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The Top 10 Ways To Take the Fear Out of Retiring


1."What do you mean, you hate to travel?"

Have you and your spouse actually sat down and discussed how
each of you envisions retirement? If your dreams are completely
opposite of your spouse's, both of you are going to be
disappointed. Honestly talk about them before you get the gold
watch. Be creative and open to compromise, so both of your
dreams can come true.

2."You mean, you're here ALL the time, now?"

Spending all this quality time together may seem like a
wonderful idea, but remember, you both have daily routines, some
of which may have been 30 years in the making. Also, you're not
used to spending 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in each other's
company. Experienced retirees say this is such a big adjustment,
they'd recommend pre-retirement counseling along the lines of
marriage counseling! Recognize and respect the needs both of you
have for space, as well as each other's routines.

3.Money matters, and so does peace of mind.

If you haven't already, consult with a financial advisor to
discuss how to best manage your assets for the long haul, as
people are living longer and longer. Revisit your health and
life insurance policies. Update or write your will, and consider
a Living Will or Advanced Health Care Directive to help guide
your loved ones through a difficult time.

4.Use it or lose it.

It's not just a cliché. Maintaining some level of regular
physical exercise, whether it's walking, gardening, or golf, can
help improve balance, and retain flexibility. If you feel like
you need an ejector seat in your Lazy-Boy, start small, but
start, before you solidify!

5.Where did I put my keys?

What's good for the body is good for the mind. Studies have
shown that working your mind is key to staying mentally sharp.
Experts recommend a daily crossword puzzle, or a game of
Scrabble® along with your vitamins and apple a day.

6.Set limits.

"Oh, Mom can do that; she's retired." Your time doesn't become
less valuable once you retire - although others may seem to
think so. There's nothing wrong with helping out, so long as
you're not ignoring yourself. Remember to respect your own time
and plans; and soon others will, too.

7.Clean out your closets.

As many retirees and empty-nesters downsize into apartments or
smaller homes, they realize that they just don't have the room
for everything anymore. Rather than waiting until the last
minute and feeling overwhelmed with the size of the job, start
now and take small bites. Clean out your closets and put
together a bag for the Salvation Army or Goodwill. Give that old
table to a college kid, just starting out. Who knows, you might
find something worth taking on "Antiques Roadshow!" Plus, your
kids will thank you for it.

8. "So, what do you do?"

Ever get the feeling that people stop listening once you tell
them you're retired? One of the hardest parts of retirement life
is realizing how your job made you feel appreciated, competent
and maybe even powerful. Your talents, skills and gifts didn't
evaporate when you walked out the door on your last day. The
first step is recognizing what you got out of the job - it was
more than just having a place to go every day. Step 2 is finding
new outlets for all you have to offer.

9.Try something new.

Now's the perfect time to live out that long hidden dream, learn
a new skill, take a class or pick up that hobby you dropped
because you just didn't have the time. If anything seems the
least bit interesting, learn more about it. Become an expert in
something. Learn to cook Indian food. Try Tai Chi. If you don't
like it, try something else!

10.It's not just about you.

As mentioned above, your talents, skills and gifts don't have a
limited shelf life. Consider using them to give back to the
world. Your most valuable asset is your time - and your church,
your local volunteer agencies and a whole host of others are
waiting in line. Check out www.volunteermatch.org or check your
local paper for something that intrigues you - even if it's
completely different than anything else you've ever done. It's
never too late to start on your personal legacy.

About the author:
Catherine L. Farrar is a life coach who specializes in working
with people transitioning from a full-time career into full- or
part-time retirement. She can be reached at
[email protected] or visit her website at




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