New Retirement Paradigm
Life's an Adventure
By Marion Somers, PhD
I often tell my clients, “Life's an adventure and you only go around once, so you better make the most of it.” The great news is that more and more of them are taking my advice! It used to be that most people who retired instantly became less mentally, physically, and socially active. If someone retired at 65, there usually wasn't much more than a decade left before life was over. But nowadays, many retirees have two or three decades ahead of them to enjoy life.
Retirement used to focus on a life of leisure. Few retirees went on to learn more, to grow. Now I highly recommend this as a goal in retirement. Retirement is now about living life to the fullest and enjoying a rich experience. If your elder is wise, he or she will take up a new hobby. Traveling is very exciting at first, but after a while it becomes physically difficult. It is even possible to run out of places to visit. Many elderly become less physically able to do some activities, but there are always new skills and crafts to learn that are less taxing. It is also good for the elderly to make new friends to spend their newfound free time with.
Your elder could consider learning more about the computer or volunteering his or her time in a hospital or as a docent in a museum. He or she could also teach a child about any expertise they have such as business, reading, cooking, drawing, math, or writing. He or she could buy a telescope and learn about astronomy, or collect stamps and/or coins. The key is to learn and expand horizons. Encourage your elder to share his or her life with other people. They could give more time to family and friends now that work pursuits are over. He or she could join a club where members have common interests, or even join a club that's totally foreign so it sparks the intellect and imagination.
A version of this blog appeared on Dr. Marion's Web Site.
Published July 9, 2012