Approaching Retirement

“Retirement has been a discovery of beauty for me. I never had the time before to notice the beauty of my grandkids, my wife, the tree outside my very own front door. And the beauty of time itself.” ~ Hartman Jule

Mea culpa. In yesterday’s post I mentioned taking a break. I poorly communicated my intention. What I meant was in that specific post (about phobias), I was going to depart from my blogging categories and posting style. Some of you were kind to wish me well on my ‘sabbatical’ which was not where I was heading. You can’t get rid of me that easily. ๐Ÿ™‚

A recent New York Times blog listed six benefits of aging and these are not exclusive to the negative stereotype of those in their 70’s and older:

  • Tranquility
  • The cooling of passion
  • Submission to what you cannot control
  • Willingness to be strong
  • Increased appreciation and gratitude
  • The love of family

How wonderful it is to become comfortable with ourselves and others.

Baby Boomers or “the sandwich generation” to some, are definitely reinventing retirement in response to the particular challenges faced as they simultaneously manage their own aging with taking care of their children and their parents. These are no small tasks and there is no ‘right’ way to retire. Everyone has to cut their own personal path and many of us are.

Perhaps surprising to some (many?), getting older actually has been proven to have its own set of health benefits. Researchers have found that:

  • Happiness improves with age. A recent study from the University of Warwick in England surveyed 10,000 people in the U.S. and Britain. The found that the more people aged, the highest levels of happiness with their lives was found in the older respondents. Researchers evaluated quality of life based on eight different mental and physical health factors.
  • Say goodbye to migraines. If you suffer from debilitating migraines, relief may be in sight. Migraines lessen with age according to the Headache Center in Atlanta. The study found that people who were older than 50 got “less acute migraine attacks” than their younger counterparts and symptoms as nausea and light sensitivity decreased with age.
  • Your brain works better. (This finding surprised me, too.) We all know forgetfulness is part of the territory with aging, but parts of the brain actually improve with age. The older you get the better you are to problem solve and understand arguments, according to Barbara Strauch in her well-researched book The Secret Life of the Grown-Up Brain. Strauch also found that judgment also improves with age, as does the ability to make financial decisions.

Don’t ever think you are too young to start thinking about aging and the effects it’ll have on your mind and body. The healthier you are now and the more positive your attitude is about moving toward retirement (because you are!), the healthier you’ll be then. Don’t let age affect the way you view yourself on either the inside or the outside.

22 thoughts on “Approaching Retirement

  1. Good morning my friend! Just read your encouraging words whilst savouring a coffee and admiring the most beautiful cloud formations and bright sunshine outside the bedroom window this morning!
    Regarding the thoughts on grandchildren …check! On the wife bit…check! That tree outside…again, check!
    And I am indeed feeling happy I have no migraine to complain of…but I would probably have to challenge your writers ‘brain’ theory? Trouble is I just can’t seem to remember why?

    For the last few days we have been told to prepare for the worse storm in years which was due to hit us at its height about now! I surveyed the damage to our garden this morning and to my horror this storm had blown away the lid to my ponds filter box! I am understandably devastated and shall be entering an insurance claim immediately.
    Weather forecasts are a bit like retirement I think…We expect one thing and when it comes, we are often pleasantly surprised!

    Now then I think another coffee’s in order. Phew …retirement eh?

    • Another coffee is almost always in order. ๐Ÿ™‚ Yes, I heard about your nasty storm. We just had our second “100 year flood” within six years in late July. There’s little we can do about the weather when Mother Nature has her own agenda. I’ve not listened to or read a weather forecast in years. I simply go with the flow (sometimes pun intended). I’m glad the post got you thinking. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I think one of the hardest things about aging, for women, is body image. I am becoming much more comfortable with my body, and this past summer I bought my first bikini in 15 years, despite the loss of my waist and the extra 20 pounds. I rocked it!

  3. Whew. Loved the bit about making better financial decisions as I am the one in charge of the money. As for better understanding arguments. I attribute that to no longer thinking in black and white. More of a grey for me. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Hope you find retirement (eventually) great. Paid work tends to circumscribe who we may be at least, for a huge hunk of life time. Easing into retirement, is turning the motor boat in a different direction to become even more of who you really are.

    • To your comment, ‘becoming even more of who we really are’ is clearly core to living a significant “Third Act.” I like your views and know that retirement (though still years away) is a life stage I look toward with optimism and great anticipation. Appreciate your reading and commenting, Jean.

  5. I totally agree, Only today I was discussing my retirement plans, LOL and thinking Positively just how much I will enjoy my days with hubby since he retired a year ago now ๐Ÿ™‚ And we are already planning our work in the allotments so plenty of exercise there ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • I trust you know there are many who would love to trade places with you. What a wonderful life stage you are at and heading into. Enjoy both the planning and being! ๐Ÿ™‚ And thank you for sharing your good fortune, Sue.

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