Retirees have a higher sense of wellbeing compared to the general population. That’s the finding of the latest Australian Unity Wellbeing Index survey checking on Australian’s satisfaction with their lives.
Not everyone is happy in their retirement, that’s the message from an ABC Radio National program talking to individuals about their retirement. There are lessons to be learned from their experience for both retirees and those preparing for retirement.
Laughter is good for us. It has been suggested that adults only laugh 12-15 times a day while children laugh from 200 to 400 times. The message for those of us in the retirement zone (preparing for or in retirement) is: laugh more.
Various studies around the world show that loneliness and social isolation are becoming serious problems. The statistics in Australia—sometimes called the ‘Lucky Country’—should give us pause.
Regular writing—including creative writing—tends to follow logic, a certain theme and has a beginning and end. Poetry is different. Only you can create the poetry of your retirement because you are distinctly you.
Living a life with meaning is more important than pursuing happiness. That’s the conclusion of Emily Esfahani Smith, author of The Power of Meaning. She says, ‘So many of the people that I know and admire aren’t focused on pursuing their own personal happiness. They’re focused on leading meaningful lives and what they can do for others.’
Yes, your brain is communicating to you all the time, but the problem is that you control your brain’s thinking. So, how can your brain tell you anything?
Work plays a huge role in our daily life, and the loss of the ‘substance and challenge of work’; the relationship with colleagues; the place to go to work; and the daily routines can ‘leave a gaping hole, causing people to wonder, with so much new-found spare time, whether they matter anymore’.
Does stress, sadness or anger drive you to reach for the cookie jar? Do you turn to food for comfort or when you’re feeling bored? It’s common and very much a human behaviour.
We need to matter in retirement. Knowing the problem before retirement means we can work on it before we get there, either by working on things that will continue to help us matter in retirement, or having a plan to make sure we will matter then.