Retirement – A Pause Before Your Next Adventure

Baby boomers are rewriting the rules of retirement. Few envision living a second act mirroring that of their parents. While mom and dad were satisfied with more time on the links and taking life easy, this generation has something different in mind. They will always make time to relax but that is not the main ingredient in their recipe for a fulfilling retirement.

Most of us first entering retirement initially focus on decompressing. After a stressful often times all-consuming career it is important to take a break. No one can run at 110 percent all the time. Our bodies and minds do better when given time to recharge.

Catch your breath. Take time to reflect upon a career spanning decades. It’s likely you have identified certain things you never want to do again. You now know better what motivates you, what gets you exited and ready to rumble. You may have discovered interests you never knew we had, perhaps a hidden passion or two waiting to be explored. Each career is a continuing education, a journey that comes to an official end with retirement. Or does it?

After reclaiming a certain life balance more and more boomers are looking ahead. What do I want to do next? Baby boomers are taking time to be introspective, to examine the life they have lived and imagine what could be. Retirement affords an opportunity to reset, to research and then embark on any of a myriad of possible new adventures. For the able bodied and mentally active retirement is far from the final destination.

Some open their new chapter with a part time job or second career doing what they genuinely care about. If money is not the main issue a new gig can be something they love perhaps similar to my working part time at a wine tasting room. The more adventurous may go so far as to start their own business utilizing skills learned during their career or even something all-together unrelated.

Not all will answer the “what do I do next” with a job. The beauty of this time in our lives is when it comes to how we choose to channel our energies we do not have to follow any script. We can be creative. We can paint outside the lines. We can satisfy our curiosity and try multiple things. We can do what we want with our time. Once the job you have to do is behind you are free to explore or create the “job” you want to do.

When I first retired (unplanned as it was) I was a bit nervous. Without the job, I was not sure what meaningful activities I would engage in. After the initial shock wore off I began to consider my options. I looked into those areas that had interested me in days gone by. Eventually I figured out a routine that occupied the hours and left me feeling somewhat satisfied at the end of the day. But something was missing – there had to be more.

Finding a part time job doing something I enjoy was the perfect solution. Not too many hours, no stress, working with people I like, learning about something I have always been interested in and engaging with happy folk typically vacationing or just celebrating life. I look forward to my next shift – a feeling long missing from those years spent navigating my career.

Retirement is only the beginning. Rather than view it as the end of the show it might be better seen as an encore. There will never be a more perfect time to uncover your particular interest/passion/dream and go for it. There is so much more to do and to be and retirement offers the freedom to explore. Rather than call it quits baby boomers are making their second act a finale worthy of applause.

LoveBeingRetired.com

Retirement Advice I Would Give the Twenty Year Old Me

If I only knew then what I know now. Way back when I was 20 thoughts of retirement never crossed my mind. There were plenty other distractions. I could not even imagine being retirement age. But funny thing – here I am.

I have learned a thing or two over the years whether through my personal experience or those of friends and family. If I could share with the 20-year-old-Dave any words of wisdom to prepare for the road ahead, it would go something like this:

Prepare for the non-financial side of retirement

Everyone knows it is critical to save enough to subsidize the retirement lifestyle you hope to live. But too few consider the importance of preparing beyond finances. What will you do to find meaning in your day? Who will you become once you are no longer defined by the person you were on the job? How does your spouse envision retirement? It is too easy to waltz into retirement without preparing for the coming 10 or 20 or more years ahead. Without genuine preparation you risk boredom and dissatisfaction during a time of life that should be anything but.

Hands off retirement savings accounts

Over my 30 year career I moved from job to job quite a bit. One consequence was repeatedly facing the option to cash out 401k accounts. In most cases the temptation proved too great. Too often I withdrew the funds, paid the 10% additional tax fine and had money to do as I wanted. The only good thing is I did not use the money to splurge but rather to pay off bills that had accumulated. Still I sacrificed potential growth over multiple years that could have added to my ultimate retirement nest egg. “Leave it alone and let I grow” would be my suggestion to the younger me.

Don’t count on staying at the same company

In my career as a sales manager focused on start-up companies there was not much latitude when it came to hitting target goals. If quota was not achieved, no matter how unreasonable or inflated the number, your job was on the line. I had a pretty good batting average over all but there were times when missing a quarterly target cost my job.

Message to younger self: be prepared to work at many different companies over your working years. The days of spending an entire career at one place are gone.

Understand the financial realities of retirement

Retirement will not be cheap. According to Fidelity healthcare costs for the average couple retiring in 2016 will ring in at $260,000. Healthcare insurance rates are sky rocketing with double digit yearly increases becoming the accepted norm. Everything is getting more expensive while your income remains fixed.

No one knows what unplanned health event their future may hold. My parents experienced this recently when my dad had a stroke. Initial hospital charges were huge and the bills keep coming. Thankfully they have a Medigap plan which helps pay healthcare costs not covered by Medicare including co-payments and deductibles.

In retirement you want to do those things you have dreamed of. Realizing those dreams will generally not be cheap either. When budgeting don’t forget to account for those things you have been waiting all your life to do.

Note to 20-year-self: put those dollars aside now so you can do all you dream of when you finally have the time to do it.

Getting retirement right takes practice

Since this will be our first time at it, none of us has any real experience being retired. It is possible you may not get everything exactly right from the get go. Be prepared to be dynamic, to go with the flow. Make changes where necessary, try new things, and don’t be too hard on yourself. There is no deadline to get everything right. So long as you continue to learn as you go you are making progress.

Keep exercising

When I was around twenty I began a life-long commitment to good health setting aside time for regular exercise and attempting to eat a decent diet. I would remind the younger me that good habits now will continue to be good habits later in life. Exercise is an important part of any happy retirement. Keep weight training for muscle and bone strength. Continue yoga and stretching for balance and flexibility. Get some cardio to keep the heart healthy. And don’t neglect exercise for your brain one very important “muscle” to keep in shape. The retirement journey will be that much more enjoyable when you are healthy in mind and body.

It might have been helpful to hear these words of wisdom when I was younger. But I cannot complain. I am retired with my wonderful wife in a beautiful part of the world. We are healthy and happy. And I just started a part time job pouring wine at a wonderful little winery walking distance from where we live. All in all, retirement has turned out a-okay for us.

LoveBeingRetired.com

Beyond 2017: Medical Technology for Seniors

Written by Sally Perkins

In recent years medical technology has been advancing at a swift speed and fortunately it has not left the seniors amongst us behind. In this digital age there are in fact a variety of technological medical devices available to seniors that many people are not even aware of.

According to Laurie M. Orlov, a technology industry veteran, writer, speaker and elder care advocate, ‘Aging in Place’ is the ability to live in one’s own home – wherever that might be – for as long, as confidently and as comfortably as possible. This livability can be extended through the incorporation of universal principles, telecare and other assistive medical technologies. In addition to renowned services like Life Alert and surgical advancements such as spinal fusions using titanium wire, there is a wide selection of ingenious products available to seniors to make their day-to-day lives easier, healthier and happier.

Popular Medical Advancements For Seniors

Let us take a moment to step away from the cold and clinical medical advances and have a look at the creative and innovative medical devices available to aid the elderly in the comfort of their own homes.

Here are 6 stand-out medical products that seniors and their families should be using today:

TabSafe

The TabSafe device stores multiple days’ worth of pills ahead of time in rows of cartridges behind a secure container. These cartridges are each fit into modules that are electronically controlled by a timer that will remind the user every time he/she has to take one or more medications. By the simple press of a button the pills are dispensed out of the device. Each cartridge is able to dispense up to 13 medications per day. The best thing about TabSafe? It is protected by a PIN which allows you to control who has access to the medication.

BeClose Wellness Alarm

Have you ever wished that you could keep an eye on your elderly loved ones from afar? Well you can with the innovative technology of the Wellness Alarm. The system comes complete with motion detectors that can be placed around your loved one’s home in order to monitor their movement. This will enable you to check that they are mobile and not spending too much time in one area. The sensors report to an application on your smartphone and can track patterns to alert you of odd movements within the house and also whether someone enters or leaves the house at odd hours. The system can be integrated with electronic pendants to alert the authorities in case of break-in, fire or fall etc.

Bellman & Symfon Clock Pro

By revolutionizing the normal alarm clock, Bellman & Symfon have designed a lustrous device that is a perfect fit for a senior’s lifestyle. The capsule-like device sits on the nightstand or bookshelf and offers a large digital display for easy reading. The bright LED lights will also make it easy to navigate the bedroom at night thus minimizing bumps and falls. The alarm operates at over 100 decibels spanning various frequencies making it a must-have device for people with hearing problems. In addition to all of this the adapter allows the connection of a home phone, amplifying its ring across the premises.

Jawbone UP System

This device is similar to a Fitbit and tracks the movement and sleeping patterns of the wearer. It connects to a mobile app allowing the user/caregiver to input exercise, eating and hydration information pertaining to the wearer. Data will be compared to healthy patterns recommended by experts according to the wearer’s age group. The aim of the device is to help individuals make subtle lifestyle changes to best benefit the wearer in terms of comfort and health.

Life Alert

The original, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” device has been modified over the years to become compatible not only with home systems, but with smart mobile devices as well. The Life Alert system can be worn as either a wristband or a pendant that is connected to a receiver. With the simple push of a button, the system automatically speed-dials through the user’s phone carrier to alert the authorities and selected loved ones of any medical emergencies and home-related crises like fires.

Connect America

The Connect America system acts as a database that can be placed in a senior’s home. The computerized device will allow caregivers to input a lot of information pertaining to the patient. This information can range from birth dates, medical conditions, allergies, current medications being taken, and much more. As soon as an emergency occurs, the device can be accessed by EMTs to gather vital information on the patient and help them in taking appropriate courses of action regarding the patient. An added advantage is that it is mobile, and it can be used outside of the home.

When selecting medical technologies to assist you in retirement it is important to consider cost, usefulness and your abilities. New technologies are created just about every day to help seniors stay in touch, keep track of health and remain safe at home. Choose the ones that will be most beneficial to yourself or those you love!