What will you do?

Apologies

First – apologies for the lack of updates the past couple of Fridays. I was on a retirement test (vacation) and did not complete the weekly updates.

Activities

Ahhh, the dream of leaving the workforce. No more mandated schedule and your time will be your own! Does that leave you exhilarated, scared, excited, or confused, or even all of the above? I am personally in the all of the above category.

In my current state of still working full time, I go to work five days a week where I get:
-playgroup (meetings!)
-snack (breakfast and lunch)
-assemblies (all company meetings)
-individual work time.
I actually get paid to go and have organized activities, although not necessarily of my choosing. Once you are retired, the organization of your day and activities is up to you, and if you do not plan, it may be day after day of daytime TV.

Avoid the void

And there’s the retirement surprise we want to avoid – the retirement activity and social void. You and I need plans for what we want to do and, in some cases, we’ll switch from being paid for your days to paying for our days. As an example, if we want to go to an assembly (perhaps a movie in a theatre) after retirement, we could end up paying for a ticket. An article on CNN Money cited research that noted, “… a 2013 paper by researchers at the University of Exeter Medical School that reviewed numerous studies on the relationship between volunteering and health concluded that volunteers had a lower risk of mortality than non-volunteers, were less likely to feel depressed and had an increased sense of well-being.” Having a plan means you’ll be doing things and doing things will make for a happier, and likely longer, life.  You might drink Coke, because ‘things’ go better with Coke… (perhaps I’ll take up stand-up comedy in retirement!)

Realism

One company I worked for had a policy of ‘realistic previews’ for people entering certain job categories. They had the job candidates complete tasks that were both challenging and related to the work they hoped to be doing. Candidates quickly found that they were suited for the job or that this was not for them. Consider trying the same for retirement. Perhaps you have always planned to make furniture when you retired. If you’ve never made furniture before, perhaps consider some ‘realistic preview’ way of finding out that it is or is not a viable alternative prior to getting a bad retirement surprise.

Maybe you dream of sleeping in until 10:00 AM daily. Not a problem if that’s your dream, but consider trying it next vacation to see if you can sleep that long and to determine how the rest of your schedule might fit with your late sleeping.

What is important to you? Travel, volunteering, kids, grandkids? Put those in the plan. Also, don’t forget to check out the senior discounts for assemblies!

Actions you can take

Actions you can take include:
-Put together a general retirement activity plan that might cover the routine activities for every month. It might include volunteering, grandchild care, movies, lunches with fellow retirees (they don’t happen if someone does not plan them!).  What does a ‘normal’ retirement month look like for you?
-Look at the activities of your retired friends – which ones would you like to use as positive role models and which ones are models for what you don’t want.
-Remember you need your health – do you need to be exercising more and eating less? Should you be more blood pressure medication compliant?
Look for the next update on Friday, September 1 at 12:30 PM.

Questions, comments, or suggestions for retirement surprise areas you want to know more about?

-Leave a comment
-Use ‘Contact’, above, to send an email.

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