By Bill Fox/Columnist
My wife is joining me in retirement at the end of June. She probably could have written most of this column (she told me to write that). These points I do think are important for those in retirement or contemplating it in the next while.
1. It’s time to use the money you saved up. Use it and enjoy it. This may also be a bad time for investments, even if it seems wonderful or fool proof. They may only bring worries. This is a time for you to enjoy some peace and quiet.
2. Stop worrying about the financial situation of your children and grandchildren, and don’t feel bad spending your money on yourself. You’ve taken care of them for many years, and you’ve taught them what you could.
3. Keep a healthy life, without great physical effort. Do moderate exercise (like walking every day), eat well and get your sleep. It’s easy to become sick, and it gets harder to remain healthy. Keep in touch with your doctor and stay informed.
4. Always buy better, beautiful items for your significant other. The key goal is to enjoy your money with your partner. One day one of you will miss the other, and the money will not provide any comfort then, enjoy it together.
5. Don’t stress over the little things. You’ve already overcome so much in your life. You have good memories and bad ones, but the important thing is the present. Don’t let the past drag you down and don’t let the future frighten you.
6. Regardless of age, always keep love alive. Love your partner, love life, love your family, love your neighbour and remember: you are only as old as you feel and 70 is the new 50.
7. Be proud, both inside and out. Don’t stop going to your hair salon or barber, do your nails, go to the dermatologist and the dentist, etc.
8. Always try to stay up-to-date. Read newspapers, watch the news. Go online and read what people are saying. Keep the lines of communication open!
9. Respect the younger generation and their opinions. They may not have the same ideals as you, but they are the future, and will take the world in their direction. Give advice, not criticism.
10. Some people embrace their golden years, while others become bitter and surly. Spend your time with positive, cheerful people, it’ll rub off on you and your days will seem that much better.
11. Don’t abandon your hobbies. If you don’t have any, make new ones. You can travel, hike, cook, read, and dance. You can volunteer, grow a garden, play cards, checkers, chess, dominoes, golf, etc.
12 Get out of the house, meet people you haven’t seen in a while, experience something new (or something old). The important thing is to leave the house from time to time. Go to museums, go walk through one of our wonderful parks. Get out there.
13. Be a conversationalist. Talk less and listen more. Everyone is going through the same things, and people have a low tolerance for hearing complaints. Always find some good things to say as well.
14. Don’t lose hope! Be optimistic rather than pessimistic. Be an apostle of hope! Too many get upset about politics, etc.
15. Laugh. Laugh a lot. Laugh at everything. Remember, you are one of the lucky ones. You managed to have a life, a long one. Many never get to this age; never get to experience a full life, but you did. So what’s not to laugh about? Find the humour in your situation.
My wife already has great plans for me in her retirement. I never realized how good I had it, being my own boss during the day for the past few years, but she has a good heart so hopefully she will take it easy on me. (She made me write this!) If you want to go fishing, I’m at firstname.lastname@example.org if I’m not doing chores.