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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Fifty Plus: Wishful Thinking is Not a Plan

Wishing we had more will power to save for retirement, to lose extra pounds, or to write that book we’ve been planning to do for years usually doesn’t help us achieve the goals that are important to us. Some motivational bloggers do tell us is that we need to have SMART goals – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. Using a SMART plan as a basic guideline makes sense for many personal goals, but I also find that breaking down larger goals into their component parts also makes sense.Small Steps Towards a Larger GoalFor example, most people hope that they…

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Retirement: What Kind of Life Do You Really Want?

After working hard for several years and enduring all kinds of stress, the idea of kicking back and relaxing in retirement can sound pretty inviting. Some people dream of traveling, relaxing on beaches, and taking it easy. But for many, the luster of this lifestyle generally wears off within about two years. At that point, it’s a pretty good idea to have a long-term plan. Ideally, you’ll even have a sense of the lifestyle you really want long before you leave your career. A Traditional Retirement Vision Mike Drak, the author of Victory Lap and Retirement Heaven or Hell, suggested…

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Over Fifty: Reset Your Health and Well-Being

At the beginning of each new year, more people set goals to lose weight, change habits, or improve their lives than probably any other time of the year. For those of us who are on the south side of fifty, it is more important than ever to make sure we are doing all we can to take care of ourselves. Let’s face it, as we age, we are at greater risk of facing serious health-related consequences if we neglect our health and well-being. Key Behaviors for Health and Well-Being As summarized in a Well and Good article, experts generally agree…

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Long-Term Stress, Consequences, and Management

If adapting to the pandemic over the past several months hasn’t been enough, 24-7 news coverage of deaths, sickness, and economic ruin could discourage even the most positive among us. In addition to dealing with the pandemic, we’ve been mired in one of the ugliest political seasons in decades. We also had devastating fires and storms toward the end of the summer. And then, when we thought it couldn’t get any worse, we witnessed in real-time an unthinkable attack on the U.S. Capitol.If you have been feeling more than a little stressed lately, you’re not alone. However, how we cope…

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Elder-Wise: Honoring the Past, Present, & Future

The late Civil Rights activist and Congressman John Lewis reminded readers in his book, Across That Bridge, that what anyone hopes to accomplish will likely not be new. We build on the past and learn from the elders who have laid the foundation for the future. As older adults, we have the wisdom to know that we have benefited from those who have come before us. Many of the skills and knowledge we have developed were ones that have been passed from one generation to the next—whether it is the pleasurable act of reading, playing a musical instrument, or solving…

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Looking Back, Looking Forward, Offering Hope

In less than one week, 2020 will be behind us. Most all of us will be relieved when the clock strikes midnight and 2021 begins. Yet for those of us who have been around for at least 50, 60, or 70+ years, we know that while we have reason to be hopeful, it will take time for meaningful change to take place.  With our hindsight, an increased ability to see a better future, and our ability to adapt, we have a significant role to play as our country starts a long journey towards healing. Looking back, Looking Forward A Pandemic…

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