Yes, this sucks. People are getting sick and some are dying. Others are getting laid off or furloughed. The stock market is making us seasick and the economy is tanking. We are all scared, confused, mad, depressed and there seems to be no end in sight.
This attack of the Corona-virus is having a major effect on the mental health of the planet. Even if you don’t get sick, you feel it in your gut. You may wake up in the middle of the night thinking about it. Face Time helps with family separation, but it’s not the same as getting the hugs we need.
One of the many tough parts about staying confined to our
homes all day is that you have plenty of time to watch the news and dwell on
the current events. Besides washing your hands until they bleed and running
commando missions for TP, there doesn’t seem anything we can do about it.
We Do Have Options
We all have more time on our hands considering we’re not commuting to work, not going out to lunch or not BS-ing about the Tiger King at the office.
Let’s Not Limp Through This Corona-Virus Time
Here’s a thought; let’s not limp through this Corona-virus time. Why not set a goal for this to be a period of learning something new. Make it a time to challenge yourself to discover a skill that’s sleeping inside you right now. Our devices don’t have to just be the deliverer of Corona statistics and Netflix. There are a ton of online learning resources to take advantage of.
There are paid sites like MasterClass, Coursera, Udemy and Skillshare that offer courses in painting, drawing, all sorts of tech classes, cribbage, knitting, music, cooking, dog training, photography, finance, creative writing and a ton more. On top of that, there are a lot of free classes on YouTube. If you want some deep fun, the Khan Academy offers a full range of STEM courses. After spending an hour with my 10-year-old grandson trying to help him with his math homework a month ago, I went to Khan to brush up on my skills. It also has courses in personal finance, economics, and career exploration.
Your Corona Mission
So what will your Corona Mission be? What could you learn if you spend 30 to 60 minutes a day for the few weeks? Is there something you did as a kid that you would like another shot at? Take time to go through the resources I listed and see if there is something that excites you. Then create a schedule that you will commit to every day to sit down and learn. In 30 days you just might be pretty good at something new.
When I ask people what their thoughts are about retirement a common answer I get is “I don’t know what I’d do with myself self” or as one wife said to me “If he retires, one of us would be dead in 3 months”. We’ve spent the last 40 odd years buried in careers, parenthood, taking care of our parents, and grandparenthood. We haven’t had the time or desire to develop outside interests that we could carry over into our retirement. The result is we don’t have anything to occupy our minds and time when we retire. This can result in boredom, depression, and friction at home especially when we start injecting ourselves into things that have been running just fine without us.
When the topic of retirement planning comes up, most of the time it’s about financial planning. What is left out is planning how we are going to live in retirement and the attitude required. Retirement should not be approached as the end of something, but as the beginning of a new phase of life and that requires a shift in our mindset.
The blog is fun and challenging at the same time. I enjoy the research I have to do and I’m working hard to take my writing skills out of the Stone Age. There is also the tech education that goes along with it. Learning the software and all the mumbo-jumbo that goes along with it has been interesting.
My experience as an executive in the construction industry had me being in charge of things. So when an opening of our condo board opened up I threw my hat into the ring. I did a bit of campaigning and at our last annual meeting was elected. I was told that all I had to do was to show up to the monthly meetings. But my nature wouldn’t let that happen. And now that I wiggled my way into being president of the condo association when there are projects going on like roofing, deck replacements, or tree trimming I’m knee-deep in them.
I wrote in an earlier post about the importance of taking care of your body as you get older.https://yourextrainnings.com/taking-care-of-you-in-order-delay-your-retirement/ I’m committed to fitness and schedule the time to make it happen. I don’t walk every day but my goal is to reach a daily average of 7,500 steps. My January average was 7,488 which included a few days off with the flu, so I’m happy. I also do 3 to 4 days a week of strength training.
“Retirement is a time to experience a fulfilling life derived from many enjoyable and rewarding experiences”
Ernie J. Zelinski
You need to be thinking ahead. Don’t enter or approach retirement without having at least a couple of your core pursuits figured out. Give yourself plenty of time. Is there anything you used to love to do but the years have caused you to abandon? I have a neighbor who has a Ph.D. in mathematics and had a solid career teaching. When he was a kid he learned to play the organ at a high level but he drifted away from it as he got older. Later in life, he re-fired his passion for playing music and today he has a great part-time retirement job as music director at our church.
Think back to when you were 13. Was there anything you loved to do? Did you have any hobbies you abandoned as life took over? Can they be converted to retirement pursuits?
Here are some examples:
Love basketball or softball? Does your local youth sports league need a scorekeeper?
Like nature walks? Look for a local hiking club to join. I have a neighbor who organizes senior-friendly local hikes.
Are you an avid reader? Local libraries can use volunteers.
If you’re into cars, maybe a part-time job at your local auto-parts store would be perfect.
DON’T DRIFT INTO YOUR EXTRA INNINGS / BE INTENTIONAL
When people struggle with downshifting their careers into retirement, a big reason is the sudden lack of purpose. We daydream about the leisure life, sitting out on the deck with a coffee when others are driving to work. It sounds great and it is initially, but slowly, over time avoid starts to grow in your life. The sense of importance, of having a purpose is no longer there. Even though it felt like a burden, the drive to get out of bed in the morning to do your job is gone and could become a problem.
“The joy of retirement comes in those everyday pursuits that embrace the joys of life”
If you’re like me, around 60 years old, we have on average
another 20-30 years to go. I could have another quarter or more of my life in
front of me. In order to live these years well, you need a reason to get up in
the morning. I’m not talking about perfecting human brain transplants, but I am
talking about having core pursuits that keep you engaged in life.
Start today. Take the time to visualize what your retirement years will be like and what would you be doing if you are happy, healthy and loving life. Now get to work creating your 3.5 core pursuits.
It’s hard to decide on a topic to write a blog post about. I’m tapped into so many resources and experts in the retirement arena that it’s a challenge to pick one thing to focus on. (Baby Boomer onset ADD?) So this week I want to share a few of the value nuggets that came across my Wi-Fi recently.
How does the SECURE Act affect your retirement planning?
2019 ended with the Setting Every Community Up For Retirement Enhancement – SECURE Act being signed into law. It’s the most comprehensive piece of retirement legislation passed in a long time. It covers new required minimum distribution rules, increased access to retirement plans, and increase lifetime income in retirement plans. You should be aware of the specifics of the law in order to stay on top of your planning. Here are the details from Investopedia.com https://www.investopedia.com/what-is-secure-act-how-affect-retirement-4692743
Lifelong Learning and The 60 Year Curriculum.
A group at Harvard University has begun a program called The Sixty Year Curriculum. Its focus is on the development of a new educational framework for teaching new skills in all phases of life. With increased lifespans and career lengths, we will need to be continually updating our skills. This program is aiming at formalizing the process of Lifelong Learning. Here is a link to an article with the details: https://wallyboston.com/60-year-curriculum/
Health Matters (A Lot)
Intermittent Fasting is all over the news, and I’m happy about it. I started my IF routine in earnest about a year ago. I do a 16 hour fast that ends with a healthy lunch. While it took some getting used to with just water, black coffee, and green tea until noon, I’m committed. In that time I’ve gone from 38” waist pants down to 33” and my total cholesterol is down 20 points. Peter Attia MD is one of the worldwide experts on longevity and health. In Episode 89 of his podcast, Peter answers a wide range of questions from subscribers on fasting. https://peterattiamd.com/ama11/
Age Issues – OK Boomer
I finally paid attention to this “OK Boomer” thing. It all started early last year in response to an online video that went viral where an older fellow says “millennials and Generation Z have the Peter Pan syndrome: they don’t ever want to grow up.” As a result, OK Boomer became a catchphrase for younger people to mock the negative attitudes that Baby Boomer may show towards them. When a Boomer says something like “You kids don’t know what hard work is”, the response would be “OK Boomer”. It has taken a more serious turn with it being used in reply to the negative impact that the younger folk think Baby Boomers are having on the environment, real estate, and the economy. Heck, it’s even made it to the US Supreme Court. The BBC has an article that covers the OK Boomer phenomena https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-51132554
For Your Viewing Pleasure
General Magic is a fantastic documentary about one of the most important tech company you’ve never heard of. General Magic created the first smartphone with one problem, they were way ahead of the technology and the company failed. But what they created and the people that worked on it went on to develop the iPhone. It’s an amazing story of technology, business, and ego. https://www.generalmagicthemovie.com/
Quote Of Wisdom: “Everything is a once in a lifetime experience” – Life Is Good tee-shirt