off the beaten path locales you have only seen on TV. Get ready to break out the atlas and start planning
  • You are now free to custom design the ideal day. You make the rules and get to decide what activity to engage in and how you spend your time. Finally, you are in control.
  • You can more fully enjoy time spent with grandchildren as you endeavor to tire them out before they tire you.
  • Prepare to revel in your new job as a full-time retiree, a role from which you can never be fired. Leaving work behind translates into no more meetings, reviews, work stress or struggle to climb the corporate ladder.
  • You have the opportunity to explore your creative side. Whether writing, music or painting, retirement affords you the time to dream and create.
  • Since it is no longer about the money, you daily endeavors do not need to generate cash. You don’t have to be productive every minute of every day unless you want to. Instead, you can do nothing for as long as you want and not feel guilty. You have earned it.

Not everyone is fortunate enough to have the opportunity to retire. Work will continue to be a part of everyday life for many people in their 60s. But for those who have their financial requirements in place, the thought of retirement and living the life you have dreamed about can be very tempting.

From my blog for US News & World

Are You Living a Good Retirement?

After long years spent working for a living and carefully building a future, when retirement finally arrives you sure don’t want to waste it. Whether you are someone who plans to busily pursue each new adventure or find yourself happy to take retirement one day at a time enjoying what comes at a more relaxed pace, commencing your second act can be a time of great expectation and optimism. Imagine finally having time to pursue those interests you were forced to deny during your busy work career. It can be a struggle to keep a smile from your face when you think of all you can do with your new found freedom and spare time.

However it is not uncommon to feel somewhat guilty with your newfound luxury to live as you choose. Not so long ago you were working just like the rest of the world. Is it fair for you to relax while others are still at it? Are you wasting time if at the end of the day you have nothing “productive” to show?

How do you know you are living a good retirement? Here are a few helpful ingredients:

First, you have sufficient interests, hobbies and passions to engage you on a regular basis so you do not find yourself bored. The day begins and you want to get out of bed to get to it. Sure you may move a bit more slowly but as long as you feel that drive to partake in what the day has to offer, you are headed in the right direction. Some find it important to pursue worthwhile endeavors, spending their time in meaningful ways that benefit themselves and those around them. They are forever in search of that next cause or situation where they may lend their knowhow and experience. Others are happy to commence at a more leisurely pace doing what they enjoy and want to do. The key is to find what is right for you and do it. Time moves quickly for those who always have something on their calendar. A busy engaged person is less likely to become bored with life and better able to make the most of retired living.

Second, your worries are for the most part a thing of the past. You have survived those stressful days spent struggling to raise a family, meeting financial obligations, climbing the career ladder, and worrying about the future. The future is now as you enter your retirement years. Take a moment to congratulate yourself on a job well done. Then happy couple arms spreadprepare to get on with the next stage of your life. Of course the thought that your second act will be entirely worry free is a fantasy. There will always be something to worry about! But realizing you have endured so much to get to this point should provide some peace of mind.

Thirdly, you are being good to yourself. No one knows better the importance of living a healthy lifestyle than those who are getting along in years. Those bad habits and indulgences we easily tolerated while younger take a greater toll as we age. A happy retirement includes a lifestyle that supports healthy activities and practices. You need not be an obsessive gym rat but regular workouts that help maintain strength and balanced will pay off in the long run. We all love a good meal but can enjoy fantastic cuisine that will not clog our arteries or drive heart rates into the stratosphere. And a slower pace may be just the ticket as we travel those trips we have looked forward to. The better we are to ourselves the better equipped we will be to enjoy each undertaking.

The fourth sign you are living a good retirement is when you are engaging in life rather than watching from the sidelines. With increasing aches and pains and the challenges to do basic things, it may feel easy and safer to just stay home. After all, you know the environment, there are few unexpected surprises, and you probably have your favorite seat in front of the TV. But sitcoms and reality TV are poor substitutes for interaction with real people. Travel shows fall far short of the experience of wandering among real people and societies, smelling the food and feeling the atmosphere that makes each place unique in its own way. Becoming an active part of the world around can provide that satisfaction that few virtual experiences can come close to.

Finally, when you look at yourself in the mirror, are you the type of person that others like to be around? Are you the type of person that YOU would like to be around? We are for the most part social animals. We find satisfaction in spending time with others, family and friends, neighbors and co-workers. We want to share our life experience. Think about those you enjoy being around. What is it about them that draws you near? Why is it that when they crack a joke, even a feeble one, you cannot help yourself from joining in the laugh? If you are one of those people that others want to be around, it is likely your retirement will be filled with many moments that give you pleasure. Isn’t that what a good retirement is all about?