Before, retirement meant a gold watch and time on your hands. Now it means volunteering at the crisis center, scheduling trips to tourist spots and squeezing in visits with the kids. Many people are at or close to retirement age – a new phase of life that can be rewarding and fulfilling as the preceding one. Healthy lifestyles and medical advancements mean more years of better health to enjoy retirement than ever before. Retirement could only be satisfying depending upon on how you plan and prepare for it. If given a chance people would work as long as they could or until they die. Perhaps, retirement is still a new idea in our culture, with each newness can come lack of preparation and experience. Retirement does not happen overnight. It helps to view it as a process that unfolds in stages. At each stage you can take steps to increase your satisfaction.

The first stage is pre-retirement that occurs in life from about forty to sixty. It is a time to take stock of yourself and what you can do for a long life. This applies to whether or not you will retire from paid employment. People who plan and prepare are just better off. There are three factors to determine adjustment. First is financial security. It means that you save and invest wisely now even though it requires discipline and risk. Estimate your retirement income if it will be enough for the lifestyle you envisioned. Second is good health. Regular exercise, healthful diet can pay off later with continued good health and vitality. The third one is positive attitude. Optimism about the future is a tonic for a satisfying retirement. Think of retirement as an opportunity for continued growth and improvement. Envision life after work as how you are going to occupy time that was once filled by your job. Busy work and habit are not enough. Scrutinize yourself, and explore new ways so that you can achieve a sense of accomplishment, structure and status. Do not ignore your emotions, acknowledge grief and sadness about aging and leaving your job, but learn to calm down.

The second stage is decision time. Decide if you are to retire early and what life do you want to live. The more control you have over these decisions, the better you will adjust to not working. Rehearse for retirement and plan what you’d like to do with your fee time. You may try it out during weekends and vacations. Reduce your work hours or responsibilities gradually. Reassess marriage roles. If you are a home maker, now is the time to share household task.

The third stage is the actual retirement. This move could be a little stressful, especially if it takes you out of your control. Circumstances like lay-off or illness may force you to retire. Even best planned retirement can have emotional bumps. It will cause you feelings of loss, the blues and depression. Stay active, set goals and sticking to a schedule to maintain continuity and structure. Get up each morning feeling young; take a walk, read newspaper, and the like. Emphasize intellectual pastimes to keep your mind sharp. Remember that mental capability doesn’t deteriorate as man ages. Travel, but it doesn’t have to be far and expensive. Go back to school, start anew or just take classes for fun. For instance pottery, cooking, and sewing. Volunteer to work in social agencies, this will give you a sense of accomplishment. Plan ahead and work at your retirement. It could be the best job you’ve ever had.

About The Author:

Billy D Ritchie is the Director Of Content for LeadsByFone, LLC, a lead generation company servicing the flooded basement and water damage restoration industry.

When not writing and educating folks about the perils of water damage, he is also a freelance writer, sometime actor, and formerly professional musician. He also enjoys spending his weekends building and flying model rockets

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