One of the most critical aspects of the retirement years is the need to be open to the inevitability of change. For some people this is not too difficult, as they may have experienced multiple career moves. Pulling up roots and relocating to new cities at different times of their lives is the norm. They learned how to replant and bloom again…often, repeatedly. These experiences are beneficial and broadening. For some, however, unwanted moves are anathema and leave them resistant to change. At least they have the know-how buried deep inside, and when presented with the challenge of changing, they are well equipped to do it. For others who have spent all their lives in one house or one city, change is unthinkable…and impossible to ponder.
Yet keeping yourself open to change is voluntary. It requires determination and effort. Here are six positive reasons why we should all embrace change:
1. Downsize. As grown children graduate from college, find jobs, marry and move to their own homes either close by or far away, the need for a large home becomes unnecessary. There are many unused rooms, plus the cost of upkeep: heat, lights, repairs, paint, etc. and even higher taxes. Why spend your well-earned money when you can move to a smaller home and have less work and pay less to the government?
2. Travel. During the early years of retirement, use the money you save by living in a smaller house for traveling to new cities and new countries. Take a cruise, go on a bicycle trip through France, visit the country of your ancestors. ENJOY your freedom of retirement and inhale its benefits while your body is still young enough to travel with ease.
3. Expand your thinking. Find your passion: spend your time pursuing hobbies you always wanted to explore but were too busy to enjoy. Audit college courses, take an art course, learn to paint, or, write a book.
4. Volunteer. Give of your talents to a worthy organization. Become a hospital or literacy volunteer, teach English as a second language, and bring yourself closer to children who are the future of our country. Give them a good dose of your wonderful old-fashioned values.
5. Give generously of yourself to friends in need. As we age, more and more of our peers experience health crises, losses not only of spouses but of adult children. Reach out and give sustaining love and support to them. None of us is impervious to loss. “What goes around comes around.” Or as my mother always said, “Ye reap what ye sew.”
6. Locate an affordable, topnotch retirement facility. Give your family the gift of not worrying about your old age. Give yourself the security of moving to a fully staffed and equipped step down retirement center, where your needs as they increase can be met. Give yourself the gift of peace of mind and your family the freedom to lead their own lives without caring for you.
Live your life to the fullest every day you have on earth.
Joy Nevin is the author of Joy of Retirement. Click to purchase on Amazon.