Preparing To Retire Gracefully – Start Early

Categories Lifestyle

When it comes to post-fifties, it all boils down to those who are aging, and those who are aging gracefully. There are those who seem to be getting better and better with age while others are just learning by trial and error.

“The graceful agers aren’t aging better, they’re just aging smarter — and the secret isn’t necessarily in what they’re doing. It’s in what they aren’t doing. And as life expectancy continues to increase across the globe, there’s no time like now to look and feel better” – The Huffington Post.

This post aims to highlight what graceful agers avoid, and gives a few insights as to how to age smart and remain productive and respectable even after retirement.

It is said that “wisdom increases with age”. Scientists all over the world mostly accept that this belief is true. Laura Carstensen, a social psychologist says that “contrary to traditional perceptions, growing old brings some benefits, notably emotional and cognitive stability; she calls this the “well-being paradox.”  Although adults older than sixty five face challenges to body and brain, they have an abundance of social and emotional knowledge, qualities that scientists define as wisdom.

Others have said that aging also comes with its fair share of foolishness. One of the famous quotes by François de La Rochefoucauld  says that “as we age, we become more foolish and wiser”.

Those who are aging gracefully take time off their busy schedules and go on vacations. They believe in the adage that “all work and no play” will lead to stress and frustration.

Those who are aging do not ever go on vacation. They will even attempt to extend employment contracts upon attaining retirement age.

Graceful agers are decent, respectable members of the society and they recognize when time has come to call it quits and they retire; when general body weakness sets in due to a slowing down of their agility, cognitive functioning and productivity; and due to diminished eyesight, which makes it difficult to carry out previously easy tasks.

Those who are aging will soldier on, even when previously easy tasks have become difficult to perform, which may lead to ineffectiveness. An example is where an aging lecturer has many student examination scripts to be marked within a short time and, due his/her slowing capacities, discovers that it is not possible to meet the deadlines and, therefore, resorts to hiring younger unqualified people to do the marking for them at a fee. This is not only immoral, but also, despicable because it results in students getting marks that they most likely did not deserve and also the lecturer does not get to know the academic abilities of the students. This is just one example which can be extrapolated into many other carriers.

Graceful agers who have succeeded post retirement advice that preparing early for retirement helps a lot. This can probably be done by delegating more and more work as the body becomes weaker and by slowly starting to carry out lighter activities which occupy one between nine and five so that the already established home-work routine is not interrupted. Yes, it feels like being in high school again trying to figure out what one will do when ‘one grows up’. But those with the experience say that the advantages of a retirement which has been planned and prepared for adequately include having lighter self-determined duties which are not stressfully; finding enjoyable activities and people one enjoys doing them with to enable one to have an active and fulfilling life.

For the young, it would be wise to start making decisions early regarding life after hang up the boots.

Simply put, plan to retire and enjoy yourself while you are at it.

I am an epic introvert, who quickly becomes an open book when I pen what’s in my significantly fertile mind; fertile as a result of bombardment by realities that are continuously captured by my inquisitive eyes, ears which are constantly rubbing the ground, through constant reading, and through dreaming too.

Writing provides an opportunity to ‘say’ what my unapologetic quiet mouth will not say; which not only soothes me, but also bequeaths to me a relief, a release, and a hope that the written words will change the world, even if only one person at a time.

And so should you seek, that’s where to find me; deeply tucked inside the blankets of reading, seeing, listening, dreaming, and then writing.

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