So, you are looking forward to retirement. “Roll on 65,” you say.
Over the five previous issues in this series we introduced this topic and looked at the Big Picture, Health, Finances and Changing Environment. In the next, and final issue we will summarise what we have discussed so far on what can be a scary season of life for many men and women. As with any season of life you need a life plan and the third age is no different. This season of life should be the most influential and rewarding.
So, the big WOUNDS OF LIFE picture is;
WOUNDS OF LIFE
Our human failings often result in us carrying to varying degrees, emotional damage from experiences of life. It could be an economic loss, a relationship loss, a grievance with another person that we won’t let go, a broken relationship with a family member, friend or spouse/partner, or a perceived personal failure that we still beat ourselves up on. The burden of such things can cause anxiety, anger and ultimately depression. We were not designed to carry heavy emotional burdens. To live well in the Third Age you need to deal to all these issues. You may need the help of others or a professional to bring peace where there is chaos.
As mentioned previously we can all carry the loss of experiences or events that we may never action, or people that we may never meet. There needs to be a reality check as part of your life plan and choose to let these unfulfilled dreams or opportunities go so they don’t become a burden.
There is a need in this season to prepare for departing this world. It is good to leave all matters tidy and in order. Leave a Will. Make sure your spouse/partner is protected and provided for. Review the need for a Power of Attorney should you or your partner/spouse become incapacitated. Leave a record of assets. Leave a record of passwords. Leave a statement of wishes re any assets. Detail specifics regarding funeral and burial. Dump what you don’t need and what others don’t want. Save your love ones from doing it. There is no point hanging onto things, which in reality is a hanging onto the past. Move on and be all that you are purposed to be in this season of life.
In this season of life, you need to check and review your world view. Your basis of life belief and operation may have seemed ok when you were young, but now that you are entering the last years of your life does it still hold as true? Are you happy with what you believe happens to you after you die? Ten years ago I had my first trial with cancer, and while undergoing chemotherapy I entered a state of neutropenia. This is a state in which your immune system collapses and you are susceptible to catching an infection that the body can’t defeat, and potentially you could die within a period of three hours. While in this state I was in an isolation ward at Auckland Hospital and I said to God – well Lord I may be with you in the next three hours. I felt absolutely at peace and was happy to go, but also preferring to stay longer.
Questions to ponder
So you are looking forward to retirement. “Roll on 65,” you say.
Over the four previous issues we introduced this topic and looked at the Big Picture, Health and Finances. Over the next three issues we will continue to expand on what can be a scary season of life for many men and women. As with any season of life you need a life plan and the third age is no different. This season of life should be the most influential and rewarding.
So the BIG CHANGING ENVIRONMENT PICTURE is:
DISRESPECT FROM YOUNGER PERSONS
Over recent years, our society has trained young people to think for themselves, seek information from Dr Google and by default the wisdom of older people is ignored, as we are deemed to be behind the times. While younger people’s actions can seem disrespectful, sometimes it is a reflection of the environment. As an example - when children have their own kids, they will consult Dr Google before they ask for advice from their parents. The “wisdom of living life well” has been overlooked.
Entering the third age is a good time to review current housing. Is a multi-storied house, a half-acre section, a house on the side of a hill, a house with 5 bedrooms the right choice now? As part of my plan and budget for retirement, should I downsize my home, or move to a cheaper location, to release capital to live better in the third age?
At some time in the third age a couple will experience a season of increased caring for the other (or there may be multiple seasons). The marriage vow that used to be in vogue “until death do us part” will be put to the test in this season. Talk about it with your partner.
The third age is marked with more frequent instances of losing people (friends, siblings, wider family, spouse/partner) who are precious to you. One has to learn to grieve well and healthily. If you are struggling with a bereavement, get help. There is a season to grieve but there is a season to move on and live.
As you enter the third age it is a season to ensure both spouses/partners can live well when a bereavement happens to one member. Typically men will need to learn how to cook quality meals for themselves, clean the house, do washing and look after their health. Women need to know all about routine house and vehicle maintenance, finances and insurance. Both parties need to know all the passwords! It is a season to mentor each other in areas where duties may have been segregated.
Questions to ponder
So you are looking forward to retirement. “Roll on 65,” you say. Over the three previous issues we introduced this topic and looked at the Big Picture and Health. Over the next three issues we will continue to expand on what can be a scary season of life for many men and women. As with any season of life you need a life plan, and the third age is no different. This season of life should be the most influential and rewarding.
So, the BIG FINANCE PICTURE is: You are unlikely to be as wealthy as the day you retire and enter the third age. Financial limitations will impact your freedom to do things at some stage and you need to allow for this in your plan.
Your plan is the whole of life direction you are planning for, and part of that plan is a finance plan or budget.
As mentioned last month, health and capacity will impact your leisure, as will finances. With increased free time leisure opportunities increase and so with all these opportunities you will need to budget time and money. You may need to ration, change or eliminate current or new opportunities.
ADEQUACY OF SAVINGS
With changing income, you will need to plan what activities (travel, presents, recreation, dining out, etc) are reduced, altered or eliminated. Your savings will be defined as you enter the third age and it is unlikely that they will increase from that point. There is an argument that there is no point in planning further saving. There are decisions to be made about adjusting living to income, or living to consuming all income and savings. If your income exceeds living requirements, then it is a season to give it away. There is no point being the richest person in the graveyard. No one will care!
USEFULNESS AND YOUR VALUE
Our culture has a tendency to value people on their asset wealth. The third age brings changes to wealth patterns. It is a time to accept one’s worth and value is not based on what we have but who we are. Who we are, our identity, should be based on our influence and the legacy we leave behind in the lives of other people. With increased time in the third age, there is never a season like this to build legacy.
UNFULFILLED DREAMS AND ASPIRATIONS
The reality is that you will enter this season with some aspirations or dreams that have never been achieved. If you have aspired to climb Mt Everest you may have to let this go. It is healthy to review the bucket list and choose to let some things go.
You may have operated without a budget for many years. The third age may be a season that the budget has to be reintroduced to achieve your life plan without stress and fear. By doing a budget you may find you have freedom to do more than you expected!
Questions to ponder:
So, you are looking forward to retirement. Roll on 65, you say. Over the two previous issues we introduced this topic and looked at the big picture. Over the next four issues we will continue to expand on what can be a scary season of life for many men and women. As with any season of life you need a life plan, and the third age is no different. This season of life should be the most influential and rewarding.
So, the BIG HEALTH PICTURE is: you are unlikely to be as healthy as the day you retire and enter the third age. Health and energy limitations will impact your freedom to do things at some stage, and you need to allow for this in your plan. Are you planning to be old and full of years? If so, then you need to be wise and proactive in looking after your body.
Questions to ponder:
So, you are looking forward to retirement. “Roll on 65,” you say. Last month we introduced the topic of preparation for the “third age,” and over the next five issues we will expand on what can be a scary season of life for many men and women. As with any season of life, you need a life plan, and the third age is no different. This season of life is, potentially, the most influential and rewarding.
As I moved into this season of life, one question that I had to answer is “how much is enough?” I first pondered this question at age 57, over dinner with friends. Upon analysis, often it’s a lot less than some people imagine, but until you do a plan and look at your choices, you will not know.
So, the BIG PICTURE is;
So you are looking forward to retirement. Roll on 65, you say. I will be getting paid by the government to stay home and reap the years of paying tax. No more 9 to 5 work. No more waking to the alarm clock each weekday morning. No more crawling to work in traffic for 45 minutes each way. Golf three times a week… or fishing or bowls. What about the overdue remodelling of the house or garden? Ah, that long-awaited overseas trip. All those movies I haven’t yet watched. Then there is my bucket list. Yes sir, roll on 65.
But wait; there is more to consider! There is a question that you have to answer before you retire – what will I do on Tuesdays?
With retirement comes a heap of free time. Do I have friends to spend this time with? Do I have the health and physical capacity to undertake all these opportunities? Who am I when I retire? What is my title, my status, my worth? I have no job identity! Do I have the financial resources to do any of the things I thought I would do in retirement?
I will never be as rich as I am the day I retire. Chances are I will never be as healthy as the day I retire. On average, I only have 200 months left to live. Have the wounds of my life caught up with me? Will I face a mountain of unfulfilled dreams and the realities of my broken relationships?
Retirement can be a scary time for many people and couples. Over the next 5 issues we will discuss issues to be addressed by men and women planning for retirement and in retirement. The ideal situation is that you plan for this season of retirement or THE THIRD AGE of your life. It should be the most rewarding season of your life but to ensure it is, it is not a season to be drifted into or forced upon you.