Tag: attitude

Retirement: How You Perceive Your Health Makes a Difference

Retirement: How You Perceive Your Health Makes a Difference

Vitality. Most of us want it, especially in retirement. Yet, nearly 70% of Canadians over 60 have at least one chronic condition that may hamper this desire to live a life full of zest. Arthritis, high blood pressure and back problems might put a hold on your retirement dreams. Or not.  It depends on how you look at it.


That Mind-Body Thing

What you tell yourself, your body listens.  Keep telling yourself that you are old and decrepit, and you behave accordingly.  Your body will likely oblige as well.  Although, healthy maturing adults have just as good an immune system as people half their age, research has show that our attitudes about our health and life impact how well we fend off disease and discomfort.

It’s that PMA thing again.  Having a Positive Mental Attitude (covered in this happiness post) can help make the difference in creating a retirement life of vitality.  In fact, our general attitude to retirement may need a re-set as shared in this post.  The body is a marvel.  Do you focus on everything that’s wrong with it, or what an amazing machine it is?

 “How old would you be if you didn’t know your age?” Satchel Page


5 Ways to Deal with the Cards We’re Dealt

Having a mature and positive approach to wellness is one of the 15 retirement success factors, determined by Dr. Richard Johnson, founder of Retirement Options.  He shares one study that identifies 5 different approaches people in retirement take regarding their health:

  1. Mature: We take responsibility for our health and wellness, make necessary changes, and develop and carry out options to maintain good health.
  2. Rocking chair: We are passive about our wellness, and only act when forced to do so.
  3. Armoured: We are rather obsessed with our health, constantly on the lookout for something wrong and may over-do exercise, dieting and other health practices.
  4. Depressed: We may either neglect our health and wellness or become somewhat of a hypochondriac when we are feeling very low
  5. Angry: We shun professional health care and take on the full burden ourselves, rather than in partnership with the professionals


How you respond to your health in retirement impacts your retirement vitality.


You Just Might Be Surprised by What You Can Do!

Our goal, of course, is the mature response where we take responsibility and action to improve and manage our health in partnership with health care professionals. I am reminded of Gary, who I interviewed for this post and who shared his attitude and (mature) approach to being diagnosed with cancer in retirement. Inspiring.

Perhaps a visit to a physical therapist will arm you with new exercises to manage an old injury.  Working with a qualified personal trainer to build your functional fitness may open new possibilities for you.  A modification to your diet and sleep habits may also add life to your years. Mindfulness and nurturing your social circles can bring you joy.  Make the most of what you’ve got.  Its in your hands!

Want to really be inspired?  Olga competed and won many medals in World Masters track and field in her 90’s. Her story is shared in the book “What Makes Olga Run” by Bruce Grierson which examines her lifestyle, attitude and biology for secrets to her good health and longevity.  Listen to her wise words in this short video clip.

“I am an optimist and I take the most hopeful view of matters.” Olga Kotelko


Care to share?

Is Your Attitude Toward Retirement Outdated?

Is Your Attitude Toward Retirement Outdated?

There’s a shift happening in the world of retirement.  This shift is challenging prevailing attitudes and stereotypes of the retiree and retirement life.  Are you riding the new wave or is your attitude holding you back?


Who’s Your Model?

Our attitude toward retirement is likely formed by how others close to us experienced retirement.  Perhaps they were your parents, or co-workers, or an adventurous aunt.  What behaviour did they model?  Were they active, involved, and engaged with life?  Or, perhaps their experience was unappealing to you?

My dad took his retirement in stride.  He got involved in community affairs, launched a part-time consulting gig, took on new hobbies, planned interesting RV trips every year – some with his grandchildren, stayed physically active, and joined social circles like the ‘Lunch Bunch” of like-minded retirees. His example shapes my attitude.  (At 85, he’s still active, healthy and involved.)

Find an inspiring retirement mentor


Even if the retirees you knew had a so-so experience, it doesn’t mean you will.  Seek out a mentor that embraces retirement with purpose, vitality and zest and see how your attitude adjusts!  Need some examples? Check out Marlene’s story of big changes,  Dave’s story of athletic passion, this couple’s sail-away retirement, how this couple manages lots of together time and how P-Y builds relevancy in his retirement.


Maturation vs. Ageism

Research ‘retirement’ on Google and you will be faced with a list of sites offering either retirement residences, financial planning, or senior healthcare. Not very exciting.  What’s the subliminal message and underlying stereotype?  Do you buy into this perception of retirement?

The new retirement isn’t about getting old, its about an enriching maturation.


Retirees on the new wave don’t see retirement as a time of decline, but as a time for personal development and growth.  They are seeking deeper meaning in their lives and connecting with their real selves.  Retirement, in their view, isn’t about withdrawal, it’s about involvement. This new attitude is bucking the feeble elderly image and marketers and society haven’t kept up.  Have you?


Change Your Attitude, Change Your Life

Having a positive, insightful attitude about retirement is one of the 15 retirement success factors, identified by Dr. Richard Johnson of Retirement Options. In fact, attitudes and perceptions are key elements in many of his retirement readiness competencies. Your attitudes and beliefs shape your perceptions, thinking, feelings, decisions and ultimately actions. I am hoping that my blog will help change perceptions and attitudes towards retirement.  Follow along if you like!

“Attitude is the mother of all behaviours” Dr. Richard Johnson


Think retirement will be boring?  Keep believing that and you will be right.  Want a great retirement?  Do an attitude check.  What images of retirement dance in your head?  Who do you think of, when you think of retirement life?  Not liking what you see? Change the channel, change your attitude.  Seek out a positive retirement role model, and erase outdated stereotypes.  Yes, the glass is half full!

Care to share?