I am in the midst of the transfer to retirement process, and am recording these notes for myself.  And I thought they would be of interest to you, fellow retirement dudes (Sheri has been retired so long she can’t relate).  Anyway, the way I see it, I have only one chance to get this right  - so I better git attit, and gittin it on paper, even Web paper, can’t hurt..

Retirement – Jimbo - Some Lessons Learned / Goals Made V1.0

            As I looked around the successful retirees here on Salt Spring Island, and have observed some pretty happy kids.  That’s not a typo.  These folks may be older but they act young, and based on one of the books I suggested you read, are sending the message to their body that they want to continue to live young and healthy.  So they are acting the part. 

Anyway, lets get to it.  Here is a more complete list of some of the attributes of the real winning folks, followed by my personal plans:

1. Exercise every day.  OK, seems obvious, but the winners are committed.  And they don’t bitch about hips or joint issues.  They get an upgrade and “get on with it.”  Whether it is daily gardening, or two dudes I know who are biking from the south tip of England to the north tip this summer, activity is key piece of the formula (oh yeah, and in their case, pubs)

Jim’s Plans.  With the dudes, or Sheri, Hiking, Biking, Kayaking, Walking, Swimming, Yoga and Sauna’s.  Personal note:  Yoga has been the most valuable as it has given me the flexibility to be much better at the others.

2. Know as many people as possible, and have some of them as very close friends.  I dug this saying out of an old Star Trek comic book “Happiness Shared is Doubled, Sorrow Shared is halved”.  So by sharing, that generally means other people (with maybe dogs and cats as a backup), so better be gathering a few around you.  And also, sharing means finding folks that are genuinely interested in me, not just talking about themselves. 

Jim’s Plans.  1)  Find a replacement for Calgary BNO event on Saltspring Island.  2)  Try to get to know by name one new store employee every day or so (we got a lotta stores here where you can know the clerks and make the buying process funner) and interact with them.  3)  Kayaking and hiking with dudes.  4)  Try to re-establish contact with Aussies and relatives (the nice ones, anyway). 

3. Have interests and support them.  These can overlap with 1) or 2) above, but perhaps not.  They generally have interactions with others.  The key is to have a reason to get up and at it every day (and we’re not talking Income Tax here).  When I was a kid I was curious and interested in just about everything.  That is a good theme to revisit. 

Jim’s Plans.  Be the membership chairperson for the Kayak club.  Be a volunteer at the Fall Faire, Salt Springers for Safe Foods, the Land Conservancy and the Annual Film Festival.  In the summer do a day trip with a kayaker person I don’t know at least once per month.  Read all of Oliver sacks books.

4. Have personal goals and ambitions.  I think there is a different category for personal projects.  Maybe I’m nuts, but part of University and the career thing I enjoyed is the personal effort made in a project.  Very gratifying to get something done, and know you did it.  Also gratifying to have a boss say “well done”, but no more boss’s so better stick to the self gratification thing.  This may be the one that causes so many retired folks to write books.

Jim’s Plan.  I have a buddy who stated there will be artificial humans run by AI within 20 years and you would not be able to tell the difference from us.  I don’t agree and am working on a counter argument.  This is a pretty smart guy so this will be challenging.  I’ve been working on it for over a year and it has involved walks in the forest “thinking” and reading reference books.  Good fun !  When I win, I’ll move onto something else equally as important to the future of the world (ha ha).

5. Have Intellectual Stimulus.  I guess if the brain ain’t exercised and kept sharp, life could be pretty bleak.

Jim’s Plans.  1) Read at least a book per month.  Some SF (Margaret Atwood, Robert Sawyer, Neal Stephenson), some popular adventure (Dan Brown), some other (Harry Potter) and of course books the Canada Reads Books and books supporting health, hobbies and activities.  2)  Be an active participant in the stock and real estate markets.  This goes beyond reading and watching ROB.TV to digging deep into the topics of fundamental analysis, technical analysis and seasonality in the stock market and demographic analysis in the real estate market.  Don’t know if more money will be generated in the long haul, but I feel much better about the decisions that are made.      

6. Take a personal interest in my health and well being.  Similar to the brain thing, if your health sucks, life can be a downer.  In a society with iffy medical systems, I better be engaged with the solution.

Jim’s Plans.  1)  Attend lectures as they become available.  2)  Eat organic.  3)  Support locally grown produce.  4)  Consider a vegetable garden.  5)  Have periodic massage, reflexology sessions as available, supplements, exercise, practice Yoga, regular conventional medical check up’s.  Join HANS.   And hang bird feeders (seemed like a good place to add that point).

7. Be “political”.  I guess this means something different to everyone, but I think it is important to be involved in the bigger picture.

Jim’s Plan.  Interest in the local political scene, attend film festivals, expand my own solar solution, LED lighting, supporting social causes, etc.

BONUS PLAN.  Oh Yeah. Be an advocate for Environmental and other good causes.

 

RESOURCES FOR THOSE APPROACHING RETIREMENT

Books: