Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Retire From Work Not From Life

Work takes up a huge chunk of time in our everyday life, therefore retirement can be a difficult adjustment if you don’t have a plan in place for the free time you’ll suddenly have. As the initial retirement euphoria dries, you may begin to feel clueless with all the time that you have in your hands. Staying engaged in constructive activities is critical to ward off depression, an ailment that often accompanies seniors. My Health Guardian talks to real life seniors to get inputs on how to plan new innings post retirement. Also tell you how to make your post-retirement years fulfilling. Read in detail

Retirement is no longer the end of the road tells Indira Gulati, Cofounder and Director of Manzil, an NGO based School at Kotla Mubarakpur Delhi, which excels in teaching new skills to underprivileged children. At the age of 50, Ms Gulati pursued a course in teaching for severely handicapped children and thereafter started working with a model school named Sahan. And at the age of 76, she established her own setup ‘Manzil’, along with her daughter Sonia. She believes that it was her daughter’s sufferings that motivated her to plan her years after retirement this way. Today she feels that post retirement years gave her life an entirely different and meaningful direction.

Celebrate this phase of your life, where you have all the time in the world to do whatever you like. Life after retirement can turn out to be one of those memorable times, where you can have a great time with your loved ones. Choose to do things that you like and you are sure to have a wonderful life after retirement tells Apoorva Talukdar, who has established a school for unprivileged children and old age literacy centre at Dodo, a small town near Jaipur. Retired from the Indian Air Force in 1997, Talkudar faced terrible loneliness and depression post retirement. This was the time, he decided to start teaching the slum children. All classes at his school are free but there is a fine of Rs 5 for late comers and Rs 10 for absentees.

Dwell on your interests. All your life, you may have been postponing your interests, but now you have the time and energy to cultivate those, tells Vijay Bahadur Singh, a retired government officer, who dedicates his post work days to travel and nurture his long left passion to paint. He says, apart from paintings, I found a hidden interest and that was meditation; now meditation gives me lot of pleasure and I can spend around one hour in the morning and another one in the evening to meditate. The only thing to be looked after is your health, after you retire to enjoy active, meaningful years ahead. Walk as much as you can. This is really the key to a happy retired life.
Your choice of attitude and actions can make the difference between boring or brilliant years.

 4 tips to make your post-retirement years fulfilling

Establish an exercise schedule. Try to add exercise and new healthy habits to your routine. In retirement, you can no longer use the excuse that you are too busy to exercise. Many people enjoy golf, hiking, or other activities that keep them socially involved too. Now, it should not be difficult to go for morning walk everyday. Moderate exercise will boost your metabolism and also help keep you healthy.

Follow your passion. Retirement is the perfect time to expand and pursue your hobbies. Try improving your skills by joining a course. You may have relished playing guitar or were passionate about photography, but were forced to forego the hobbies later, as life became busier. Once you retire you may perhaps enjoy playing videogames designed for seniors like wii-xbox, brain age, etc. It’s involving and is good for mental health as well, so why not check it out.

Volunteer or work part-time. Volunteering is a great way to share your knowledge and experience with others. There are many worthy non government organizations that need participation and support to help those facing troubles in life, emotional, educational or health wise. If you like kids, perhaps you can volunteer at a school or work for an after-school tutoring program. Many parents are willing to pay for tutoring that will help their children catch up or excel at school.

Build your network. Work gives you active social life, and it can be a jarring experience to retire. Your friends at work probably won’t have much time for you, so you will need to make new friends. Volunteering in your community is a great way to meet new people and build your network. You may think networking is not important after you retire, but we are still human and need some form of social life. Also consider reconnecting with old friends who may be retiring around the same time as you.

So plan today what you will do post retirement. With a perfect plan in place, you would look forward to your post retirement years.

Priya Singh

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Category: Seniors
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