Once again, I am honored to have been asked by Donna to Guest Host over here at Retirement Reflections. While hubs and I have been on the Encore Voyage for a little while, we certainly don’t have all the answers. And so, a while back, I posted this question:
What is the one piece of advice you wish someone had given you prior to your retirement?
It seems to me that this Sunday Guest Post might be just the place to share the advice of our collective “retired blogger” community. These people have much more wisdom than I, and include the best retirement bloggers I’ve discovered so far. I am honored to have developed relationships with these talented folks! So here we go:
Don’t Listen to the “Shoulds”
Several people pointed out that there is no single right way to “do” retirement! Lots of people will try to advise you about all of the things you must do in retirement. Pat Doyle, over at Retirementtransition advises retirees to “spend time figuring out what is right for you based on your values, motivations, strengths, interests. Find your own path.” Marty at Snakes in the Grass says that you should “do what YOU want, not what others say is the best way.”
Prepare for a new way of thinking
Retirement involves changing our day-to-day thought processes. We’re in a different world than that of our working careers. Laura Lee Carter over at Adventures of the New Old Farts suggests that retirees should “question what you think you’ve known forever. Is it true or just some rule you’ve been following mindlessly for decades? Embrace your freedom to think the way you choose now, not the way previous generations did. Don’t just save up your bucks for retirement, prepare your mind for a whole new level of freedom.”
Know that you might be uncomfortable for a while
Our own Donna pointed out that “retirement means stepping out of your comfort zone and adopting new habits.” Fran, over at Travels with Fran advises that we “take time to explore all that is out there to do, much of which will be outside our comfort zones.” And I really love Pat Doyle’s advice to “Be OK with being a beginner.”
Plan some ways to use your time
I know, I just got done saying there are no “shoulds.” But the one thing I have read over and over again in research is that retirees are afraid of having nothing to do once they quit working full time. Our leisure expert, Terri Webster Schrandt over at Second Wind Leisure Perspectives advises to “Make sure you have some real things/hobbies/interests to do with your time. Make a daily schedule and keep it. Don’t let intentions rule your life, go out and actually DO.”
Pay attention to your values
We each received benefits, other than financial, from our careers. In many cases, our careers became our identities. The jobs we did, and the relationships we had in those jobs filled a variety of needs, including social, intellectual and emotional. Shelly, from Destination Now suggests that retirees should “Figure out what you especially valued during your work life and what will be your retirement replacement.” Great advice for sure!
Make your health a priority
Staying healthy in retirement means having more fun, allows you to do the things you want for longer, and helps ensure that you can spend more of your money on the things you want rather than on costly medical care. These are the very wise, and oh so true words of Janis at Retirementally Challenged.
Have some adventures
This is the sage advice of Footloose Fogeys. Linda Granholm Myers from Bag Lady in Waiting suggests that we should “Make a bucket list with three items for the next year.” I think that’s a neat way of planning some adventures. And Kathy over at Saddles to Shorelines and life as it comes suggests that “if you can, take a long holiday as soon as possible. Don’t put off doing things, because you just never know what’s in your future.”
A final suggestion, received from both Janis and Pat (referenced above) is:
“Focus on the positive – ‘An attitude of gratitude’ will make every day more joyful and satisfying.” I couldn’t agree more. What advice for future retirees would you add?
Thank you again to Donna for inviting me to share in her neighborhood of the blogosphere. I consider myself so lucky to have connected with these and many other fine bloggers who have provided hubs and I with advice and support while we’ve traveled along the voyage.
Lynn from Encore Voyage.