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Retirement don’ts

Retirement don’ts
Retirement don’ts
Dr. Wayne Willis

To the question posed in Quora Digest, “What shouldn’t you do when you’re retired?” Gary Foster, self-declared career transition and retirement coach, gave what strikes me, a retired guy, as wise counsel. Responding to a negatively-worded query, Foster, with negatively-worded answers, sees five yellow lights ahead.

1. Don’t go sedentary. I’ve heard those words from my wife when she sees me spending too much time at the computer. I do two little things to combat sedentary tendencies. I do a light, short jog three times a week to give my heart an aerobic treat. I do light resistance exercises (weight lifting) as a safeguard against falling. I think “no pain, no gain” is for younger people. From here on, for me, I think light is right.

2. Don’t rob yourself of sleep. Read articles on the internet about how to get more and better sleep. We’re fortunate, as retired people, to be free to take a short nap in the afternoon if and when we feel sleepy.

3. Don’t become socially isolated. AARP claims that, health wise, social isolation is equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Make a point to connect with a friend or friends several times each week. Include relationships with younger generations.

4. Don’t stop learning. The brain is like a bicep: use it or lose it. Read good literature as if dementia is out seeking victims and may stalk you next. There are many articles written by physicians and scientists that have found a direct correlation between challenging our minds and lower dementia rates.

5. Don’t think of retirement as a landing. Foster says, “Think of it as a new takeoff.” After decades of making a living, retirement can be opportunity to become more of an unselfish contributor to humanity and less a self-absorbed consumer.