Column: Planning for retirement

Published 4:16 pm Tuesday, February 15, 2005

By Staff
Retirement can be one of the best times in a person's life. You have made it through decades of goals and achievements and now it is time to relax.
There is a downside. Relaxing around the house sounds great, but after a few weeks of it what do you do? You are so used to work being a big part of your day that now you have nothing to do. You want retirement to be a fun time. Making sure you stay an active older adult will help with this. It will be no fun if you cannot do things you want.
By staying active and healthy it will make it easier to enjoy years of retirement. Let's look at some ways to accomplish this.
Before retirement have a plan:
Are you going to travel?
Start a new hobby?
Begin a new career?
Do house projects?
Take up a new sport?
By having a plan before you retire you will know what to expect and retirement might not be such a hard transition. Remember - this is a big life change and you can expect some ups and downs. One of the biggest parts of your life is now ending but a greater part is about to begin.
During retirement:
Plan to stay active or get active. If you are already active great - keep up the good work. If you are not active - it is never to late to start. Remember to always check with your physician before staring a new program. There are many benefits to remaining active especially at the age of retirement. Improved quality of life is a big one. The more active you are the more fun you can have as you grow older.
You can play with your grandkids, live on your own longer, have fewer aches and pains, fight against illness. By being physically active it can help prevent osteoporosis, weight gain (which leads to many preventable problems such as back, knee, and hip pains), certain types of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, joint swelling and the list goes on. If you do not want to be 70 years old barely being able to walk or get out of a chair then get active.
Things to do to stay
active when retiring:
Be around people; do not isolate yourself. It is easy to stay at home by yourself and fall into depression. Get up and do something that involves other people. Join a workout facility like the YMCA. There are always friendly faces around. You never know you may make a new friend or two.
Join in a recreational sport. There are sport leagues and open gyms all around. Play basketball, join a softball league or try something new.
Find an activity or hobby that you have been interested in but never have done i.e., gardening, pottery, knitting, bowling, etca
Volunteer your time in the community. There are always places welcoming volunteers - like the YMCA.
Get a part time job. I know you just retired from your job. Find a part time job that you think would be fun to do and would not seem like work, i.e.,working at a school, being a greeter at a store, working at a golf course.
Travel. Go places and do things you have always wanted to.
Finish projects around your house that you did not have time to do before.
Hang out with family and friends.
Hopefully these tips will help you ease into retirement and make it the best time in your life. Remember - the key to an enjoyable retirement life is being active!!!!
Thought of the week:
One of the greatest health risks for a person is a sedentary lifestyle.