by Margaret Wood July 10, 2017 2:19PM

What was news last week is now old news this week; this week, we have something even bigger, better and badder to consider. You miss a day, you miss A LOT! It’s  hard to keep up sometimes!

Let’s take a look at how the perception of retirement has changed over the last two decades

Consider this article:  8 Ways to Ease into Retirement, by Katherine Lee updated 3/16/2015.

The photo caption leads off with : When you’re  first easing into retirement, taking some time to relax and adjust to a new routine is important.”

The photo is of a “retired” individual, relaxing on the couch, eyes closed. You almost expect the background music to be that of a scratchy broadcast, like something out of the 30’s.  But it’s not – it’s only two short years ago.

The information shared and the advice imparted by Katherine Lee in her article, were very relevant and trending in 2015.  In fact, it was some of the best advice available, and some segments still hold true today.

The truth is:  Today’s “seniors” are a different breed!  Many baby boomers work out, play tennis,  enjoy dancing, cycling, hiking, jet skiing, water skiing, snow skiing, traveling the country on motorcycle, and stay involved in many of the same activities people in their 20’s & 30’s are enjoying! They live a healthier lifestyle all around.

Even those who waited until later in life to become involved in more active lifestyles are benefiting. Staying active has been proven time and again to keep you young at heart.

Shedding all guilt feelings about not staying home “in case the kids need me”, today’s retirees are jetting about the world, backpacking through Ireland, cruising to exotic places, snorkeling, and simply enjoying life to the fullest. Ever since mandatory retirement was repealed, and medical benefits provide for better quality care, adults are living longer and working until later in life…some out of necessity, many by choice.  

Even for those with deep roots in their place of employment and Work-Families tend to cope in a healthier manner with empty-nest syndrome.

But once they retire, they wave as they take the rest of the cake home, promising to stay in touch!

Loss of a partner: While many of these adults may have lost a partner, either through divorce later in life or death, they have a tendency to transition to the “single” life or meet new companions at an accelerated pace than perhaps the past two generations.

They have a healthy respect for and realize that,  not only can  they benefit  from what today’s multi-generational workforces have to offer but that their experience also benefits them in return. (The movie, The Apprentice, with Robert DeNiro, did an excellent job portraying how two generations bridged such a gap.)

Shake-up of self-esteem. Lee goes on to say that:

If the retirement was under strained circumstances —

being eased out, pressured to retire, or even fired — the

loss of a job can be felt much more acutely and can lead

to feelings of inadequacy, diminished self-esteem,
and depression.”

Although a setback, anyone secure in the knowledge that the company has benefited from their 25 years of contriubtions and that there is certain loss of knowledge once they are gone, will look at the opportunity with an open mind and move on to the next phase in their life story!

Today’s employers have adjusted their visions: they are now realizing the benefits of hiring “seasoned” people. For one thing, the learning curve is not quite as pronounced as hiring a recent grad with no real-world experience. The chances for baby boomers to find well-paying meaningful employment has increased exponentially!

The gig-economy has its benefits: With the skillset and knowledge base retirement-aged people bring to the table, working within a gig-economy is one of the best-found freedoms. Their “office” is portable, they work on a global scale and live a healthier lifestyle, choosing how, when and where they work. They are no longer bound to the clock. Staying in touch and geography are no longer an issue.

Image result for images of senior citizens dancingToday’s retirement-aged population is no longer typecast as “buying an RV and touring”, although that’s an adventure in and of itself! Imagine just taking off for the open road and stopping at every little hole-in-the-wall food joint or flea market. You meet some of the most interesting people exploring this great country!

The point is : Today’s retirees have more choices – many more choices than say, the last 2 generations. Today’s retirees no longer are “expected” to do certain things.  The hardest part is learning to share your life on a different level, whether it be with your spouse or significant other as well as  the rest of your family and friends. You get to decide what you want to do when. 

Whether it’s writing the world’s next bestseller, gardening and setting up a small stand at the local farmer’s market, skiing the Swiss Alps, or backpacking through Europe, the whole retirement experience should be to do whatever you enjoy, live in the moment and share your love of life with those who matter most.

 

Congratulations on your retirement!

Get out there and enjoy it!