A Retirement Life of Leisure Isn’t a Long-term Plan

Imagine knowing that you could have 20-30 years or more ahead of you once you retire from your career. After devoting a good portion of your life to your career, you might be looking forward to kicking back and relaxing for a while. However, a life of leisure can get old pretty fast. Within less than two years, most people become bored when they don’t have any sense of direction. My guess is that you don’t want to spend up to half of your available leisure time for the rest of your life sitting in a recliner and watching television.…

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Hospitalization: A Helpful Read Before Experiencing It

Most all of us will end up experiencing at least one hospitalization—especially as we get older. Any hospitalization can be disorienting, but knowing a little about how to prepare and how the system operates may help us reduce the likelihood that the communication ‘ball’ gets dropped or that a medical error occurs. Reading books written by doctors who specialize in care for older adults has been eye-opening. One that helped me understand age-biases in medicine was Elderhood by Louise Aronson, M.D. One of the books I am currently reading is Treat Me, Not My Age: A Doctor’s Guide to Getting…

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Retirement Reality Therapy: Be Prepared

  What most people don’t realize, is that preparing for our best lives post-career can take a lot of planning and effort. David Borchard, author of The Joy of Retirement explains that one of the difficulties many of us face when trying to embrace our next life chapter is that it takes a lot of work. That work includes letting go, picturing our next life, and developing new behaviors. Before leaving my career as an associate professor of communication, I studied and became a certified professional retirement coach. I didn’t necessarily plan to do one-on-one coaching, but I did want to…

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Labeled: “The Elderly” Now Includes Anyone 50+?

A 2020 Oregon State University study found that the negative stereotypes people internalized about aging had a major influence on how they visualized their older selves. “People need to realize that some of the negative health consequences in later life might not be biologically driven. The mind and body are all interwoven.” Given the negative messages about aging that are constantly bombarding us, it is certainly challenging to avoid internalizing such views.  As some researchers have suggested, younger adults tend to be thought of as members of the “in-group” in our culture. Once individuals are no longer perceived as young,…

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