1. GUESS WHAT Number ... "Retirement" is on the list of 'Life's 43 most stressful life events'.
It’s #10! And that’s why I say we need to talk about your plans. Some people might find the transition easy, but many retirees are truly stressed at the challenge of creating a new identity and purpose.
2. GUESS WHAT … it might mean if your work defines “who you are” rather than “what you do.”
It will make leaving your workplace more difficult. Think about how you will introduce yourself when you retire, and please don’t say ‘I used to be!’ Thinking about who you are NOW and what you want NOW will help you create the things you will be retiring TO.
3. GUESS WHAT … will happen if your social connections are mostly related to your workplace.
It will probably be a lot harder to replace those connections. Finding new friends and interests before you leave your job will create a ready community of people you like to spend time with when you do retire.
By the way, a Harvard Grant Study has shown that having a strong social connection in retirement not only helps people outlive those who don’t but also aids in delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s and dementia.
4. GUESS WHAT … sitting at a desk most of the day can cause.
Complicated physical issues that can interfere with your retirement plans. Get up and get moving! Those grandkids want to play hide and seek. Your condo wants you to be on the pickleball team, and the dog just brought you his leash asking for a long walk. You don’t want to miss out on any of that – do you?
5. GUESS WHAT … believing that “the best is yet to come” can encourage.
Fresh ideas and possibilities! Having a positive mental outlook is not just being a cockeyed optimist. It helps you deal with change as well as giving you more energy for new opportunities and accomplishments. It also makes you more resilient so you can more easily handle the other ‘stuff’ that comes your way.
6. GUESS WHAT happens … when volunteering is what you want to do in retirement, but you don’t spend any time looking into it beforehand.
You will probably waste time searching for appropriate opportunities and get stuck in roles you don’t like. Start early thinking about organizations you want to help and make some inquiries.
Think about what you would like to do for an organization, so you don’t get stuck making phone calls or stuffing envelopes (unless, of course, you like that!).
AND BY THE WAY… one more
7. GUESS WHAT happens … when you WRITE DOWN goals you want to achieve.
Whether it’s a trip to Machu Picchu or creating an online creative cooking club, you will be more likely to achieve your goal if it is WRITTEN DOWN. (You’ve probably already done it on the financial side. Now do the same for all those non-financial issues!)
Research has shown that when goals are written down, it reminds us of what they are and what we need to do to achieve them. Just make sure you put the list in a place where you can easily find it.
No more guessing. Having a little extra information makes you smarter. Now you have it, so get started!
Last week my phone rang showing a number I did not recognize. I answered it anyway because you know, sometimes you just do. The conversation went something like this:
A Voice said: Hello! A couple of years ago you helped my friend The Elf on the Shelf spread his message on social media, so I’m calling hoping you can give ME a little help.
Me: Uh, who is this?
Voice: I’m Moshe, THE MENSCH ON A BENCH. Like Elf, I try to remind Jewish people - actually all people - to be thoughtful, kind, and considerate.
The Mensch: I’m hoping you will come with me to this year’s Chanukah Board Meeting! In case you don’t know, it’s when THE JEWISH BIG FOUR meet to find ways to make sure Chanukah will be meaningful, joyous, and fun. They are always trying hard to be heard above the jingle bells and songs about Rudolph!
(I was intrigued – How does he know Elf? Who are the BIG FOUR? And back then did I actually agree to help spread the word?)
Me: Go on.
Mr. M: This is my first year, and I have a really good suggestion. Come with me and you can put it in your blog about the importance of being a Mensch!
And that’s how I ended up at
Loretta Saff, M.A., CPC, CPRC