Recently I’ve had the opportunity to listen to several men tell me that they were retiring in a year or two and were quite “frightened at the thought of it.” As I’ve heard many say how they were looking forward to retiring and this caught me off guard. As I listened they individually shared how they had been busy with their careers and really had no other activities and wondered how they would fill each day. ( I’ve also had female friends call to voice their fears and concerns about the upcoming retirements of their husbands.)
My reply to the men was, “Fortunately you have time to put some things in place.”
There are many things people can do to fill and enrich their lives and the lives of others in retirement.
We found that after a career of thirty four and a half years in education that time was needed to just wind down. We traveled and took some time to sleep in and do nothing. Doug and I knew we would still be quite young and really wanted to do something else. We tried several unsuccessful things then one day to help a realtor we did a favour and emptied a basement so he could list the house. While at landfill Doug realized that seniors needed help when moving and we started our business called “Discreetly At Your Service.” We loved the name but calls at two in the morning for “GIRLS” encouraged us to change it to Senior Moves. We knew nothing about business, seniors or moving and our learning curve became quite high.
Our advice is to start something while you are still working. It might be volunteering once a month with a museum, school, homeless shelter, theatre, meals on wheels, seniors’ center…Find out what gives you enjoyment. My dad was a business man and in retirement he worked with a group called SCORE to help new businesses. One man asked dad about adding a new line of sports shoes to his store. Dad took his pen and paper and sat in the mall for several hours and kept track of the people who entered the store, what they did and the time they spent in each area. At the end of the day his advice was to carry certain shirts. He noted that many people looked at shoes yet few people bought them. Numerous people looked at t- shirts and within a few minutes chose and purchased one. Needless to say both the young man and dad were pleased with his research.
Are there things you have wanted to do but never had the time? Perhaps you wanted to join a gym or learn to play a musical instrument? Has genealogy, writing a book, taking a trip, spending more time with family or friends been a desire?
Doug taught history and geography and now we live in a historical community. I went to the library and started reading about the early settlers and am learning new things each day. With computers it’s amazing the information that is readily available on most topics. Many universities provide degree courses free for seniors and people in their 80s are earning degrees.
As a retired teacher I often give homework…..so “Make a list of what you might like to do. Start preparing now.” and lets talk. You may already be retired and feel stuck Or, if you’re reading this and know someone that is having a hard time Contact Us.