Many of us have been told we should set smart goals, write them down with the date to achieve them, and we can achieve everything we want. Studies provide some evidence for the value of writing down goals to achieve them, but there’s so much more.
When people in retirement homes were asked about their regrets, it was less about the things they did, but ‘the things they didn’t do—never learning to salsa dance, never travelling the world, or never learning to play a musical instrument, for example’.
Some in the retirement field talk about the ‘longevity risk’ in retirement. Usually, it’s a reference to finance and is about having enough money to last the whole of life. But there are other ‘spans’ that are also important.
We can create our own story in retirement. It’s good to learn from others and their experience. It’s worth reading up on options. And it’s worth checking and understanding trends. But we need to live out our own story.
There’s a trend among the middle-aged to focus on work and income at the expense of their personal wellbeing. It’s often done with the hope that they can work on wellbeing later—in retirement, perhaps.
‘Live your life while you’ve got it.’ It’s a warning for any who wait for retirement when they hope they can pull their life together. But there are no guarantees that it will come to be. Tomorrow may bring trauma.
One good question for those heading toward retirement is: Is it possible to delay ageing? Psychologist Julian Melgosa, in Enjoy Life, suggests there is and he lists six ways that he believes will help in this quest.
The message of ‘clean eating’ seems to be everywhere these days, with healthy eating defined as choosing ‘unprocessed’, ‘natural’ and even ‘organic’ foods. But will shopping the organic aisle of your supermarket or health food shop really make a difference to your health?
Creating a product from something you’re passionate about is what many entrepreneurs do. Whether it’s making or baking items, writing or inventing something, there’s a lot we can do with our hobbies in retirement or for a second career.
In her book The Artist’s Way for Retirement, Julia Cameron lists what she calls the common problems facing the newly retired. Her list is broad-ranging. It includes: ‘too much time, lack of structure, a sense that our physical surroundings suddenly appear outdated, excitement about the future coupled with a palpable fear of the unknown.’