Revive Your Retirement

In the beginning entering retirement is a glorious adventure. How incredibly liberating it is to finally have time to do all you have wanted to. It feels wonderful to live at a pace you are comfortable with rather than one dictated by others. Days can be filled with activities you enjoy, hobbies you choose to revisit, and an endless variety of new things to explore. What could be better?

And yet some find sustaining a fulfilling fun retirement is not so easy. After a year or so spent catching up on travel dreams and reconnecting with friends and family and whittling down that to-do-list and taking a second look at hobbies of yore, that initial excitement can begin to wear off. What next? What do I do to find meaning in my days?

Keeping your retirement fresh and interesting is a full time job. You cannot laze your way through if you want to make the most of your second act.

Get a Job (you like)

I am not suggesting you jump back into the mad working fray you so recently escaped. Rather, imagine a role you would enjoy at a company you respect doing something that brings a smile to your face. Such a place does exist – you just have to find it.

Create the blueprint of your perfect job. Figure out how many hours you would like to work. Factor in your commute or if possible avoid that time sink completely. Make a list of those things you do not want to do and avoid those situations. Reach out to your professional as well as personal network to share what you are looking for. As you know many jobs are never listed but rather filled by someone who knows someone.

Don’t settle for less than what you deserve. You have paid your dues. Those days of stress and struggle are behind. Take your time, consider your options, and do your diligence before you make your move. And remember if it does not work out you do not have to stick with it.

This time around don’t settle until you find a job you like/enjoy/look forward to.

Set Free the Creative You

Each of us is creative in his/her own way. It’s just some of us push that creativity down inside us rather than unleash it. Whether we resist expressing our talents because we are shy or afraid or lack confidence or are simply hiding, if we dig down it is there. Not all of us can be a Da Vinci or Hemingway but so what. You do not have to impress anyone.

The thing about creativity is it seeks an outlet. You can only deny your inner self so long. Write a book or a play or a short story or a poem. Compose a song. Paint a landscape. Start a garden. Remodel a room. Rehabilitate an old car. Try something new not because you have to but because you choose to.

Expand your Mind

Would you be interested in learning more about a topic that excites you? Going “back to school” when you retire is a whole new ballgame. Firstly with all the online offerings you don’t necessarily have to go to a classroom. This time around there will be no exams, no competition to be the best, no deadlines to deliver. You can work at a pace you choose. You “study” when you want to. And if you lose interest along the way you are free to move onto something new.

Retirees find themselves removed from the demanding world they knew, a positive in many ways. But without that routine requiring us to think and engage it is easy to lose your edge and find your senses dulled. Exercise that brain to stay on top of your game.

Be Wild and Crazy

Retirement offers a chance to step outside the box you have lived within all these years. No one is watching – do what you want. And even in someone is watching, so what! Dance in the street if the mood strikes you. Color your hair or your nails or your lips anyway you want. Sing, laugh, dance, enjoy – if not now, when? As a sage Forrest Gump might venture, “crazy is as crazy does.”

Record your story

Many are interested in understanding the people and places that constitute their personal history. Ancestry.com and other sites help dig up facts and faces to better understand where we came from. But the best source of accurate information for future generations is stored in our individual memories. No one knows better the minute details that make up the life we have lived. Who can more vividly paint a picture of the environment and times, the hopes and challenges, the happiness and tears than someone who has experienced them first hand. Imagine a descendant reading your story a hundred years from now, reliving those times that tie you together forever.

Our second act can be the best time of our lives. Revive your retirement by trying new things. None of us wants to miss out on a once in a lifetime opportunity when it comes our way.

LoveBeingRetired.com

5 Signs that You Need Senior Care

Written by Thomas Boyd

We, seniors, value independence above anything else, so much so that sometimes we find the prospect of asking for help intimidating. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help when you find even the most mundane tasks challenging. Realizing that you need help and coming to terms with that realization is the first step towards an easier life.

According to the Congressional Budget Office article published in 2013, as much as one-third of people aged over 65 need some form of assistance with daily activities. However, we are often reluctant to ask our closest ones for help, let alone accept it. You might not come to the realization that you need help until you begin to find even things like dressing, personal hygiene, shopping or cooking extremely difficult and tiresome.

Sooner than later you might start forgetting to take your pills, wish your family members a happy birthday, getting distracted in traffic and forgetting about your routines. Then you might find yourself distracted in traffic or while walking. That’s when you become a danger to yourself and others.

Admitting you need help can be difficult. But once you do, you’ll realize that you can live your life happily in your own home with a friendly face who’ll be there by your side to remember what you might forget. A lot of good caregiver services like A Better Way in Home Care can refer you to friendly, professional and most importantly compassionate aides.

In this article, we are going to list some situations that might indicate that you need a professional caregiver by your side.

You Have a Fear of Falling
Falling has always been considered one of the biggest risks of old age. In fact, falls result in more than 2.8 million injuries every year, with over 27,000 falls leading to a fatal outcome according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The fear of falling is usually an indication that something is wrong. But the fear can also have a negative effect on your balance and cause the fall itself. The fear can be caused by a traumatizing experience of a previous fall or just during an onset of anxiety. The fear can also develop as a natural reaction to a condition, such as any damage to our balance centers.

Therefore, it helps to have someone by your side watching you as you walk down the stairs or cross the street to go to the market. Whether your fear is irrational or not, having someone by your side just in case can help us regain the confidence.

You Often Feel Lonely
We are more prone to feeling lonely in a late age than any other period in life. A lot of seniors live alone, and 43% of seniors report a frequent feeling of loneliness. The worst part is that seniors who feel lonely are more likely to experience deteriorating health and die earlier.

Even worse is the fact that not everyone knows how to properly help someone coping with these feelings. Lonely people can be difficult to communicate with and get through, so even their family members may turn their back on them.

Fortunately, professional caregivers have enough patience and experience to communicate to a depressed person without pushing too far or giving up on communication. Caregivers can encourage depressed seniors to communicate more, regain contact with their family and are always there whenever you need someone to talk to and share your concerns with.

You Have a Hard Time Deciding on Mundane Things
There are many reasons why we might feel indecisive at a venerable age. The indecisiveness may not always be a result of dementia or other cognitive illnesses, it also stems from the fact that our years change our perception of risk. Ironically, that’s often what causes us to make the wrong decisions that can affect both us and our loved ones.

A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that even highly functional seniors tend to make wrong, often inconsistent and irrational decisions when pressed for time. These decisions are not only related to finances, they can extend to other aspects of life like driving skills.

You Stop Preparing Food and Experience a Weight Loss
We are more likely to experience lack of appetite than younger people. How often did you feel too tired to cook or go grocery shopping? This is more common in seniors than you realize. But a lack of appetite may also indicate a serious health condition, although this is not that frequent.

If you feel too tired to cook, perhaps you should consider hiring a helping hand. Proper nutrition is extremely important, especially at an older age and not getting enough nutrients can cause us to feel chronically weak and tired. Additionally, having someone to share the meal with can improve your appetite.

You Don’t Feel Like Leaving the Home
Do you feel like you suddenly lost the will to go out and socialize with friends or family? Do you catch yourself spending all of your time indoors, stuck to the TV or napping? Closely related to the feeling of loneliness, the lack of will to socialize can really impact our quality of life. This feeling is often associated with depression and is essentially no different than being locked away in a retirement home.


Whether you feel you can no longer drive or you fear to get out in the open, you need someone to help you overcome this obstacle and inspire you to socialize more. A caregiver can keep you company during a walk in the park, a stroll around the neighborhood or a visit to the local senior center for a round of cards.

7 Tips To Stay Healthy in Your Retirement

One essential element to a living a fulfilling fun retirement is good health. We all know as we age we begin to lose some of that youthful strength and stamina we took for granted not so many years ago. Little things can become challenging from ascending that oh-so-familiar flight of stairs to picking up a dropped set of keys. No one ever said getting old was easy.

The reality of aging is what it is but we need not surrender without a fight. To be the best we can during our second act we should get serious about doing those things that are part of a healthy lifestyle, starting now. Make sure you are healthy enough to exercise then get to it.

Cover all the bases

As we age staying healthy requires we address three important areas:

Cardio – we need to keep our heart healthy. When younger running was a great way to go and for many it still can be. But I know my knees appreciate my focus on less impactful alternatives. Walking is a great option – if you can throw in a few hills so much the better. Biking is another and if the roads scare you stationary pedaling is an option that works for me. Swimming is as low impact as you can get and still gets your heart pumping.

Strength – those of us over fifty need to maintain muscle and bone strength as we age. I have been lifting weights since I was in college and although the amounts are decreasing I continue my regimen twice a week. It might help to find a trainer at the local gym to help create a personalized routine. Make sure you learn how to do the exercise correctly or you may do more harm than good.

Flexibility and balance – older folk fear falling more than almost anything. Broken bones can quickly change your life for the worse. Work on improving your balance through things like yoga whether attending a class or watching videos. Try to fit in regular stretching to help stay limber. Pilates is an interesting combination of stretching and strength building you may enjoy.

Create a routine

I think it is safe to say most people do not enjoy exercising. Those hours of sweating and extra effort, constant struggles to avoid doing the wrong thing, turning down that so tasty looking dessert – all this for the greater good of living healthy. If it was easy everyone would be healthy.

Have a regular schedule and routine to help maintain your focus.

– Are you a morning or an evening person? Rather than fight your nature try to exercise when you are most in the mood.

– Are there particular days of the week when working out is challenging due to work or your schedule? Commit to those other days to get it done.

– Are you a procrastinator? If so do your best to get it done first thing so you can focus on what you would rather be doing.

Focus on living the right lifestyle not quick fixes

It seems every six months some new diet fad comes along. The particular diet du jour promises amazing results in no time at all – anyone can do it. Ranging from high fat to no fat, no carbs to just carbs, veggie only, meat only – it is easy to become confused. The problem all these programs have in common is they are short-term fixes only. Most of the recommended diets can be downright unhealthy if pursued long term.

If you want to control your weight and feel the best you can you need to live a lifestyle supporting those goals. Moderation is the mantra. Avoid too much of anything and focus on a little of everything. On the other hand a little splurge is not the end of the world. There is nothing wrong with occasionally treating yourself. My weakness is wine – nothing but empty calories but oh does a nice Pinot Noir taste glorious!

10,000 steps each day

I recently heard of a health-focused idea to target 10,000 steps each day. We each have different strides but for me that translates into about five miles. At first that sounded impossible but with a little effort I get pretty close to the daily marker. My doctor loves it and there is a feeling of accomplishment come days end having achieved my step goal.

Don’t look for the easy way

Rather than look for the path of least resistance why not try putting out a little extra effort? Walk to the post office rather than drive. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. While watching TV stretch or do some sit-ups or throw around a few weights. If you are waiting in line or traffic do some abdominal crunches or a few squats. If you maintain a focus on fitness you can find surprising ways to put dead time to good use.

Include variety to keep it interesting

Doing the same thing over and over tends to get old. If you hope to stick with your program of healthy living it helps to incorporate as many diverse activities as you can. Mix it up – try new things. There are plenty up and coming exercise/fitness programs to explore from barre to spin classes to jazzercise (is that still out there?) to circuit training. Find something you enjoy so you have the motivation to keep at it.

Don’t be too hard on yourself

There was a time when my chest stood out beyond my stomach. I used to be able to…(fill in the blank). I wish I could still… Comparing who you are today to who you were decades ago is not going to end well. Times have changed. You have changed.

It is not easy to face the reality that I am not physically the guy I was at 25 (heck 45!). Gravity sucks – literally. The years have taken a toll. But then I step back and realize I am not the first person to face this reality. Many have gone before me and survived similar challenges. They have learned to accept aging for what it is – just another chapter in the book of life.

Living a healthy lifestyle allows you to make the most of your retirement. You feel good and look good. You may not have the same stamina you once did but that is okay. It is important we accept some limitations that come with aging. On the other hand we have the power to influence those limitations by taking care of ourselves, body and mind. Enjoy the journey and stay healthy.

Written for Snider Advisors

LoveBeingRetired.com