Thursday, April 26, 2012

Do Women Find Retirement More Fulfilling than Men?

I read and hear about people who retire and soon afterwards return to work.  Mostly they seem to be men, which begs the question, “Do men find retirement less fulfilling than women?” 

The Bank of Montreal conducted a survey in January 2012 in which they found that women may adapt better to retirement because they are more able to cope with the transition from work to retirement.  According to the article, women have nurtured families and friendships through the years and have that as a replacement for the work place, whereas men are usually more closely tied to their jobs and don’t have the same support system. (1)  The unique challenges that women face, such as longer life spans, intermittent work histories resulting in smaller pensions and reduction of income due to widowhood or divorce, may give us a different perspective on how we appreciate retirement.   

Personally, I love retirement.  I get up when I choose, plan my day the way I want and feel more relaxed than ever before.  It’s been seven years and I still pinch myself.  All of my friends are retired, so we plan activities together during the time other people are at work.  When we first retired, we continued to plan activities on the weekend until we realized we didn’t have to wait.  Every day was the weekend!!!!  What a revelation that was.

We plan excursions mid-week when rates are lower and route our outings to coincide with desirable traffic patterns.  I have time for reading, writing, and gardening.  Whenever I can get my extended family together at one time, I plan family dinners and spend time with my grandchildren.  I’ve met new people in book club, scrabble group and dance and exercises classes.  This is a most wonderful time of my life, and I am thoroughly enjoying myself.

1.      BMO Retirement Institute Report Survey; Harris Decima; January 2012

Monday, April 9, 2012

Making Retirement Years Count

Welcome to my blog.  As women over the age of 50, we have concerns and anxieties that we didn’t have in our 30s.  There are lots of books and articles about baby boomers, both on- and off- line, and they probably all have interesting information that’s useful, but there’s never too much of a good thing.  Right?

We have embarked upon the second half of our lives.  It’s up to us to chart our course through this transformation mine field.  How we handle the myriad issues that affect us – health, finance, spouses, children, parents, retirement – will help determine the passion and joy we experience during this phase of our lives. 
Those of us who have retired look for ways to be fulfilled and valued.  We want to make the next chapter count.  Retirement allows us to reflect on our plans for the rest of our lives.  I like to think the best is yet to come.  To get the juices flowing, you might want to try a few of these.

Things to Do

Spend time with family
Treat yourself to a massage
Write a novel
Join a discussion group Go to the beach
Visit friends
Drive in the country
Find or create a relaxing place to read
Go camping
Research ancestors
Work on family tree
Lunch with friends
Visit different libraries
Attend a Zumba class
Sign up for a line-dance class
Become active in church
Read “classics”
Start scrabble, chess, card, etc. club
Throw a dinner party
Attend a Bible study group
Take a bus tour
Go on a picnic
Plan a picnic in your backyard
Visit local tourist sites
Scour flea markets
Ride public transportation for fun
Work puzzles (Sudoku, Kenken, crossword, etc.)
Attend live theatre (check out matinees)
Visit museums
Join a new club or group
Learn a foreign language
Write fairytales for grandchildren
Read historical books
Visit towns within 50 mile radius
Go downtown
Visit historic downtowns
Play/learn games you don’t know
Attend speaker’s symposium
Research places on your cruise route