PS0030066 | PR8618119
In this section we will unpack our two key reference points
Retirement and Mindfulness as well as define your four portfolios for successful retirement
Retirement – Out to pasture or a vibrant encore?
By Dr Hannetjie
(Original cartoon by Bill Stott, from Over the Hill Moon)
Google defines retirement as “the action or fact of leaving one’s job and ceasing to work” and a retired person as “a person who does nothing.”
Sadly though, that still seems to be quite a commonly held view. Small wonder then that so many people dread retirement! I would also have to be dragged, kicking and screaming into the abyss – wouldn’t you?
This blog to offer hope and guidance for your encore…
an alternative reality, so to speak, that we will co-create, together.
Think of retirement as a process, not an event. And a process that needs to begin years before you retire. Financial planning is part of that process, but so is emotional/psychological planning – Kathleen Jones
Sitting on the stoep and waiting for one’s departure from the planet might have been the norm in our grandparents’ day. Not anymore! The days of the strict 3-phase life of study, work – and then somewhere between age 60 and 65, retirement, are long gone. Nothing could be further from reality for many modern sixty-somethings.
We, from the baby boomer generation are invested in remaining interesting and interested for a long time. Even more so for the younger generations following in our footsteps. We are not at all aiming to “do nothing” after leaving formal employment, if we even do so. Many of us are excited about the reality of increased longevity and relish the opportunities for fun and growth that later life can present. We look forward to good health and at least another productive 30-35 years after age 60. But, here’s the rub:
To achieve this improved version of mature life, one cannot just let well alone and hope that nature will be kind. It requires active-, informed-, positive- and goal-directed intervention on one’s own behalf. Otherwise we will might just miss the bridge and fall into the water.
The choice is ours…
So, no more “sitting-on-the-stoep” for us or “fidgeting until we die.” Our intention is to make these precious extra years meaningful and fulfilling, for ourselves, our partners, our clients and our greater communities.
We recommend that instead of retiring, you shift gear and re-wire for the next phase of the journey.
Stick around with us and allow us to shine some light for you on the path forward.
Mindfulness is one of the ways how.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines Mindfulness as 1: “the quality or state of being mindful or the practice of maintaining a non-judgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one's thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis and 2: such a state of awareness.”
Mindfulness is about being fully present in the moment - in the now,
without wishing it to be otherwise.
(Original cartoon by Bill Stott, from Over the Hill Moon)
It is about taking stock of “what is” and making the best of our situation, and most importantly, living with intention. In terms of retirement (or not), it would be about continuing to live purposefully, with great emphasis on the continued development of all four our portfolios - psychological-, health-, and social. (Financial portfolios are not the scope of this blog and we will entrust that to you and your financial advisor. Suffice it to say that it is of the utmost importance to get our money matters sorted out, since we will need to successfully fund those extra years that we are aiming for. In this blog we will work on the first three portfolios necessary for a good life).
A Psychological portfolio is about basic human needs and how to get them met in changing situations. For example, finding a new identity after leaving the formal work situation. It is about examining what gives us meaning and purpose in life and finding ways, other than work, to get attention and achieving a sense of fulfillment in life. It is about being willing and able to adapt to change. We will look at why some people seem to be able to make seamless transitions from one set of circumstances into another, while for others, the losses and stresses of retirement are so enormous that they seem unable to move in any direction, let alone forward.
Our Health portfolio is about how to achieve and maintain a healthy brain and body, with particular emphasis on the protection of brain function. After all, what would be the point of all these extra years if we are unable to appreciate them fully?
Our Social portfolio is about using precious time well and carefully planning social contact with others for maximum satisfaction of our social needs. It is about compensating for attrition in our social circles, as well as understanding changing relationship needs and how to manage them flexibly.
You might ask then - How does one mindfully go about the process of retirement?
In the following months we are going to unpack various aspects of the retirement process and at the same time, upgrade and refresh all our portfolios.
We believe that early planning prevents panic and that being prepared, physically, psychologically and financially for retirement makes the process easy, comfortable and minimises the stress of change.
Here are two questions for you to ponder…
1. How does one know whether one is ready to retire; and
2. Is life easier when you retire voluntarily rather than when you are forced to?
Do engage with us. Please write and comment or give your opinion and experience. It would lovely to hear from you.
If you like what we’re offering, please share these articles with your friends and groups.
Let’s all build that positive future together!
Till next time, be well.
INFORMATION TO BE USED AT YOUR OWN RISK.
Any suggestions or opinions voiced in these pages are those of the authors, and in no way to be constructed as final treatment advice. They are intended as a starting point to develop your own preparation and treatment plan. Please consult your medical and/or psychological experts or caregivers to fine-tune the advice and suggestions for your own unique needs.
Dr. Hannetjie Van-Zyl-Edeling
082 460 4575