Retirement Is the New Beginning

by Emily on December 5th, 2016

In life most people will work until they get to start over in that next phase of life … retirement.

Retirement

That word. Retirement. #Badword. It somehow evokes old people with gray hair on a slow stroll through the park while barely managing a cane or old folks riding shotgun in a golf cart. Or it’s your grandparents coming to visit for the holidays, always dressed in print polyester knits carrying a fruit cake that no one wants.

Stop the presses! There is no way that is your retirement. Things are very different now. One thing is for sure, the age when you do retire creeps up on you and catches you by surprise if you’re not on your toes. Just like everything else in life, things come fast – in lightning speed – and you have to be prepared.

According to the article “How To Absolutely, Positively Make Retirement The Beginning Of Life — And Not The End!” by Ernie Zelinski at Selfgrowth.com, being prepared for retirement financially and psychologically is key. “The degree to which you plan beforehand how you are going to spend the bulk of your free time will determine how much fulfillment you experience in retirement,” Zelinski wrote. Instead of just arriving there, make sure you have a plan, and be realistic. “Clearly, a life which is empty of purpose until 65 will not suddenly become filled on retirement.”

Surely retirement means different things to different people. Especially these days, retirement for many is the step people take into a new beginning. Things you didn’t get to do before because you worked a 9-5 can now happen. The career you always wanted but couldn’t have because you had to pay bills and help fund your children’s education is now within reach. Volunteering for that charity you always wanted to do but never could find the time is now doable. More time spent with family and friends is now available. Travel for pleasure may not just be a dream anymore. It also means continuing to keep your mind and body active. And there’s so much more.

There’s Health Benefits, Too!

Apparently the health benefits in retirement may outweigh those during the working years.
From the article “Retirement is good for you, says German study” at The Guardian,
Peter Eibich, an economist at the Health Economics Research Centre, Oxford, studied data on German retirees taken from the country’s Socioeconomic Panel Study, which “concluded that retirement improves people’s health because they take more exercise, sleep longer and have more time to recover from work-related strain.”

Eibich’s research covers 1994 to 2012 and found that retirees:

  • Typically rate their mental and physical health satisfactory or more than working people
  • Make less visits to their doctor
  • Are able to sleep 40 minutes more per day
  • Are 10 percent likelier to exercise frequently

Accordingly, Eibich found that retirees spent more time being more active in general, leading to better health overall, while they also spend more time on hobbies as well as “running errands and caring for grandchildren.”

Just remember it’s not the end. It’s a new beginning, and it really is what you make of it. How will you take on your retirement? Take charge and make it the best it can be.

 

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