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Potholes on the retirement road

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by Viswamitra, Jan 4, 2015.

  1. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    As I crossed the age of 60 (official age for retirement in India), I had a healthy discussion with my wife about how to keep myself healthy and active. She categorically but reluctantly (she is not happy about me working for 5 more years) declared that I should retire from active professional work no later than 2019 which gave me a clear 5 year horizon to whatever I prefer to accomplish professionally. Honestly, the one thing that scares me the most about leading a retired life is the mind dwelling on unnecessary things once I have all the time to myself instead of being a consultant building wealth for others and in the process build wealth for myself.

    I have become very observant of all my friends who have retired from work recently to dive deep into their mind and the following are visible problems that I noticed in them which I should try and avoid:

    1) Health – It is obvious that most of them are talking about their BP and Sugar levels or alternatively talking about how their best friend who was so active died in no time due to massive heart attack. The biggest mistake that many of them do is to reconcile to the fact that death is near and talk about it as though they are looking forward to it. I have come to the conclusion that if someone had to discuss health, he or should be young enough to build a healthy lifestyle and it is too late to discuss health after retirement. Death is inevitable the moment I was born and it makes no discrimination whether I am young or old.

    2) Wealth - Most, if not all, of the friends I have observed are worried about how they are going to manage their lifestyle after retirement. Well, it is too late to worry about building wealth as they have passed the age that they could have done something about. At best, they can secure their wealth by investing them intelligently and learn to be content as to how to lead a peaceful life with the wealth they have actually built to date.

    3) Review of past – Many of my retired friends are thinking about the mistakes they have committed in life in terms of career building and other wasted effort in specific jobs. Those thoughts bring with it, a sense of self-pity and makes them lose their self-confidence. It is an ideal time to come to terms with all our past mistakes even if those thoughts are inevitable and one should forgive himself and move on.

    4) Pressure to value-add – For some strange reasons, many retired friends of mine think that they have to be useful and helpful to the loved ones and go extra mile to do so. Well, there is nothing wrong in that thinking but sometimes it results in interference with the upbringing of their grandchildren. I feel as seniors, they have a right to be affectionate to their grandchildren and share responsibilities with their parents but with regard to fine tuning the retirees’ parental skill through grandchildren sometimes results in friction within the family members.

    5) Catch-up spirituality – For some strange reasons, many seniors think it is time to intensify their effort on reading spiritual books, listen to discourses and chants, visit holy places, discuss moral values with other seniors and practice meditation and yoga. In fact, whatever character they have built in the past is already with them and there is no point in trying to change anything. It is time to relax and have perfect mix of time allocated for prayers, meditation, enjoyment with grandchildren, walk with friends and family members, watch favorite shows, listen to music and enjoy every way possible. It is time to convince ourselves that we deserve a peaceful life.

    In fact, there is no need to make any lifestyle changes one needs to make after retirement. If I am content in my life earlier, I would continue to be content anyway. New found professional time can be actively used to pursue the passions that I could not pursue due to lack of time earlier. I can pursue writing or even sharing my experiences with younger generation and learn the changes they are experiencing. I can spend considerable amount of time providing service to the needy which I have been actively doing for the past 20 years over the weekends. I am convincing myself that retirement is a gift to pursue my passions and also contemplate on many things I have learned or try to learn in the past. It is time to detach, lead a healthy life and have fun. It is not a time to shut down the door to the future but open them to enjoy the fresh air coming in. Let me be an example for the next generation of people how to lead a happy life at the old age.

    I welcome suggestions and comments from senior members as well as younger members of IL.
     
    14 people like this.
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  2. iyerviji

    iyerviji Finest Post Winner

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    Viswa dear first of all a very Happy and Prosperous New Year to you and your family. May God bless you and keep you always healthy. You have written everything about after retirement so well. Will come back later about my thinking

    I feel this needs to be in the Finest post, so that everyone will read it and I am gong there to nominate
     
  3. Kamla

    Kamla IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Viswa,

    O wow! What else can I say? How well you write about the retired people and their weakness and fears. You are just sixty but are wise beyond your years! Knowing you from your writings, I have no fear that you will regret anything in your life and if you do, you will know how to handle it without much stress!

    Well, I should know about being retired. My hubby took an early retirement and we moved to this place due to many personal reasons. My husband is not given to deep retrospection! For all that, I am there, the eternal worrier! The less he worries, the more stressed I become! But like you say, what good does it do. Nothing can be retrieved, corrected or put to right at this stage of life. So it is truly better one faces life full upfront! I do not know hubby's mantra for equanimity and hence pray only for that from the Almighty!

    Other than that and the fear that I should never ever burden my kids in anyway, I feel quite young....You know that!!

    L, Kamla

    Congrats on being nominated to FP of the month by Vijima!
     
    2 people like this.
  4. periamma

    periamma IL Hall of Fame

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    Viswa Sir good writeup of Retirement.Is there any Retirement age for women? They do their routine work till their body and mind co -operates . why do Men worry about their retirement? Being Calm and admiring others gives a great joy and this is what I am doing now. Retiring from job is just a long leave till death, which is an original retirement.
     
    7 people like this.
  5. GoogleGlass

    GoogleGlass IL Hall of Fame

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    Nice one V'

    The younger one retires not having got to reach 60 and then retire is a best case scenario and many may not be in that position to.

    Family welfare being the priority during the work life, retirement gives the opportunity to practice personal likes, which was not then possible - social work/travelling/other hobbies. Provided health and wealth are adequate.

    But reading P's fb - for the women folks, there is never a retirement which is really disturbing to think about - but many of them never bother about it and keep continuing happily.

    Probably those men who have never helped these women at home, need to take over and give them a rest. This generation does help their spouse at home, there is a change. But even in your generation people like you have been helping around.

    Usage of the available 8 hours during the day has to be spent usefully to self and family and society - no doubt about it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this V'.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. PushpavalliSrinivasan

    PushpavalliSrinivasan IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Viswa,
    As Kamla has said having so much experience and wisdom I really wonder why you should get worried about your life after retirement.
    I don't think you need any suggestions from seniors or youngsters to plan your retirement life as you would have already made plans which would be beneficial to society. You could also share your experience through your writings which is your passion. Spirituality is in your blood and so there is no need of seeking it at old age like many others. I don't think you have to change your life style as you have already leading a good and satisfactory way of life.
    PS
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    My dear Viswa
    A very interesting read! I never knew that there could be so much of planning involved in retiring. My decision to retire was a very impulsive one as most of the decisions in my life have been including my marriage! When I retired from State Bank, I was not even 48! I served the Bank for exactly 25 years and that was the time span I needed to decide that I was not cut out for a Bank job! The Bank was equally happy to let me go judging by the fact that that they hurriedly got up a Farewell Party before I could change my mind.

    I told you that my decision to retire was impulsive. At the time of my retirement, both my daughters aged 21 and 19 had just finished their graduation and the elders in the family had already started discussing their marriage. An aged relative of mine even tried to coax me out of my retirement decision arguing that it would be easier to get them fixed if I continued as an Executive of the Bank. I could not see any connection between my retirement and their marriage. All the important events of my family took place only after my retirement.

    If I had been a member of IL in 1990 and if I had chanced upon this thread of yours then, I probably would not have retired at all! Who knew that there were so many factors to consider before taking the plunge into retirement? On the plus side, since I retired so early in my life, I have been able to continue my active existence. Retirement was never a cut-off point in my life. Maybe I have been trying to find my way in a dense forest post-retirement and that excites me as much as it does Robert Frost! Woods are indeed lovely, dark and deep but I have miles to go before I sleep! If I have any promises to keep, they are only to myself!
    Sri
     
    7 people like this.
  8. PushpavalliSrinivasan

    PushpavalliSrinivasan IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Viwa,
    Please bear with me for the intrusion.

    Dear Mr Cheeniya,
    I am very much surprised to know that you had opted for retirement at the age of 48, that too before your daughters got married.

    When I opted for VR after putting in 16 yrs service because there was a break after my marriage and after crossing 54, my colleagues and my mom tried to convince me not to put in my papers. People were telling after retirement sitting at home I will get bored. But my boss was very happy and immediately he had sent my papers to higher authorities lest I would change my mind. He also arranged for the farewell party. My daughter and hubby were the persons who felt happy.
    Any way I didn't regret.
    PS
     
  9. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Vijiakka,

    Thank you for your first response and we all wish you and your husband a wonderful new year as well. Thank you for your blessings and for the nomination. You know I value your opinion and I will wait to get your feedback later. You humbled me by stating that this post needs to be read by everyone.

    Viswa
     
  10. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Kamla,

    I can't believe my eyes when I woke up this morning to see both super moderators responding to my post. The excitement knew no bounds. Am I dreaming? Is this second response from Kamla, the Super Moderator who is admired for her eloquent narration month after month?

    Frankly, I am only listing what I have seen from my friends and I am not there yet and I don't know what I would do if I were in their shoes. I hope I deserve the confidence and faith you have in me that I would handle it like the way MJ handles the moon walk dance.

    I know the secret behind the equanimity of your husband. He knows he has captain cool behind him, the woman he was lucky to marry decades back. She has a perfect life to rise up when she needs to handle tribulations and calm down when there is an occasion to feel ecstasy. All he needs to do is to watch his wonderful wife and emulate her attitude. You are not a worrier and in my view, you are a warrior who takes everything in your stride and handle it like cutting the butter with knife. The troubles are afraid of you to watch calmness with which you handle them. Even when you have the tough job of telling someone to be in their wits when they respond with personal attacks here, your words are always carefully crafted. Your personality is a calming influence to many of us here in IL and how your loving spouse feel any different?

    I would be lying if I tell you that I have no fear whatsoever about retirement. The phobia is more when we think of relocation to India and have strict targets like my son's graduation (He appears to be a professional student - these words are not mine but my doctor neighbor's words), his settling into a job, his wedding, etc. before we leave for India. If it is just professional target, I will feel more confident.

    Even though I have learned what not to do after retirement, I am not sure how to keep my mind cool awaiting retirement. Your heart is golden to think that you don't want to be burden to your kids. Which right thinking child is going to not take care of such a lovely mother in you?

    Thank you for the congratulatory note.

    Viswa
     

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