I just love hearing your retirement advice. There seems to be a consensus among the women in our community that retirement isn’t what it used to be. Retirement isn’t just about leaving our jobs – it is about following our passions. It isn’t necessarily about “aging gracefully” – it’s about picking our own “-ly” word.

All that said, retirement is still a reality for many of us. Whether we like it or not, there will come a time when we are no longer able to stay in the careers that have given us financial support over the years.

In addition, as our kids continue to build their own lives, often in other parts of the world, we will increasingly need to look to each other for social support. Perhaps hardest of all, we will need to find our own sense of meaning in retirement.

 
 

Fortunately, there are plenty of women in our community who have already reached this major milestone. They have dealt with the fears of not having a salary any more. They have faced the loneliness that can come when you no longer need to go into the office. Perhaps most importantly, they have searched for – and in many cases, found – ways to bring meaning into their lives.

I recently asked the retired women in our community to give some retirement advice to their younger Sixty and Me sisters. Here’s what they had to say.

Learn to Like Your Own Company

Hélène – Sisterhood seems to be the way to go. I like my own company so I am never lonely. I’ve been retired for ten years. I have a good life and I still live with my wonderful husband of 49 years. A sense of humor and mutual respect are so important. We just let the rest go!

Enjoy the Freedom

Debra – I retired in August… the minute I could! Every day, I am thankful that I don’t have to wake up at 4:30 am or deal with traffic. I’m so thankful for Social Security and my pension!

Don’t Over Volunteer

Marlene – After teaching for 39 years, I have been retired for 1.5 years. During my first year in retirement, I overdid it with volunteering, tutoring, and other activities. Eventually, it was like going to work every day. So, don’t say “yes” to every request that comes along!

Take Time to Plan

Lynne – I took the first 3 months off as a long holiday. Then I joined two groups – the U3A organization to keep my brain active and the Art Gallery Committee to meet like-minded people.

Learn to Relax

Linda – I sleep until I wake up, unless I have a special appointment. I have pursued my love of art and take advantage of every day. I do the things I love.

Get Your Finances in Order

YN – Think about both fixed expenditures and income from all sources and how stable and secure each is.

Make Friends and Money

Roseanne – For a successful retirement you need enough money and enough friends.

Live for the Moment

Cheryl – I plan to enjoy my money now, because nothing is promised tomorrow. I am living my dreams.

Take Care of Your Health

Carol – Take a class in movement: yoga, Tai Chi or dance. If you’re with a partner, take at least an hour a week to do something on your own.

Retirement advice - take care of your health

Stay Mentally Alert

Sue – I retired a year ago and my advice is keep active, both physically and mentally.

Keep Active

Melanie – I’ve been retired almost 4 years and my advice would be to keep active. I am busier now than I was when I was working!

Get a Hobby and Stay Healthy and Happy

Sandi – Don’t let yourself turn stale. Get a new hobby, enjoy your freedom prioritize your health and happiness.

Stop and Smell the Roses

Linda – After 35 years on the job, take time for yourself. If YOU want to see a movie, go. If YOU want to go to lunch, go. Smell the roses. No more rushing. Enjoy life.

Volunteer

Rosanne – Spend your time doing something worthwhile that is near and dear to you. I walk dogs at our local animal shelter and my husband volunteers as a tour guide at our local museum. It is a “win-win!”

Plan Holidays

Valerie – I still enjoy working. It pays for my holidays plus if keeps me alive and active.

Keep Active in Body and Mind

Sheila – I sometimes wonder how I found the time to go to work. There is so much to do.

Get Financial Advice

Meg – Two pieces of advice. First, get good financial advice. Then, make sure you have some regular activities planned.

Stop Watching the Clock

Chris – What do you enjoy doing on your days off? Do more of it! Just do all the things you “must do some time!” Stop rushing and watching the clock.

Get Organized

Marilyn – Have some structure in your daily schedule. Volunteering can bring great joy into your life. Have coffee or walking dates with friends. Travel. Read books and poetry. I retired at 60 and love every minute of it.

Get Up and Dress Up

Marlene – Get Up, Dress Up! Just keep busy doing what makes you happiest and healthier!

I don’t know about you, but, I just love the wisdom that these women shared. In essence, they are saying that retirement can be whatever you want it to be. You just need to take control!

Have you recently retired? What retirement advice would you give to the other women in our community? Are you approaching retirement? What is the first thing that you want to do when you retire?

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