It is becoming more accepted that people have to feel they are a productive part of a society to be able to enjoy the full benefits modern living brings us. This is quite separate from the need to adequately finance our way through life, although that of course, is a big incentive to become more socially involved.
It is not altogether an instinct restricted to the elderly who have finally reached retirement age either, as young unemployed people have a similar feeling of loss of meaning in their lives when they find they can not contribute to the community in any worthwhile way and therefore begin feeling alienated. Many retirees however find the change from being a contributor to a non-contributor very hard to handle, both physically and mentally. This frustration can then show up in their progressive ill health, ending in an earlier death than would otherwise have occurred.
Examples of how your retirement years could actually be harmful to your health are below:
- Resignation. The word ‘resignation’ could just as easily be replaced by defeatism. You suddenly find you have nowhere to go in the morning. Finance is not an issue but you must resign yourself to the fact that you are not needed any more. This feeling alone can become overpowering. The best way to overcome this is to keep active. Find some work to do that is meaningful to others besides yourself. This could be voluntary work or in some manner of employment. It is important that you wake up each day believing that you have something to do and if you don’t do it someone other than yourself will be the poorer.
- Escapism. What does each day hold for you in your retirement? Is it sitting in front of a TV? It is not true that not having to work anymore will be bliss. Even all day golf sessions can actually become boring. Once again it is not all that important how you finished up finance wise in your retirement years it is where you now find your place in the community. When you find you are doing things purely as escapism activities in order to keep yourself from facing the reality of retirement, it is time to become involved in the community again, carrying out meaningful activities that involve others in some way.
- Indifference. If you are retired and find that you don’t seem to care about anything anymore, take it as a warning sign that you are heading towards depression. When you become indifferent towards your family, your community, even what is happening in the wider world around you it is time to find something to do that means something to you as well as others. If you have a certain talent in some area use it to keep yourself busy.
- Worrying About Health. When idly sitting by with no interests other than passing the day away, an elderly person’s thoughts often turn to his or her health. This in itself can create a state of mind whereby imagined illnesses become real. Kenneth Shultz, a California State University psychology professor has reported that being engaged in a meaningful activity, paid or voluntary, will most likely give a person an improved health benefit upon his or her retirement.
- Purpose. We all need a purpose in order to live life to the fullest. Work, and the challenges that brings, gives life a purpose. Take work away and the purpose for living diminishes. Everybody needs to be able to keep accomplishing something and work fulfils that need.
- Marriage. Where two people have spent many years together the fact that they now spend 24 hours of every day together can become too much for some. Where work used to be a lifesaver in a relationship, retirement can prove to be an insurmountable obstacle for some people to get their mind around. A hobby or work outside the marriage can be all that is needed to save the day.
- Present Finance. When you first retire you can defer being paid the pension and keep working if you wish. This can give you an extended period for you to adjust to the life changing event that is forthcoming. You can also delay having your superannuation paid out for the same reason. Many people have died soon after retiring simply because they couldn’t adjust to the changed situation but you can ease into the change.
- Future Finance. As people are generally dying at an older age than they were 20 or 30 years ago, it follows that we will be in retirement for much longer than our parents or grandparents were. Many people retiring today will not be financially prepared to live that long without, at some stage, having to rely on social security. It is important that for as long as possible we should find a way to compliment our incomes from some outside source. The extension of a hobby, mentoring or doing anything worthwhile, will go a long way to making this chapter in your life an enjoyable one and not one to be feared.
Kristy Ramirez writes for Life Insurance Finder where she helps people to compare life insurance quotes and select the best policy to meet their needs at the best possible price.
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