An older man retires from the job that gave his life some much meaning and structure. Then he putters around the house bugging his wife for the next few decades. Yeah, this story may be cliché. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen — a lot.
Millions of people, especially breadwinners born into bygone generations who worked tirelessly for decades, just don’t know what to do with themselves after their 9-to-5 disappears.
In time, they can usually figure it out. But the transition can take some time, and it becomes a lot easier if they have loved ones around to offer a little guidance. And because most won’t ever ask for help, it pays to be proactive.
So if you have an aging loved one in your life nearing retirement — or already into retirement — lend them a hand. Whether it’s a parent, in-law, relative, friend, or neighbor, the following represent just a few ways that you can help the senior in your life better adjust to retirement.
1. Forging New Friendships
Encourage the retiree in your life to make new relationships or rekindle bonds that may have faded over the years. Most people stay physically healthier, mentally sharper, and more emotionally stable if they spend time around others. But seniors, especially men, tend to not reach out and look for new friendships.
Simply “hanging out” may not seem like a viable option within this generation, however. So try to get them interested in activities that will force them to forge new connections naturally. Maybe they love playing cards or golf. Or it could be just having an afternoon tea. But whatever the excuse, just get them around some other people.
2. Finding New Purpose
While younger people may be envious of those entering retirement, it creates a void that can be tough to fill. When your livelihood vanishes overnight, it’s easy to feel like you have no purpose. But there are many good ways to replace this emotional need.
Volunteering is one fantastic option. There are so many great ways to do good. Encourage retirees to get out there and help at a local food pantry or soup kitchen. Church groups always need help. Or maybe Habitat for Humanity is more their speed. No matter what the cause, the key is to find something they feel good about doing. And the little secret is that the senior may actually get even more out of it than the people they’re helping.
3. Living Their Healthiest Life
Most seniors are quick to recognize the need for great healthcare coverage in their golden years. This, in fact, is one of the biggest worries many people have as they enter retirement. But amid all this stress and concern, sometimes they overlook other less-urgent areas like vision care and dental coverage.
Fortunately, most people opt to enroll in Medicare once they hit 65, and there are complementary plans available that cover it all. Enrolling in Medicare dental coverage, for example, is quick, easy, and affordable. So make sure your loved ones don’t leave gaps in their health insurance and encourage them to obtain everything they need to live their best life for the rest of their days.
Living Happily Long into Retirement
Not working anymore is a dream. But the reality isn’t always so simple. For most people, adjusting to a life with no workplace or career to occupy your time isn’t completely seamless.
But a little bit of help can go a long way. So try to encourage the senior loved one in your life to create some new friendships, look for meaningful ways to find new purpose, and protect all aspects of their health.
This way, they will be able to get through the transition phase much more easily and start loving their life after work.