Third Age: Retire to something, not from something - Tucson Local Media: Aging Well

Third Age: Retire to something, not from something

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Posted: Wednesday, September 26, 2012 10:26 am

If you’re on the verge or newly retired, you’ve no doubt asked yourself what now? It’s an important question because you’re about to enter one of the most significant periods in your life.  It’s scary and exciting and if you haven’t prepared for it, you’re in for some surprises.

Retirement is essentially your third age as I like to call it. It’s a life you’re going to lead, probably for a number of years. And it can be a lonely place, especially for men who miss the old gang at work and all “the good times,” if you don’t plan for it. 

The work life and good times with your old pals will slowly dissolve making way for your life to be transformed. You’re about to become who you are and not what you do.  And that can be tough for some.

I’ve touched on good nutrition and exercise, necessary ingredients for successful aging, but perhaps the most important ingredient for investing in your new life is commitment.  If you love and have the love of a committed partner, you’re well on your way. But women have less of a problem with retirement than men, and having a dream and setting goals remains as important as ever in your life.

Getting involved can be as simple as volunteering for something that interests you or has always held meaning in your life. And you know what they say, one thing leads to another.  You need people, a “new gang” in your life.  I like to think of the third age as retiring to something, not from something.  What bothers many men is the sense they’ve been devalued because their work life and contributions are at an end.

The thing is, it’s not over yet unless you make it so. For me the bottom line is, don’t give up.  Find what excites you, what makes you get up in the morning, what keeps you alive.

Alive is best. If we are more alive it’s likely we’ll be healthier and live longer. Alive means connecting with people.  It makes life fun and interesting. And while you’re having fun, laugh a lot.  I’ve been told that laughter is the shortest distance between two people.

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