Retirement is a departure from the purpose of work and also the routine of work. You already know the compensation ends. The routine that surrounds and supports your work also ends.
Find your new purpose?
When the purpose ends so does the routine that surrounds and supports your work. You know the routine that I’m talking about:
Preparing clothing for work
Planning ahead for fixing dinner. Need to stop at the store on the way home?
Buying your lunch? Fix a lunch.
If there’s family, getting them up and off to their destinations.
Gas in the car?
Setting the alarm for 1-2 hours before starting the commute.
The commute. Is it an hour each way? Less? More? Allow for traffic, weather.
To do List to clear up what wasn’t finished yesterday. Start on new projects.
Family activities after work?
Stop at the dry cleaners.
After retirement, that routine changes drastically. The drain on your time changes from all the tasks listed above to “What am I going to do today?” Sure you still need to keep up with the laundry, the meals planned and the family attended to, though they probably have their own homes by now. You have all day to deal with these items and if not today, then tomorrow works too.
Find Your New Purpose
Now is the time to shift your passions and probe your curiosity to identify your new purpose in retirement.
Purpose evolves as you pass through the many phases of your life. This may stem from passions from the past or desires at one time or another that you didn’t have time to pursue. In retirement your constraints are lessened because you may be downsizing your home, the kids are through college, the car is paid for, the weddings are over and you are into the next phase.
Now, the “job well done” may only come from inside you after retirement, but the truth of the statement still resonates. And it may resonate on a much more personal level that will have residuals that far out-distance a title and a salary.
You might be counting down the days to retirement. I know I was, but I always knew that I’d want to do some kind of work when my “career” came to an end.
You don’t have to rush into it. Take some time to bask in the joy of ignoring the alarm clock. Remember when you were a kid and the early days of June heralded the long and wonderful summer ahead? That’s how the start of retirement is. The world opens up before you with endless possibilities.
But if you decide you want to work, how do you get started? You might want to make a list of all the things you’ve been interested in doing over the years. Maybe you want to remain in the field where you’ve worked, or maybe you’d like to branch out and try something completely new.
You may be able to turn your current skill-set into a consulting job or a part-time teaching position, either on-line or in a classroom. If that’s what you want to do, then finding part time work in those field might be easier while you still have your career position and contacts. Dixie worked for several years as a marketing consultant when she retired, and I’m still teaching online. It’s wonderful to get up and work in your pajamas.
If that isn’t feasible and you want to try something you’ve never done like flower arranging or working at the golf course, then a time lapse after retirement shouldn’t hurt your choices. Go for it. It should be fun.
“According to US News, 60% of workers over sixty look for a job in retirement.”
In my last post about healthy aging, we explored some basic ways to protect the brain. I promised in that post to provide some additional fun and effective ideas to improve memory for now and in the future. Here’s a list that can easily be incorporated into daily life. Choose one or two or go for all of them.
How to Improve Your Memory
Challenge your brain. You can read or do crosswords or watch football or play cards or brain games. Any or all of these are good. Make it even more effective by doing something new. If you’ve done crosswords forever, try learning to play video games. They’re not just for kids. Lots of research shows that the brain loves learning something novel.
Healthy aging depends upon a healthy brain. How many times do you start to say something only to find that the word or the name that is right there on the tip of your tongue just won’t come? It happens to me all the time and not only does it frustrate me; it frightens me.
I’m frightened of dementia, but I’m also scared of just the ordinary decline in cognitive ability that comes from the normal wear and tear on our brains as we get older. Our brains can atrophy – just like our muscles – and I want to do everything I can do to prevent or slow that decline.