Tag: vitality

Retirees: Are You Unknowingly Accepting an Ageist Bias?

Retirees: Are You Unknowingly Accepting an Ageist Bias?

You aren’t really over the hill, are you?  Do you believe your best years are behind you?  Are you holding back from doing things you love because of fear or worry?  It’s easy to do, given our culture’s tendency to value youth and dismiss retirement as a “less than” life.  Here’s how to change that lens.


What’s More Valuable, Your Younger You or You Today?

That’s a loaded question.  And the crux of society’s ageist bias.  Sure, your younger body might have been able to do more, faster and that was great for that time.  Now, you are wiser, and your unique individuality is shining through.  Perfect for this time.  Want to be happy in retirement?  Stop comparing you today to your younger you.  Just stop – you’re comparing apples to oranges.  Start recognizing that now is the best time of your life!

“Age is perhaps the most inaccurate measure of personal identity, capabilities, intelligence, pace and stamina.”  Dr. Richard Johnson


Luster or Lack-luster?

Listen to yourself.  Are you complaining about your aches and pains and how difficult things are?  Are you reminiscing of your good old days… a lot?  Are you worried about tomorrow and what might happen?  Have you turned into a know-it-all cynic?  Or, are you excited about your hobby, committed to a special project, exhilarated by reaching new goals?  The difference is luster.

Yes, you’ve still got it baby!  That zest and vitality comes from being fully engaged in life today. Optimism, enthusiasm, humour, adaptability, balance and your uniqueness are elements that give you luster.  Being content in your life right now, is one of 15 success factors for a happy retirement identified by Dr. Johnson, expert on retirement and adult development.  (He calls it “current life stage satisfaction”.)  Check out this post on 7 habits to happiness, or this one on how to find your new purpose to shine up your luster.

“Don’t ever lose your luster!” Earl Nightingale


Live Fully in the Now

You’ve heard this, probably many times, but it can be hard to do.  It takes practice for some of us, and we must continually remind ourselves to be fully present in life right now. We can’t change the past and we can’t predict the future, but we can seize today.

“Yesterday is a cancelled cheque, tomorrow is promised to no-one.  All we really have is right now.”   Dr. Wayne Dyer


Retirement can bring you so many possibilities if you are open to them. It is a time for personal development, and taking on new learning, hobbies or leisure activities.  It’s a time to reflect on and live your life’s purpose and truly savour meaningful relationships.  Best of all, it’s a time to honour your uniqueness and spark your sizzle!   It really can be the best time of your life!

Care to share?

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?

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?