Retirement Plan Needed: Ask retired people

Direct research through our recent Focus Group discussion provided first-hand information for retirement preparation.  Not the financial part; the what will I do all day part.

Focus group, discussing how to stay positive in retirement.
Shirley, Maura and Jacquie at Focus Group Discussion.

Research includes our own experiences working with seniors in our careers.

However, direct research adds immediate validity to the importance of planning the “daily living” part of retirement.

The participants, all over 55,  live in an active adult community.

  • Some are single, divorced or widowed; some are married.
  • Several participants actively volunteer.
  • A couple of participants work part time.
  • Many are involved in golf, tennis, chorus, book club and church.
  • Most traveled extensively
  • Two boated from “up North” to Florida and one continued to live on their boat.

What would they suggest to incoming retirees?

Continue reading Retirement Plan Needed: Ask retired people

Baby Boomers Struggle with Senior Marketing

Senior mail- did someone put an”S” for senior on my mailbox? Bringing in the Mail.

I went out to get the mail this week and walked inside with three exciting offers:

  1. one for a free dinner to talk about hearing aids,
  2. one for a free dinner to discuss cremation options, and
  3. one for (you guessed it!) a free dinner to talk over the benefits of purchasing an annuity.

Geez!  I used to get catalogs for lingerie from Frederick’s of Hollywood which, at least, had an element of fantasy!   Those days are long gone.

Dinner Discussions?

Continue reading Baby Boomers Struggle with Senior Marketing

Managing Retirement Stress

Stress isn’t all bad.  Being mildly stressed can actually help us perform better in a committee presentation or on the tennis court.  It gives us a little edge, and it’s been around forever.  It’s the thing that helped our ancestors outrun the saber-toothed tiger, and though the tiger is long gone, the stress of modern life – even in retirement – can rob us of the joy we seek at this time in our lives.

It’s living with chronic stress – that constant bombardment of worry and anxiety – that’s the real problem.   You know that tight feeling you get in the middle of your chest or the pit of your stomach?  Your heart pounds; your hands get sweaty; and you wake up worrying in the middle of the night.  Eventually, it can lead to health problems by making our hearts work harder and harming our immune systems.    That means that stress management should be a priority for all of us.

Conquer your stress. It'll kill ya!
Conquer your stress. It’ll kill ya!

The good news is that there’s plenty we can do to control the stress in our lives.  All we need is a plan!  In the next few blog posts we’ll be talking about taking steps to conquer stress in our lives.  Let’s get started right away.

Three easy steps to getting started with stress management:

Continue reading Managing Retirement Stress

8 Tips for Living a Balanced Life in Retirement

Are you overcommitted?

You know those balls we’re balancing in the air at all times – the ones that represent what we must do and what we really want to do?  The ones we imagine ourselves managing so efficiently while we live our retirement dream?  Well, mine are not behaving very well at the moment; they seem to be crashing down on my head and falling to the ground in a heap.   What happened to the nice, balanced life I had planned for retirement?

Want a balanced life? Learn to be selective with your commitments.
Want a balanced life? Learn to be selective with your commitments.

“Planning” is probably the operative word here.  Part of my original plan was to “say yes” to pretty much everything during the first year of retirement.  Perhaps that was not a good idea.  I said yes when my nice part-time job asked me to do more.  Lots more.  I said yes to being the co-captain of the tennis team.  I said yes when the opportunity for a second tennis team came up.  I said yes when the neighborhood Christmas party needed a co-chair.  I said yes to dance lessons and an early-morning exercise class.  Not to mention all the regular stuff.  You get the picture.  You’ve probably been there.

Now I’m in search of the balanced life and the quiet mind.

I’ve been researching how to find both, so I’m sharing my new plan – complete with some tips for how to make this all different. Continue reading 8 Tips for Living a Balanced Life in Retirement

Health: an unexpected reason for retirement.

My Unplanned Retirement Story: Health

Dixie's Floating Home on the Columbia River
Our Floating Home on the Columbia River

I retired at age 57. As I said, I’m 72.  I didn’t plan to retire then.  Unplanned retirement reason? Health. Continue reading Health: an unexpected reason for retirement.

Plan for Happy Retirement: ensure Positive Aging

Plan for Retirement to ensure Positive Aging.

Retirement financial planning is and has been available for years. We’ve all saved our pennies, moved them around, counted them repeatedly and planned for our “golden years.”

But what about the “what am I going to do all day part?  Sometimes, lack of planning results in boredom or loneliness.

What’s been missing is a planning guide for everything in retirement life but the financial information. Our “Baby Boomers Guide to Retirement…50 Tips to Freedom” workbook is not about finances or investments or savings.  Continue reading Plan for Happy Retirement: ensure Positive Aging