How a Part Time Job Can Improve Retirement

Do you ever find yourself counting the days until you can retire? I remember times I hated what I was doing but had no choice but to persevere, take it on the chin, grin and bear it, you know the drill. The promise of a day when I would be free from my toils shined brightly in my mind. Oh to do what I wanted when I wanted, answering to no one, no longer just existing and calling it a life but instead really living. I looked forward to retiring.

And once I got there although a bit ahead of schedule it was good. I never missed work. I kept myself busy with hobbies – old and new. I exercised, gardened, read, played piano, blogged, and when the mood hit me napped.

Then one day all those activities and interests that had filled my days began to feel a bit less interesting. The nice routine that kept me occupied until just about happy hour each day began to feel a little old, boring even.

It’s not that my retirement was a failure, but more it needed a kick in the pants, a little fine tuning to be all it could be.

My salvation came when the owner of a nearby (like one mile away from home) winery called and asked if I would like to join them pouring their lovely Pinots and Chardonnays. Prior to “the call” my wife and I had been members of their wine club for about two years. We explored all of the local tasting rooms (how about 24 in a half-mile radius) and settled on Mercy as our favorite. Not only were the wines amazing but the owners and fellow wine club members were great – fun to spend time with and never a dull moment. These days I walk to “work” three days a week where for five hours I share wonderful wines with wonderful visitors from all over the world.

When I left the working world I had no plans of ever returning to work – not one, ever. Live free, stay free was the way I saw Dave experiencing his golden years.

But I realized I was not limited to doing the same thing I had during my career. There were many avenues to explore, many alternatives to what I had done. I can honestly say I never saw myself pouring wine at a tasting room. But now that I am here I love it.

My wife recently tested the retirement waters for the first time. She lasted about six months. Sure she enjoyed no commute and no job stress. But she quickly felt she was wasting her time. She likes to get things done, to feel productive. Her solution was to sign on with a temp agency. They find part time opportunities across a variety of local companies. My wife enjoys moving from place to place where she meets new people and gets to explore different roles. When one gig is done she is available for the next. Her only challenge is she is so good at what she does the companies want to hire her full time. Even if tempting, I remind her retirement is her top priority. We are in this together!

Some are blessed to find themselves immersed in a career they love. Imagine looking forward to each day on the job rather than dreading the harsh alarm clock ringing in another trip to the grind. For those who love what they do there are seldom thoughts of retirement. My folks worked with the same estate planner for the past 40 years. He genuinely loves what he does describing his role as helping others prepare for a more secure future. Staying current with the changes in laws and regulations keeps his mind sharp. Although he has reached “the right age” he has no plans to retire anytime soon. Why search for something to replace what you already love?

If you consider adding a part time job to your retirement here are a few takeaways from my personal experiences:

Be picky – this time you get to choose where you work. Make sure you are doing what you like.

If at first you don’t succeed… should your part time gig fall short of expectations you can always exit and try something else.

 Think outside the box – your retirement career does not have to be related to your earlier career. Take a look at everything out there. This time you get to follow your heart rather than your wallet.

Stay engaged – when you leave your job behind, you also leave the people you interacted with. I believe staying socially engaged is critical to a happy retirement. Good moments are even better when shared. And bad moments can feel less daunting with the support of others.

Set your own schedule – you’re not working full time so arrange things according to your wants and needs. I find Thursday/Saturday/Sunday works quite well.

Have fun – why else work if you don’t have to?

Part time work has been a wonderful addition to our retirement. We engage with people, learn new things, get out of the house and even make a few bucks. But our real job is being retired. That is the career we are committed to and happily pursue each day.

LoveBeingRetired.com

5 Ways to Improve Your Morning Routine

Written by Joe Fleming

Struggling to get ready in the morning? While getting older affords the freedoms of retirement, it also comes with its aches and pains that can make any morning routine a bit sluggish. If you’re looking for sure-fire ways to spice up your morning rituals and get going faster, don’t miss this essential guide:

Let the sunshine in

While listening to the song Aquarius may help you get a jump on the morning, this tip is a bit more literal. Natural sunlight exposure has been shown to serve as an environmental prod that triggers the body’s biological clock to get going. If you think about it, long before electricity existed, people’s wake and sleep cycles operated in accordance with the rising and setting of the sun. This evolutionary cue still plays a role today.

Open your blinds or curtains as soon as you wake up in the morning and let the sunshine in. Even step outside on your porch to breathe in fresh air and awaken your senses to the sights, smells, and sounds around you.

Simplify getting dressed

Common conditions like arthritis and even diabetes can make getting dressed in the morning a bit of a hassle – from fumbling with buttons to having to bend over to put on pants and shoes. Simplify this part of your morning routine with easy, inexpensive dressing aids. For example, a long-handled shoe horn can avoid causing back pain commonly associated with having to stoop and bend over to put on shoes.

You can also find dressing aids that help you pull up zippers, button shirts, put on pants, and more. Look at your local drugstore, supercenter, or big box store for the best options.

Drink water first

While tearing into the coffee may be your bulletproof way of yanking your eyes open in the morning, you might want to think first about consuming a more hydrating beverage, water. Drinking more water, in general, has not only been shown to kickstart your metabolism, but 1 to 2 glasses in the morning also helps to rehydrate the body after a night spent sleeping.

Healthy hydration in the morning can also aid digestion and stave off cravings for big breakfasts loaded with refined sugars and flours, notoriously unhealthy foods.

Listen to music

You may have heard about the powers music possesses in activating cognitive functions like memory, motor processing, and emotion. It could also be the key to boosting your own mood in the morning! Research has shown that music improves cheerfulness and alertness and induces feelings of relaxation.

If you are a morning grump, try putting together a playlist of songs you love – could be happy pop, old standards, or classical gems, it’s up to you! Don’t have a stereo or CD player? Use free music streaming services like Spotify or Pandora on your computer or smartphone to create playlists and listen to music you love.

Avoid bad late-night habits

Want to wake feeling more refreshed and energized in the morning? Turns out what you do and don’t do the night before can have a significant impact. Bad late-night habits that affect your quality and amount of sleep include:

  • Blue light exposure from devices like your smartphone or iPad
  • Drinking caffeine late in the day
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Sleeping on an unsupportive mattress and/or pillow

Your mornings are sure to change for the better as your sleep quality improves as well. Facilitate the best sleeping environment by avoiding the above bad habits as well as making sure your sleeping area is dark, cool, and relatively quiet. Aids like white noise machines help some people fall asleep or at least mask the outside sounds of urban environments. Take these simple steps and you’ll wake more well-rested and ready to start the day the following morning.

Plan Ahead

It goes without saying that a little forethought can go a long way. If you want to ramp up the steam in your morning engine, try planning ahead the night before. This can include everything from picking out the clothes you’re going to wear the next day, to getting your morning music playlist ready, and even sorting your morning medicines into a handy pill organizer.

Committing to a relatively fixed order of doing things can also benefit your health as you get older. A solid routine provides both structure to your day as well as a reliable sense of “what comes next.” If cognitive decline affects your memory or orientation, it will be helpful to have familiar routines and habits to fall back on.

Four Most Common Injuries in the Elderly and How to Prevent Them

Written by Joe Fleming

Every year, millions of seniors are sent to the emergency room. Of those millions, nearly 30 percent are there to be treated for some kind of injury.

While often necessary, these trips can be traumatic and often cause seniors a lot of extra stress. The first step to avoiding them is to understand the most common injuries that affect elderly adults.

Listed below are four injuries that often send seniors to the emergency room, along with tips on how to prevent them.

  1. Fractures

Fractures are highly common in seniors. One of the main reasons for this is the fact that seniors lose bone density as they age. This makes their bones more fragile and prone to fractures.

Fractures, especially hip fractures, are often the result of a fall. To prevent them, one of the first things you can do is invest in tools that reduce the risk of slipping and falling. Good ones to start with include:

  • Grab bars and handrails
  • A shower chair for the bathroom
  • Walkers and canes
  • Stair and porch lifts

To decrease the risk of fractures, it’s also important to make sure seniors are getting plenty of vitamin D and calcium. Seniors should exercise regularly to strengthen their bones and improve their balance, too, and also avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption (both of these weaken the bones).

  1. Wrist and Ankle Sprains

Many falls can result in wrist or ankle sprains. Over time, the tissues of the joints wear down in seniors and become less flexible, which increase their risk of a sprain. Wrist sprains are often caused when someone throws out their hand to catch themselves when they fall. Ankle sprains, on the other hand, can occur from falls and from simple actions like standing up out of a bed or chair.

Many of the precautions mentioned for preventing fractures are also applicable for preventing ankle and wrist sprains. Increasing consumption of vitamins and minerals(in the form of a multivitamin), as well as proteolytic enzymes, can help reduce inflammation and speed up the body’s healing process in the event that a sprain does occur.

  1. Head Trauma

Head trauma is another common injury among seniors. In fact, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) account for approximately 80,000 emergency room visits each year.

Falls cause most TBIs in seniors (about 50 percent). This is because an older adult’s reflexes are often slower and they often lack muscle strength. Both factors limit seniors’ ability to catch themselves when they fall and leave them vulnerable to trauma when their head hits the floor or another object like a cabinet or stair.

Car accidents are the second most common cause of TBIs, accounting for about nine percent.

One of the best ways to prevent head trauma in seniors is to get rid of clutter and objects like loose rugs that could serve as a tripping hazard. It’s especially important to get rid of these items near stairways and sharp-edged pieces of furniture.

Arranging transportation for seniors who are no longer competent drivers is also a good step to decrease their risk of sustaining a TBI while behind the wheel.

  1. Shoulder Dislocations

Shoulder dislocations can be caused by a number of issues, including falling on an outstretched arm, repetitive use from activities like tennis or golf, and overextending when reaching for an object. It’s also possible for seniors to sustain a shoulder dislocation when someone is pulling on their arm to help them stand up.

To prevent shoulder dislocations, seniors should work on improving the range of motion and mobility of their shoulder. They should also work to strengthen the muscles of the shoulder joint to help protect it from injuries.

Rearranging cabinets can be helpful, too, in preventing seniors from having to overexert themselves when reaching for objects. Caregivers should also exercise caution when helping seniors up to avoid accidental dislocations.

Wrapping Up

When it comes to keeping seniors safe and happy in their homes, injury prevention should be a top priority. Taking simple steps to improve stability and minimize accident risk can make a huge difference and give seniors (and their caregivers) peace of mind.