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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Non-Financial Planning Step 2

5) Know your boundaries
It is inevitable that people will decide that since you are retired, you have extra time, and extra resources.  With this in mind, understand that if you are willing to do whatever, someone will let you.  It goes back to the old adage that your life will have an agenda… if not yours, then someone else’s.  Set your own agenda and do so BEFORE you are asked.
Great!  Help out.  If what you want to do is watch the grandkids while your kids work, that’s wonderful.  You will help your kids, and both you and the grandkids will build some incredible memories together.  But remember that this isn’t your job unless you choose to make it that. 
Make sure that you are getting what you need, and if you do watch the grandkids, make sure that the kids have a backup plan so that you can get away or simply take time off.  A good way to do this for the timid is to set a time period, “I will watch the kids for you for the next 3 months to help you save some money.”  Then do take some time off.  It keeps the kids independent.
Above all, learn to say “no”, and mean it.  You CAN learn to say it nicely and still get your point across. Above all, don’t come up with excuses to say no for you.  Excuses can be overcome, and it says that you simply aren’t resolute in your opinion.  When the excuse is gone, so is the reason you cannot participate.  Then you either get stuck with it or are left floundering for another excuse.  If you aren’t used to saying no, it may sound a bit harsh to others to begin with.  So be it.  They will get over it.
6) Get a hobby
This is probably one of the hardest things for most retirees to get their arms around.  What to do next? As a result, many watch television all day long, read every book they can lay their hands on, increase the sleep to half the day, or sometimes, just sit.  There’s nothing wrong with any of these so long as it is moderation.  Taken to extreme, these can cause depression.  You need to be productive and find something you enjoy.
You might eventually end up with several hobbies to avoid boredom, but start with one.  Learn about it, take classes, read books on it, research the subject on the Internet, and then practice.  Become an expert. Whether you pick up a musical instrument, build wood projects, create stained glass lamps, write, or build the biggest garden in the neighborhood, enjoy!
7) Keep the juices flowing
Very few people who are working actually end up with dementia or slip into Alzheimer’s Disease.  Sure, age is a huge factor, but the biggest factor in keeping away these life-stealers is the fact that they are keeping their minds busy.  It’s a fact – even youngsters who vegetate will lose their ability to creatively think, analyze information, and make well thought out choices.
You are never too old to learn, even if you don’t learn as fast as you used to.  The amazing thing is that you can improve your ability to learn once you start. Even if you prefer to do nothing more, do at least one crossword puzzle a day, keep up on your vitamins, and get a bit of exercise.  Doing just these basic things can help to eliminate confusion and avoid being robbed of your mental acuity. 
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