To retire connotes a disengagement from the world, an abandonment of activity, a sort of decommissioning of a human being into the mothballed state of rest.
I am not saying that everyone should reject a more sedate life. For many, the time to heal and enjoy the smell of the coffee brewing may be a welcome time after the hard labor of years of work. What I am saying is that the term retirement is similar to the baseball term of retire or go to the bench.
You gotta have a plan!
The population age 65 years or older numbered 46.2 million in 2014 (the most recent year data is available).
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Representing 14.5 percent of the U.S. population, about one in every seven Americans, the trend is moving up and growing larger by the year. Since 1900, the percentage of Americans 65+ has more than tripled (from 4.1 percent in 1900 to 14.5 percent in 2014).
Avoiding the chronic conditions that can rob a well-deserved quality of life is imperative. It has been written that the average 21st century American will likely spend more years caring for parents than for children. By 2025 it is estimated that the annual cost of managing chronic conditions in the United States will exceed a trillion dollars, as the age of the chronically ill continue to get younger.
Shifting into your second act and encore life should be embraced and actively planned. Having an opportunity to return to school, train for a new gig, or give back to our younger generations is vitally needed.
Embrace your new you, be happy and look forward and not back. Resilience is a skill. Try these to improve your life’s efficacy:
- Stay socially engaged
- Have a perpetual “can-do!” attitude
- Always believe in “use-it or lose-it”
- Keep your diet and yourself healthy
- Love yourself
Tom Matt is the host of the ‘Boomers Rock’ radio talk show syndicated throughout Michigan on the Michigan Talk Network and can be heard locally Saturday mornings on the ‘Big Talker’ WJIM 1240 AM. He holds Bachelors and Masters degrees from MSU, is certified from the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a CPT/FNS/SFS. For more information please visit www.boomersrock.us