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November-01-17

Successful Retirement: What’s Hope Got to Do with It?

What are you expecting in your retirement? Consider how you answer this. Your response will give an indication of how satisfying your life will probably be. There’s more. How happy are you now? Your answer is also an indicator of your future happiness in retirement.

The Difference Your Outlook Makes

Do you see your retirement as a time of promise and new beginnings? Or are you afraid of what the future will bring? Your expected satisfaction in life is one of 15 factors for retirement success that Dr. Johnson, a leading expert on gerontology and adult development has identified from his 30+ years of practice and research.

“The self-fulfilling prophecy principle is real – act accordingly.” —Dr. Richard Johnson

 

There is a correlation between what you expect and what you’ll experience in your future, between how happy you are now and how happy you will be in the future. When we see a future life of contentment, “we gain a sense of personal relief today”.

However, when we are apprehensive and worry about the world around us and what will come, we succumb to a life hampered with anxiety and uneasiness. We are continuously on the lookout for the next threat that will trouble us. This outlook robs us of our happiness today and gradually builds an isolating wall of fear around us.

 

 What’s the Secret to a Positive Mental Attitude (PMA)?

Optimism and enthusiasm. And what drives these endearing attitudes? You guessed it. Hope.

“Hope is the power which gives us confidence about tomorrow, an assurance that eventually things will be OK, a security that all is well.”

 

Hope is experienced in different ways and at different levels by different people. For some, it is the belief that there is more good in the world than bad, and that the good will prevail. Others experience hope at a spiritual level and have faith in the wisdom and guidance of a higher power. “A positive mental attitude comes from hope in oneself and the human spirit.”

 “When we can rise to some level of hope in our own future, we can multiply our happiness today.”

 

Hone Hope’s Motivating Powers

I am usually an optimistic and enthusiastic person, yet sometimes I do feel the weight of the world. When I focus on all the bad news to which we are constantly exposed, or look at the damage we continue to inflict on our planet, I can feel a level of hopelessness and resignation. My outlook of our future becomes dim. I want to retreat.

But, when I watch a Ted Talk led by a smart, engaged scientist explaining his or her solution to a world problem, I am relieved and reminded of the good in the world. My hope is restored. And with that hope, I am motivated to get out there and enjoy the world and the gifts of the day.

“What you focus on, grows.”

 

When you start to worry about the future, remind yourself of all the good around you.  Build your hope quotient and you will be happier today and in retirement.

 

Successful Retirement: What’s Hope Got to Do with It? blog was originally posted on the Next3rd website.

The views of the author are hers alone and may not represent the views of hers affiliated firms. Any data, information and content on this blog is for information purposes only and should not be construed as an offer of advisory services.

By: Kristine van der Pas-Norenius | 0 comments
October-19-17

7 Habits to Create a Happy Retirement, a Happy Life

What makes you happy now?  What will make you happy in retirement?  Are you waiting for something to happen first, or someone to do something, and then you’ll be content? Ancient wisdom and current science tell us that “happiness is an inside job”.  No need to wait to be happy, you can start now with these seven simple practices!

What is Happiness?

Dr. Richard Johnson, founder of Retirement Options and expert on adult development and gerontology describes the extent of our happiness as:

“The degree to which we experience a sense of delight, fulfillment, pleasure, contentment, and a sense of rightness in all arenas of life”

 

It’s in our genes, or not.  It’s in our attitudes and beliefs, or not.  According to Dr. Amit Sood, renowned expert on stress and resiliency, Mayo Clinic professor, and author of “The Mayo Clinic Handbook for Happiness”, 50% of our happiness depends on our conscious choices.

“Happiness can become an enduring habit.” Dr. Sood

 

All Arenas of Life?

Really? Yep, we’re talking life balance. Research has identified six key facets of life that when attended to, lead you to fulfilling life satisfaction and a successful retirement. We need all six in our life to varying degrees and when one or more is neglected, and another is all consuming, we are out of sync and our bodies are under stress. Stress at the cellular level. Excessive stress is not happiness.

 

We need a purpose; our meaningful work, be it paid or unpaid. Healthy family relations let us give and receive love. Social relations, from close friends to casual interactions with strangers, keep us engaged in the fabric of life.  Pursuing personal growth, health, and well-being opens our minds and possibilities. Having a sense of connection to a higher power brings peace, awe and wonder. Leisure brings entertainment and rejuvenation, and yes is a need!

“Happiness is what happens to us, when we attend well to all the arenas of our life”. Dr. Johnson

 

Be like Yoda

When we pay attention to the six life arenas, we can become like Yoda. Centered. Grounded. We are more emotionally resilient, have better focus, are more fully present and healthful. Content. Fulfilled. How can we get there? That brings us back to “conscious choice”.

One Habit a Day

To help us become more mindful, calmer and content, Dr. Sood has identified seven practices that can lead to a happier life.  He suggests practicing one a day so they become enduring habits.  Take a few moments each morning, close your eyes and focus on the practice for the day.

Monday – Gratitude: Focus on the gifts in your life; re-frame the negatives to the positives.

Tuesday – Compassion: Recognize everyone has struggles; be kind, be helpful, not critical.

Wednesday – Acceptance:  We are all works in progress, imperfect. Let it go, be fair.

Thursday – Meaning: What is important about the gifts of today? Who can you be of service to, how?

Friday – Forgiveness:  Yourself and others. Focus on life’s higher meaning and not hurt.

Saturday – Celebration: Honour others and yourself. Bring out the joy.

Sunday – Reflection: Prayer, meditation, quiet connection to a higher power. Be calm.

Try it!  I did and do, and have noticed that I do feel more content and less anxious. Happiness really is an inside job!

 

7 Habits to Create a Happy Retirement, a Happy Life​ blog was originally posted on the Next3rd website.

The views of the author are hers alone and may not represent the views of hers affiliated firms. Any data, information and content on this blog is for information purposes only and should not be construed as an offer of advisory services.

By: Kristine van der Pas-Norenius | 0 comments
October-04-17

How This Retiree Adjusted to the “C” Diagnosis Smoothly

He was working his retirement plan, living the dream, engaged with life. Big travel plans, hobbies to indulge, fulfilling community involvement, fun social circles. Eight years into retirement, the cancer diagnosis was received, and he took it all in stride. Here’s how…

Be Adaptable

Gary is a pragmatic, matter-of-fact, logical type of guy. To hear him talk about his cancer diagnosis and treatment is like listening to someone talk about a mosquito bite. An irritant, but life goes on.

Before retirement, Gary and his wife attended retirement life planning workshops provided by their employers. Beyond the financial plan, they truly had a whole retirement plan. It was, and is, a full plan. Community involvement, gardening, golf, hiking, curling, volunteer jobs, travel, elder caregiving, learning, and of course travel – big trip type of travel.

 

“If you don’t know what you’ll do in retirement, you’ll be lost.”

 

Gary is busy. Yet, he is relaxed about his retirement plans. He allows for wiggle room. If an opportunity for a new adventure arises, he adapts.

And that’s just what Gary did, when he was given the “C” news. Adaptability is a retirement success factor and I would say Gary has this one figured out!

 

“We just adjusted our plans.”

 

Thankfully, Gary’s prognosis looked positive, and so they adjusted their activities, commitments and travel plans while he went through his treatments. Road trips instead of flying. Coordinator versus executive volunteer positions. And a little less golf and curling. No problem.

 

Get On With It

As I listen to Gary share his experience, I am struck by how little he dwells on his serious health scare. His reaction to the news? Let’s find out what it is, deal with it, and get on with it. “I really didn’t think about it too much.” It happened, there was a treatment strategy, and some lifestyle adjustments. So what? I am inspired by his calm attitude. It is what it is, just get on with life!  Acceptance.

 

“Health concerns can start to creep in and that happens to everybody.”

 

Lessons Learned

 

“Get planning on the big things. If it involves travel, do it now.”

 

This is a recurring theme shared by the retirees I have interviewed, and I’m thinking we need to pay attention. Whether it’s a big hike, a long trip or a new sport, start now, while you can, so you have no regrets. “You don’t know what health issue will hit you, so do the big stuff now.”

“Have a plan.” A life plan, that is, for retirement. Gary understood the big changes retirement would bring.  He and his wife, embarked upon their life plan a couple of years before retiring, enabling a smoother, easier transition. They developed new hobbies and the social circles that come with them.

 

“If you’ve planned it, and have a retirement income to match your plan, you are in good shape.”

 

In His Words

 

“Do it early. Don’t wait!”

 

How This Retiree Adjusted to the “C” Diagnosis Smoothly blog was originally posted on the Next3rd website.

The views of the author are hers alone and may not represent the views of hers affiliated firms. Any data, information and content on this blog is for information purposes only and should not be construed as an offer of advisory services.

By: Kristine van der Pas-Norenius | 0 comments