Tag: retirement

Is Your Attitude Toward Retirement Outdated?

Is Your Attitude Toward Retirement Outdated?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?

5 Benefits of Work You’ll Need in Retirement

5 Benefits of Work You’ll Need in Retirement

Think retirement is a life of leisure?  Think again. There are key attributes from your working life that you will need in retirement.  When we don’t plan to replace these 5 benefits, we can experience a gradual wearing-away of ourselves in retirement.  What are they and how can you satisfy them to keep your vitality in retirement?

According to the research on retirement success factors by Dr. Peter Johnson, founder of Retirement Options, the five benefits of work that have evolved to needs in retirement are:


  1. Income 

After decades of building wealth, you will begin to draw from your nest egg to meet your material needs when you retire .  It’s an adjustment and it can be nerve-wracking. An Angus Reid study reports that 48% of Canadians surveyed are worried about their money lasting their lifetime.

Having a financial plan and a qualified financial advisor will help you understand how you can best replace this benefit of work.  Need a financial advisor? Here are 6 questions you need to ask a prospective financial advisor from Jennifer Vachon’s blog.

Typically, income in retirement includes OAS (Old Age Security), your pension and savings.  A new source of retirement income is beginning to take hold.

Over 60% of new retirees are considering some form of employment after their first retirement.

But money is not the only benefit of work.


  1. Time Management 

Being free of your calendar, meetings, and conference calls may be your dream for retirement.  Yet, having a lot to do, actually does help us manage our time well.

Keeping some sort of schedule in retirement allows you to prioritize the people and activities important to you and keeps you engaged and involved.

Retirement is a time to create new habits and routines and explore new undertakings. Perhaps it’s a tennis game every Tuesday morning, art class on Wednesdays or a monthly community meeting.  Mondays are my planning and writing days. What you want to avoid, is idle busyness, killing time, or worse, letting your life schedule be dictated by TV programing.


  1. Sense of Utility

We all want to feel useful and have our work valued.  This doesn’t stop when our career does.  “Having purpose injects a sense of meaning in our lives.” Dr. Johnson reminds us.

This benefit of work was the hardest one for me to replace after selling our business.  I was feeling lost initially after having a clear sense of business purpose and direction for decades. I needed to take stalk of what mattered to me, of what strengths I could apply, and of what problems I could help solve to build a new sense of utility.

Retirement gives us freedom to re-engage in things that we love and care about.  Perhaps its family, your community or a world issue.  Maybe it’s learning something and sharing your new wisdom.

Find a way to be helpful, to contribute in a manner true to you and you will find vitality in retirement.


  1. Status 

It’s not about a title, but more about having a place in our community, having a role in society.

“Status is the combined sense of personal worth and identity we derive from knowing who and what we are.”

At work, you knew your role and how you fit in to the scheme of work activities.  You will still need to find your place in society during retirement.  Your new ‘status’ may be tied to your life’s purpose, or in your new usefulness or the ‘new you’ discussed in my previous post.

I’m the “Pathways Champion” of my community, a volunteer role that came about as I developed my new sense of utility and purpose.  “The number one reason first retirees work again is not for financial gain but to feel involved.”



At work, we are required to interact with others.  Collaborating on projects, meeting deadlines, responding to queries, presenting ideas, resolving conflict, or welcoming new team members are all forms of socialization.  Through our interactions with others, we develop ourselves, build relationships and form friendships.

We still need social interactions when we retire and for some, this is the biggest loss after retirement.  You may be forgotten by the former work crew.

  Retirement is an opportune time to join or build new social circles. Circles that embrace your new purpose, interests and role in society.


Now you know!  Replace these five benefits of work and you are on your way to a retirement full of purpose and vitality.


Care to share?

Retirement: Identity Loss or Gain?

Retirement: Identity Loss or Gain?

You’ve had a successful career, professional accomplishments, recognition.  Perhaps your identity is your work.  How do you move from career success to retirement success?  How can you manage the loss of your work identity?


“What do You Do?”

In our culture, the first thing a person typically asks when you are introduced, is “what do you do?”.  We are identified, categorized, and valued by the type of work we do.  Got a professional designation?  Own your business? Another label.   It is easy to let our work take over our identity.  We’ve spent most of our lives working and developing our work skills.  As Dr. Wayne Dyer wisely said…

“We become what we think about all day long.”


Reframe or Regress

Retirement is an opportunity to reframe our identity from what we do, to who we are.  Dr. Johnson calls this work reorientation, his first of 15 factors for a successful retirement shared in this blog post.

“A self-definition built almost entirely on our work can hinder our growth in retirement.”

Those unable to redefine their identity are at great risk of falling into a lackluster retirement of withdrawal, apathy and non-involvement, states Dr. Johnson, founder of Retirement Options and leading expert on adult development and gerontology.


Turning Loss into Gain

Yep, I was one of ‘those’.  I self-identified through my work.  I was an engineer, had an Masters in Business, successful businesswoman – and all that went away the day we sold our business.  It felt liberating!  Society’s shackles were off.  I also felt the loss.

You can feel unimportant very quickly.  You are no longer of interest to the working set – you don’t “do” anything according to the narrow view of our work culture.  It can be a rude awakening, but it is an awakening.

Let go to grow.  When you let go of your old work identity, you are free to create your new identity, an identity that is truer to you.  This is fun!  It may take some time.  It’s a self-reflective exercise and you will likely begin to rekindle the kid in you.

The New You

Retirement gives you the time to reflect on the new you.  Likely, you’ve taken personality assessments in the past and perhaps there’s some insight in these.  A life or retirement coaching program may also help you uncover the true you.  Or simply think back to your youth and what sparked your interests before society’s opinions mattered.  Here is a good Ted Talk with tips on how to be a ‘self-expert’.

Get started!  Stir up those childhood dreams, and let the true you shine.  When you know who you really are, you will be able create a retirement that is unique to, and just right for you.  Stop calling yourself a retired ‘such and such’ and start the new you!  Isn’t it more interesting to ask “what are you thinking about” instead of “what do you do”?

Need some inspiration?  Find out how Dave, a former engineer, became a triathlete coach in this blog post.

Care to share?

Over 50? How to Reboot Your Bod

Over 50? How to Reboot Your Bod

If you have goals and dreams for your retirement, you will need a decently functioning body to carry out your aspirations.  Our bodies begin to decay in our 40’s unless we do something to counter this trend.  Science has shown that there is a way to reboot our old bod and spark our zest long into our third act of life.


Younger Next Year

Have you heard of this book?  I didn’t until just this year and boy am I glad I did. I am a skeptic when it comes to the multitude of books promising miracle results for health, youth, weight-loss and beauty.  Before reading Younger Next Year for Women by Chris Crowley and Dr. Henry S. Lodge, I believed that I wouldn’t be able to do all that I wanted to do in my next3rd.  After?  Talk about an attitude change.  Read it.  It will change your life.

I try to follow ‘Harry’s Rules’ as they are called in the book (Harry being the MD who studies the biology of aging) and feel stronger, fitter, healthier, and more energetic than I have in decades!  I am looking forward to epic adventures in my next3rd including a 4-day hiking trek to Machu Picchu! This, from a girl with multiple old sports injuries, arthritis and a few other next3rd ailments.


How You Age is 70% Your Choice

“70% of the illnesses and injuries we are prone to are lifestyle related.”  Yup, that includes most arthritis, some Alzheimer’s, type 2 diabetes, heart attacks and strokes and obesity.  The biggest culprit? A sedentary lifestyle.  When you are active every day, carry the right weight, get enough rest and exercise your brain, you give yourself the best gift.  The gift of a 70% chance of a fulfilling and exuberant next3rd life. Pretty good odds!


It’s About Tricking the Brain

Our bodies need to move and when we are sedentary, our brain thinks we are on the decay train.  Our brains still operate on the old hunter/gatherer model. It assumes we are either in growth mode (finding food) or decay mode.  If we are not moving, that is, not hunting or gathering, then we must be dying according to our body’s CPU.  So, it facilitates the decay process.

Hard exercise, research has shown, tricks the brain into thinking that you are on the hunt and your body is in growth mode.  The Younger Next Year series of books provides the details of why and how which has a lot to do with C-6’s and C-10’s.  Hard exercise, 6 days a week counters the decay and aids cell repair and regeneration.  Yep, you read it. Hard exercise 6 days a week!


Hard Exercise is the Elixir

It’s aerobic exercise that counters the decay, yes, cardio. 45 minutes of cardio in your target heart zone, at least four days a week. Cycling, rowing, fast walking, swimming, cross-country skiing, you pick.  Aerobic exercise re-builds your aerobic base, reduces disease, improves your mood, reduces stress and makes you smarter.

To improve your quality of life in your next3rd, strength training is key.  That’s the other two days a week.  As we age, we have a higher risk of falling.  “After age 50, a fall can alter your life.  Maybe end it.”   Strength training helps prevent falls. It counters the loss of muscle mass, helps grow bones, restores balance and coordination and relieves pain.  Dust off those weights or your Pilates mat and get strong!

Of course, before you start any exercise, see your doctor, especially if you have been sedentary for a while.  Ease into your new lifestyle gradually.  Consider joining a gym and finding a qualified personal trainer.  It’s important to train properly and in correct form to prevent injury.


Harry’s Rules

  1. Exercise 6 days a week for the rest of your life.
  2. Do serious aerobic exercise 4 days a week for the rest of your life.
  3. Do serious strength training, with weights, 2 days a week for the rest of your life.
  4. Spend less than you make.
  5. Quit eating crap!
  6. Care.
  7. Connect and commit.


Have you read any of the Younger Next Year books?  Share your story.  Add a comment below!

Care to share?