Re­tire­ment: The good, the bad, and the un­ex­pected

Times Colonist - - Advertising Feature - BY MARY HOMER, GOWARD HOUSE SO­CI­ETY

For most of our work­ing lives, we have learned from var­i­ous in­vest­ment pro­fes­sion­als the im­por­tance of sav­ing our pen­nies so that they will grow into valu­able dol­lars – the goal be­ing fi­nan­cial se­cu­rity be­fore we un­chain our­selves from our ca­reers and head into our golden sun­set years. An­other con­cern is de­cid­ing whether or not to stay is our cur­rent home and lo­ca­tion. Would it be pru­dent to down­size, or per­haps re­lo­cate to a new com­mu­nity where the cost of liv­ing is more af­ford­able? Per­haps mov­ing closer to fam­ily is an op­tion to con­sider (or not). Maybe its best to stay within reach of a solid cir­cle of friends for com­pan­ion­ship and sup­port. Thank­fully, there are pro­fes­sion­als to help us with these de­ci­sions. Peo­ple from my par­ents’ gen­er­a­tion looked for­ward to re­ceiv­ing their gold watch and re­tire­ment party. They worked hard. They saved well. But then what? I ques­tion how much at­ten­tion they spent to plan­ning their new life­style. Our work­ing lives pro­vide us with struc­ture and rea­son to get out of bed each morn­ing. What hap­pens when you no longer have that pur­pose? And what hap­pens to the spouse of the re­tiree? My ag­ing neigh­bour shared the dilemma she faced when her hus­band re­tired. She sud­denly found her free time and space cramped by her new­lyre­tired hus­band. He roamed the house aim­lessly, look­ing to fill the void left by his for­mer ca­reer. His re­tire­ment dis­rupted her daily rou­tines and sched­ule. They were hap­pily mar­ried for over 35 years, but re­tire­ment pre­sented a chal­lenge for which nei­ther of them were pre­pared. Was the phrase “life­style coach” even a part of the ver­nac­u­lar in those days? When seek­ing ad­vice on in­vest­ing, you seek an in­vest­ment pro­fes­sional. When seek­ing to move or down­size, you seek the wis­dom of peo­ple in that field. Then who do you seek in­for­ma­tion and ex­pe­ri­ence from when de­ter­min­ing this im­por­tant next phase of your life? Per­haps it would be en­light­en­ing to learn from the ex­pe­ri­ences of those that have gone be­fore you.

In pur­suit of such sage ad­vice, Lyn­d­say Green, best­selling au­thor and pi­o­neer­ing so­ci­ol­o­gist and re­searcher, has writ­ten such a book about the psy­cho­log­i­cal im­pli­ca­tions of re­tire­ment. Her find­ings are based on in­ter­views with over 60 peo­ple, ages 56 to 88, who live in cities, small towns and ru­ral ar­eas. Lyn­d­say Green dis­cov­ered that the story of men’s re­tire­ment is mostly one of ad­just­ment – re­vi­tal­iza­tion and rein­ven­tion. Her book, en­ti­tled Ready to

Re­tire?, is an in­spir­ing por­trait of the emo­tional lives of men who have re­tired or are con­sid­er­ing re­tire­ment, and of the women (and men) with whom they live.

Goward House So­ci­ety and Rev­era Re­tire­ment Liv­ing in­vite you to en­joy lunch and meet:

Lyn­d­say Green Thurs­day, Oct. 6 at 11:30 a.m. Ad­mis­sion is $30, and in­cludes a copy of Ready to Re­tire?

Dur­ing this in­for­ma­tive fundraiser lun­cheon, best-sell­ing au­thor, Lyd­say Green will share find­ings from her lat­est book: “Ready to Re­tire? What you and your spouse need to know about the new re­al­ity of re­tire­ment”. Pro­ceeds from this event ben­e­fit Goward House So­ci­ety. To reg­is­ter, call: 250-477-4401.

Goward House, 2495 Ar­bu­tus Road is a non-profit so­ci­ety that op­er­ates as an ac­tiv­ity cen­tre, for in­di­vid­u­als over the age of 50. www.goward­house.com

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