Is Retirement an Option? – Day 273

March 3, 2011 No Comments

 

365 Days to a Balanced Life Journey – Day 273

 

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“There is nothing wrong with retirement as long as long as it doesn’t interfere with one’s work” – Benjamin Franklin

I wrote the other day about aging well.  I continue to explore ideas around this in order to help me transition from my youth to my more mature years (you can never plan too far ahead).  :)  In her book You Could Live a Long Time are you Ready?, Lyndsay Green talks about the importance of continuing to work as long as you can as well as starting to volunteer before retirement.  Many elders say you should work for as long as your health lets you.

I made the mistake of retiring way too young at the age of 46.  In the beginning I was grateful for the rest from my hectic business life and was enjoying staying home and being mom (and recovering from Business Burnout).  I guess some people would say I didn’t actually retire but switched jobs but that is not how it felt to me.  Having worked since I was 15 years old and being the typical Type A personality, my work defined me so when it was suddenly over- even though it was my choice – I felt like I was drifting.  And drift I did for almost 9 years.

It is my experience that too much time on your hands leads to being lazy, self absorbed and depressed.  You very quickly start to lose focus and muscle tone in your brain.  I tried volunteering but did not know that I needed to adjust my mindset when becoming a volunteer.   My experiences were fairly frustrating, unpleasant and stressful.  I can get that at home with my teenagers.  Who knew that you had to actually learn to be a volunteer?   Apparently you must develop volunteering skills and a resume to get the best jobs!!

 

Most seniors will agree that they get most of their enjoyment from continuing to work and from their many civic activities.  It is important to continue to feel useful and keep your mind and body active because when you stop the aging process accelerates. 
 
There is an added bonus to volunteering.  The friendships that you develop now will keep you from being lonely as you enter your elder years.  You must plant the seeds now to reap the rewards later.
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