The Boomers were the generation that brought the world the Peace Movement. As such, you wouldn’t think they needed any help finding peace as they aged. Yet, many Boomers are anxious about getting older, retiring, and what else may be down the Boomer trail for them. Well, here’s a few ways Boomers can get rid of that anxiety and feel more at peace even before they retire.
Find Inner Peace Along the Boomer Trail – Here’s How
You can plan for your peace and happiness just as well as you can plan for your financial needs as you get older and maybe start thinking about retiring. That is, if you’re one of those Boomers who really want to retire – as most of them want to just keep rolling along. The Boomer generation has been accused of not planning very well for their older years mostly because many Boomers believed that day would never come.
So, now that many Boomers are on the cusp of retiring, they have a lot of anxiety about their future health, their homes, and all kinds of things. But life coaches, as well as financial planners, advise that if Boomers cover as much of the following bases as possible, they’re more likely to find peace and happiness in their retirement rather than anxiety. Here are some things they recommend to decide, do, or fix, before retirement:
1. Retire your old job – not yourself. Many Boomers feel anxious about what their life will be like when/if they retire. But just because you stop many years of work in one field, doesn’t mean you have to sit at home and watch life go by. Many Boomers are opting to keep on truckin’ into either part-time jobs, or even start their own businesses. As long as you’re healthy and able to keep working, there really is no reason to retire. Your generation has a lot of experience and skill to offer. Consider teaching or becoming a consultant and get paid for it.
2. Stay active. Many people retire and become less physically active than they used to be. This can have both negative physical and mental consequences, experts say. It can result in loss of flexibility, muscle strength and lung and heart capacity. It can also result in depression – especially if you live alone. Plan to keep yourself fit, flexible and strong, by exercising several times a week. Maintaining prior social connections can help you stay connected to people and feel happier. In addition, strive to make new connections. Tutoring, or volunteering, with young people can help you feel happier and younger yourself.
3. Cover your healthcare bases. Many people are anxious about retiring because of healthcare and insurance issues. Check into the fine points of Medicare and extra policies you may need to supplement what it does not pay for. Also, investing in long-term care insurance prior to age 69 (the cut off age for getting it usually) is a good hedge against any future healthcare problem that may require you to need long-term care. Keep in mind the earlier you get one of these policies the lower the premiums will be.
4. Budget Your Money. Boomers can have greater peace of mind if they have a better idea of how much money they will need to live as they get older, retire, or even just go down to working part-time. Keep in mind that the older you are when you start to collect Social Security, the more money you will get. If you’re healthy enough to work until your 70’s, you’ll collect a little over twice as much as you would at age 62.
5. Consider Your Home. A big source of anxiety for Boomers is their home. If you retire, or downsize your current job, will you stay in your current home? If so, be sure you will be able to afford it on less income – taxes, repairs, utilities, any mortgage you may have left. In addition, make your house as secure and fall proof as it can be. Getting rid of excess clutter, worn out throw rugs, or anything you can trip on, will help you prevent disabling fractures, or worse, as you age. What about the security of your home? Is it well-lit outside at night, do your doors and windows lock correctly? Check out any household repairs that should be made before you stop, or downsize, working to make it easier for you to afford.
Be aware also of “sales” people who come to your home offering home repairs who are really trying to assess how easy it is to break in. It’s better to recruit repair people from a local home improvement store, the senior agency in your neighborhood, or reputable contractor assessment services. Not so surprising, many Boomers – especially those who were deeply into the “hippies” scene back in the mid-late 60’s-70’s, are again considering “communal” living arrangements with a more upscale twist. Several couples, or singles, move into a larger home together and share the expenses. Pooling skills and finances as well as camaraderie of like minds and interests, may be an enjoyable, lifestyle for you to consider.
Getting older doesn’t have to be fraught with “stage fright” of what’s going to happen in the next act of your life. Make a list of things that are a source of concern for you and remedy them. Like that old Age of Aquarius song says, “Let the Sun Shine In”…. seek ways to surround yourself with the things, and people that make you happy and feel at peace every day.
Dale Brown, Certified Empowerment Coach
B.S., M.A., C.E.C.