Finding the Right Amount of Structure in Retirement

Having a set structure is something many people struggle with after leaving full-time work for a life of their own making. Because I had basically created my own schedule at work for the past several years, I was surprised that dealing with a lack of a workplace structure would be a problem for me. At first, I over-organized my life. I created a fairly rigid weekly schedule with certain days/times to do certain things. I was determined not to feel like I was drifting through my days with no sense of accountability. But with all the structure I'd created, I…

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Two Boomer Workplace Challenges That Employers Can Turn Into Opportunities

A huge demographic shift is underway, and it is already affecting the workplace. Baby boomers in the U.S. are reaching full retirement age at a rate of 10,000 per day. Without preparation, a mass exit could create lost expertise and organizational knowledge. Yet not all boomers are eying the exit door. According to research conducted in 2014 by Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, 65% of boomers were at least planning to work beyond age 65. Delayed Retirement a Concern Results from a 2018 Willis Towers Watson Survey found that nearly half of the employers involved in their study were concerned…

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Like an Unexpected Storm, Retirement Can Challenge Us in Unexpected Ways

Last week our local weather service projected that our area would experience from one to five inches of snow. We ended up with about a foot of wet snow throughout our county. Trees and power lines were down throughout our area. We lost part of our tall, Moon Glow Juniper hedge. I tried to save some of them by knocking off some of the extra snow with a heavy, industrial broom. Unwisely, I stood on a plastic chair while it was snowing to reach some of the juniper branches. It only took an instant to fall and bang up my…

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How to Side-Step an Unhealthy Retirement Trap

The Danger of Waiting Until Retirement to Implement Positive Changes Years ago, I worked with a woman I’ll call Linda, who spent most of her career sitting behind a desk. She also carried a lot of stress – both work-related and personal. The year before she planned to retire, Linda started developing a lot of health problems. Linda confessed she’d gained 50 pounds over the years, and her doctor told her she had better start dropping some weight –sooner than later. As her retirement date came into focus, Linda started talking about all the things she was going to do…

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Marketing to Boomers: Forget Stereotypes, Ask Questions, and Engage Us

My husband rarely touched a computer until he reached his late sixties; at the time, he didn’t believe that learning new technology was necessarily worth the effort. Then one day his son-in-law sat down next to him and demonstrated many of the things an iPad could do. A couple of months later, my husband owned an iPad. Within the next couple of years, he had an iPhone and an Apple 2 watch. To assume that baby boomers are uninterested in technology or some of the same products or causes that younger generations value is a mistake. At present, baby boomers…

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Rediscovering Life After Retirement

I now take time to sit down and enjoy breakfast with my husband each morning. When I was teaching, we only sat down and ate breakfast together on weekends and during scheduled breaks. Now it is a simple ritual, a simple joy. Sometimes we even linger after eating and watch birds from our dining window feasting on seeds we'd left for them. When I take our dog for a walk around a nearby pond, I want to take in everything I see - the water, the ducks on the pond, the winding paths, the contrasting colors and various textures that…

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Why We Need to Take a Stand Against Ageism and Seven Ways We Can Each Do It

When I was still teaching speech communication at a community college, I would occasionally hear ageist remarks from my students that I had to address. One time a student proposed a persuasive speech topic about why people over sixty should be required to get retested every year for their driver’s licenses. Some of the other students in the class enthusiastically supported the topic and made comments like one who said, “I see those old geezers on the road sometimes and they go so slow and have to lean over their steering wheels just to see.” Then this student pantomimed his…

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Limiting Dangerous Falls with Balance Work

Picture yourself in 15 to 20 years from now. Are you enjoying life to the fullest? Are you still able to climb stairs and get off the floor without assistance? Can you catch your balance without falling? Now picture yourself in 15 to 20 years. Imagine yourself having difficulty getting up from a chair without having to steady yourself. Imagine you lose your balance and fall on the floor. You discover that you can’t get up. Instead, all you can do is yell, “Help, help, I’ve fallen.” But because you didn’t want to wear that big, beige medallion around your…

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Gender and Carving Out a New Life after Leaving Your Career

I met with a friend last week who is a successful business woman and teaches at the college part-time just because she enjoys it. As this friend is now seventy, I asked her if she was planning on slowing down – maybe selling her business or traveling more. She answered, “Well, what would I do for the next 30 years? Maybe I’ll sell the business when I reach eighty-five”. Because friend takes very good care of herself, I can easily imagine that she will reach 100. In general, women will outlive men by at least a couple of years. The…

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Limit Dangerous Falls, Increase Balance

Picture yourself in 15 to 20 years from now. Are you enjoying life to the fullest? Are you still able to climb stairs and get off the floor without assistance? Can you catch your balance without falling? Now picture yourself in 15 to 20 years. Imagine yourself having difficulty getting up from a chair without having to steady yourself. Imagine you lose your balance and fall on the floor. You discover that you can’t get up. Instead, all you can do is yell, “Help, help, I’ve fallen.” But because you didn’t want to wear that big, beige medallion around your…

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