Retirement Talk

WHAT to do with the rest of your life?


Episode 563 Thinking Ahead

This is Retirement Talk. I’m Del Lowery.

Thinking ahead.

This week I received a letter from Steve, a listener to these podcasts. (I’ll just use his first name to insure him a bit of privacy.)

It was a long letter and illustrated the main reason for these podcasts existence. He is thinking about retirement and he is thinking carefully about what he will do once he does.

He began listening to these podcasts a few months ago in car as he commutes to and from work. He has already listened to perhaps 60. That is a lot in such a short time. He likes them for various reasons but one is that they are about everything but finances. And retirement involves so much more than concerns about money.

I have to include a few details about Steve. He is 82 years old and has been practicing law in Boston for 56 years. He has been married 58 years; had one job 56 years and lived in the same house 52 years. He plans on retiring in another two years. He will be 84. Steve doesn’t take change lightly. He has been pretty steady.

Of course retirement calls for a big change in our life and now Steve is thinking and planning.  “What to do with the rest of his life”.  That is the subtitle of this podcast and it is of real concern to him these days. He is giving it some serious thought and I would say that is the best place to start.

We all know that one of the best ways to stimulate your thinking is to ask questions and talk to others. Perhaps that is why he is drawn to these podcasts. He likes the stories presented here. They give something to think about specifically in regards to retirement. They don’t answer questions as much as stimulate thinking. He says that maybe he will try tai chi or be a bit more careful on stairs. He is already trying to be a bit more kind and making an effort to listen a bit more closely. He is trying to be less controlling and trying to smile more and grateful for each and every day.

It seems to me that each and everyone of these are very worthwhile goals. They could take our attention and our time from now til the end of time and make our lives much richer. I have thought of the word kindness much more as I grow older and realize how very important it is to my own state of mind as well as the benefits it brings to others. We don’t put near enough emphasis on it in our educational system or in the way we treat each other: be it family, friends, or strangers.

Retirement  offers endless opportunities. You can head to the golf course, take up painting, travel the world or strap yourself to a rocking chair. Some folks want to dedicate themselves to a cause and others want to retreat to a cabin on a lake. I’m not sure it makes any difference if it is what you really want.

The thing I admire about Steve’s approaching retirement is that he is giving it  serious thought. He has worked way past the normal age for retirement in this country. It appears that he really liked what he is doing. Hopefully, with a plan in mind he will find retirement just as fulfilling.

We all need to keep this in mind approaching and during our retirement zone. We want a goal in mind. We want to know which direction we want to go. Or our goal may be that we may want to drift with the wind and take one day at a time. We need to know that also if we want to get the most out our remaining years.

I’ve got to thank Steve for his letter and wish him well in his retirement. If you have given your retirement careful thought let me know and I may pass along plans, suggestions, mistakes,  or whatever observations you have made. We gain a lot from listening to each other.

This is retirement talk.

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