MAINTAINING A WINNING ATTITUDE IN RETIREMENT – PATH TO LIFE SUCCESS
Approach retirement as you would a new ‘business’, a new ‘career’, a new ‘job’, especially while you are getting the knack of it. The ground rules of this new job are radically different from what you have learned to expect from a conventional job. No one monitors your progress and no one accounts for your mistakes.
You write your own pay cheque!
Most of us are educated to regard as ‘rewarding’ and worthwhile only those activities that lead to monetary gain. There is more! To retire means to have earned the privilege and opportunity to discover rewards that simply can not be measured in dollars and cents. Your new mandate is personal-growth, self-expression, adventure, and the opportunity to stop and ‘smell the roses’!
Typically, people who derive the most enjoyment from retirement develop a broad-ranging inventory of stimulating activities. Any activity that proves consistently stimulating, that doesn’t exceed your capabilities, and that is not so demanding that it threatens your sense of esteem and accomplishment, should be incorporated into your repertoire of leisure pursuits, hobbies, and pasttimes. The notion that lawn bowling, bridge, shuffleboard and similar activities are lacklustre, unfulfilling activities is a gross distortion of reality!
The trick is to find a balance between activities that are long-range and activities that are short-range!
These are projects that require some serious investment of time and effort. They are pleasure-giving activities that give you something to continually look forward to. Long-range activities include events such as planning vacations, renovating or building an addition to your house, scouting for a vacation property, going on weekend trips and outings, and attending day-long or weekend ‘how-to’ seminars. These and similar long-range projects often entail considerable preparation and planning, giving your days a constant momentum. In addition to combating the dangers of boredom, they also offer opportunities to acquire knowledge, new skills, and the chance to make new social contacts.
Many seniors carry with them a calendar or notebook containing a list of various ‘rainy-day’ sorts of activities which, while they may not be as challenging or rewarding as large scale projects, do serve as excellent ways to spend time productively. Small household or car repairs, visiting friends or relatives, browsing in bookstores, visiting the gym or the local library, and collecting new recipes are all activities that can be taken up on any day when you might be at a loss for something to do. By getting into the habit of jotting down tasks or interests as they spring to mind, you will gradually develop a varied base of interests and will become a more well-rounded person in the process.
Remember: it’s always better to have too much to do than too little. You can always cut back on your schedule to suit your time and your real interests!
Money, to be sure, is an essential pre-condition for securing a satisfying life as a senior citizen. You will have to earn enough to support your lifestyle expectations. Whether or not the world will, in fact, become your oyster will depend on the strength of the financial plan you set in motion during your productive middle years.
Most retirees face an ironic dilemma. They don’t want to over save and find they have squirreled away too much money and therefore have to live out their lives less abundantly than they could have. On the other hand, they are reluctant to live beyond their means for fear of squandering their financial resources and being forced to live below accustomed standards. Worse, they may feel the teeth of poverty nipping at their heels.
The way around this dilemma is to clearly establish your present cash flow situation, understanding where your money is coming from, where it is going, and what you can do with it!
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