Saturday, July 29, 2017

Planning for retirement is important

On this last Sunday in July, I reflected on an interesting article I read by Linda Alessi, on planning for retirement. She made the point that many of us leave retirement to chance. We don’t plan, for it. I know I was in that mind set. I just retired, realized I was not ready and went back to work, part time for six more years before I fully retired. However, many of my friends planned for retirement and when it came they were prepared. Unfortunately, many do not use any method of planning when it comes to retirement. We just leave it to chance. The preparation is not always thought necessary. Upon reflection of how I handled my retirement I believe planning is very important when considering this next phase of your life.

We are in the last episodes of our lives. Behind us we have lived and experienced growth, maturity and hopefully security. If, in fact, we have come to this time in reasonably good health, here is the opportunity to do some things we have put off until retirement. This means we should continue to enjoy life along the way, in all stages, but we should make time to cultivate more interests that we can start when we retire.

Men have worked most of their adult lives and we dream about when we retire. We dream about having more leisure time to play golf, go fishing find hobbies. These activities should not put off until retirement if they can do today. Sometimes retirement comes, and there is no time left to enjoy life. Leisure time does not mean to become stagnant or inactive or a recluse. This time for many is a period of self-evaluation and exploration.

Women have worked most of their lives holding down jobs and careers while carrying most of the load and the responsibilities of keeping a household, raising children and helping to her partner

This new era of retirement brings an unfamiliar setting with time available and a sense of new freedom.  They also need to prepare. It is easy to become lethargic and bored with much of our role, as it diminishes through the years. When changes occur and our lives are altered, it is more difficult without having some resource to turn to and embrace.

There has been adjustment through all stages of our lives.  Most of the time we come through with ease.  When people find themselves alone, either through the loss of a mate or a change in their personal status, the adjustment may be traumatic and takes some time.

I feel I am most fortunate as I have sought out many interests that have sustained me. After initially failing retirement, I have gone to “the well” for refreshment. The days of responsibility for the family have lessened. Although I am loved and love my children, they have received the tools to become their own person and have made lives for themselves following their own particular dreams. They are successful human beings involved with life and people and take an active part in living their chosen lives.

The refreshment I speak of relates to the ability to be able to do some of the things I had dreamed about for many years. To be able to give time in service to the community gives me s sense of fulfillment. To be able to sit at my computer and put on paper my thoughts and experiences is a labor I truly enjoy. I truly feel lucky to have come to this stage of my life with its peaks and valleys and still maintain a desire to be inquisitive and involved with the world around me.

I believe it is necessary to be interested in where you are and who you are in every stage of your life. It is healthy and certainly helps to maintain a relationship with your peers. Most of us need to connect to others at some time; others need to be connected all the time, as I do in my time.

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