How to RETIRE and feel with-it


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Do you feel like these moose lumbering through a neighborhood?  Are you recently retired or is retirement still around your next bend in the road?

Besides the financial changes, isn’t the fear of not being influential a hard pill to swallow?   Every day we can’t help but notice those young adults who remind us of who we once were.

Have you seen the latest Nancy Meyers movie – THE INTERN?   This movie puts the changes and trials of retirement, up close and personal.

We tend to try to replace the void that can go with such a huge slowing down in our life.  Animals help, but for those of us that don’t have them, we can feel almost aimless at times.

Then there’re those painting classes we never got to.  And our newfound ability to travel and gives us ample time to connect with friends.  But even so – retirement still has its challenges.

I’m wondering if the more “Type-A”  you are – the greater the damage to one’s identity?  It hit me for a loop.  I’m still working through how  I should spend my time and energy.  Figuring out where I am, in the scheme of things, as a “new retiree.”

Wanting to feel relevant, doesn’t lose its importance.

They’re no CliffNotes for fading into retirement,  but here’s an interesting read:

It helps if we focus on:

1- Staying CURIOUS

2- TRYING TO LEARN technology, so you can understand our youth, our society and explore, without lifting a finger.

3- INVESTING in other activities you never had the time for – not to become rich but more enriched!

4- Be a VALUE + one – for volunteer groups and use your skills to make a difference.

5- Stay ACTIVE both physically and mentally.

6- CHALLENGE yourself daily to read, try new things, walk and visit others who truly cherish your contact.

So how do we stay feeling relevant?  Here’re some articles that speak to this aspect of retirement:

1) How-to-stay-relevant-in-retirement

2) 8-ways-to-stay-hip-without-embarrassing-yourself

3) Self-esteem and retirement

4) The art of being relevant Again!

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Isn’t this quote apropos heading into retirement?

“The happiest people are those who are too busy to notice whether they are or not”  – by William Feather

Some of you might find this forum enlightening.  It’s one where people talk among themselves about the challenges of retirement:

Forum for Retirees

If you are one of those individuals who scoff at SMARTPHONES, I’m not sure why?

A smartphone allows you access to almost any information at your fingertips.  If you walk into an Apple store, folks waiting to help you understand how to use your new device.  In fact, when I purchased my new Apple computer, I paid the $100 for a year of training.  Let me tell you, it was money well spent.

Life with technology is a struggle, but without it, we slide down a slippery slope into oblivion. At least as far as our younger compadres view us.

Here’s a neat article on setting up your cell phone.  But, head back into the store and get some patient, young person to help you:

How to configure a Smartphone for someone who never has never done it

My daughter said something to me, and it stuck.   Don’t be afraid to CLICK ON EVERY ICON and button, it’s not like the old days where you could crash something. Our generation is afraid to CLICK, but that’s how you learn.  If you picture a car – wouldn’t you look at each button and figure out what it means, what it’s used for and how? Try clicking on every menu item on your computer, for example in a program like Facebook, Instagram or WAZE.  For your sake, figure out how to use GOOGLE MAPS, at the very least – it will save you time. If you remember one thing – anything that comes to you on your phone in a colored font underlined, is usually an active link – i.e. it will click into say a map or a website.  It’s terrific when someone texts you an address for example.  You can invite people to an event in your calendar, with the click of a button, allowing them to input as well.  Here’s a terrific resource for seniors who might need assistance with the internet:  USING THE INTERNET FOR SENIORS.

IMG_0676When is the last time you traveled and an airline for example, like Southwest, sends you a confirm by email.  There is an active link in that email actually to put the flight event straight into your calendar. Try it – you WILL like it!

Speaking of WAZE  again – this a terrific app for finding the best route to get away from traffic jams!  FANDANGO allows you to buy movie tickets right on the app.  OPEN TABLE app enables you to make dinner reservations at the click of a button.

But, there are hundreds of apps on your smartphone to help you.  They help you figure out what to pack for your vacation. You can also set a simple alarm while cooking your favorite entrees.

I have just opened a Pandora’s box for you now; you can GO FOR IT if you haven’t already. Don’t let FEAR hold you back from learning and continuing to grow with technology!

I cringe at a party when I hear seniors negating the internet.  Nothing feels as insignificant, as a lack of will to keep learning.

Get someone to show you how to add a calendar event into your smartphone.  How about FLIXSTER for movies – have you explored that app?  Do you know how to play music through PANDORA or SIRIUS?

Try adding your bank and deposit a check with your smartphone.  Another app is NEWS; it allows you to see articles from all the newspapers and mags.  The list is endless for apps.

Cell phones have taken away the need for cookbooks.  Not that I still don’t have and use them.  But OMG you can research almost everything online now.

You can GOOGLE any question you need.  How could that, in of itself, be a bad thing?

Here’s where the weird part comes into play.  Get your grandchildren to help you if you want or take a class on importing pictures.  Force yourself to jump out of your contempt for all things that beep and go for it.

I wish my parents had been able to stay up with the curve.  Maybe just enough, to be able to browse the internet and make a Face-Time phone call.  Or to be able to click on pictures I’d sent them.  But – unfortunately, their fear kept them from wanting to learn.  That’s another thing – oh my gosh – if you haven’t learned how to Facetime, in 2016 you must!  It makes speaking to loved ones fantastic, with instant facial connections.

PLEASE keep your sense of humor and humility in check as well.  The worst thing we can do is resent those who are our age and know more about technology than us!  Laugh at your inability to do something and forgive yourself.  None of us have all the answers to happiness in retirement but like these moose we just have to keep on keeping on.

Young people struggle to keep up too.   They have a built-in advantage in that they have to keep more abreast of newer technologies.

YosemiteIt’s true that no matter who we vote for next November, our next president should have the skills.   To predict better and assess what nation needs to be safe.

If you want to be relevant to your children, grandchildren, and friends – keep up – just do it!  The opportunities for you are endless.  As we decline, we must stay focused on the future.

Remember:  “You don’t stop laughing when you grow old, you grow old when you stop laughing.”  George Bernard Shaw

Be the senior, who learns more in 2016. More about technology and the friend who makes the effort to help and encourage others to push on.

Let’s be retired and yet continue to feel relevant!