Retirement Life

Placeholder Content Image

The hilarious A-Z guide on the perils of ageing

<p><em><strong>Barbara Binland is the pen name of a senior, Julie Grenness, in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. She is a poet, writer, and part-time English and Maths tutor, with over 40 years of experience. Her many books are available on Amazon and Kindle.</strong></em></p> <p align="center"><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Retirement Alphabet Soup!</span></p> <p align="center">Here is an ode to say,</p> <p align="center">Retirement Soup for us today!</p> <p align="center">A is for aging with attitude,</p> <p align="center">We are feisty old chicks and dudes!</p> <p align="center">B is for bronchitis, cough and blow,</p> <p align="center">And for bursitis, where did vigour go?</p> <p align="center">C is for COPD we were stoking,</p> <p align="center">With all our youthful smoking.</p> <p align="center">D is for diarrhoea,</p> <p align="center">No doctor wants to know ya!</p> <p align="center">E is for euthanasia,</p> <p align="center">Some geriatrics’ fantasia.</p> <p align="center">F is for the flatulence part,</p> <p align="center">Yes, we are grand old farts!</p> <p align="center">G is for the geriatricity stuff,</p> <p align="center">We got old, suck that up!</p> <p align="center">H is for halitosis for us,</p> <p align="center">Listerine is good, no need to fuss.</p> <p align="center">I is for Imodium’s task,</p> <p align="center">All you do is the chemist ask.</p> <p align="center">J is for jellybeans, eh?</p> <p align="center">Been to the pharmacist, let’s say,</p> <p align="center">Brought the lolly trolley today!</p> <p align="center">K is for our kids who also grow old,</p> <p align="center">Us they tell what to do, be told!</p> <p align="center">L is for laxatives for that constipation,</p> <p align="center">The flip side of grey consternation.</p> <p align="center">M is for MRI scans and tests,</p> <p align="center">All clear, we hope, that’s best.</p> <p align="center">N is for negative Normans around,</p> <p align="center">Wish grey positivity would abound.</p> <p align="center">O is for obesity sighs,</p> <p align="center">Cellulite for all our thighs!</p> <p align="center">P is for pappa’s don’t preach,</p> <p align="center">Lard butts so out of reach.</p> <p align="center">Q is for hope we don’t go queer,</p> <p align="center">No dementia here yet, dears.</p> <p align="center">R is for Retirement years,</p> <p align="center">We race on, switching gears.</p> <p align="center">S is for that sexuality bit,</p> <p align="center">Hope you made memories of blips!</p> <p align="center">T is for testicles, you can’t see ‘em,</p> <p align="center">Do oldies belong in museums?</p> <p align="center">U is for ultrasounds,</p> <p align="center">Our medical tests do abound.</p> <p align="center">V is for Ventolin inhalers for us,</p> <p align="center">Breathing disorders cause a fuss.</p> <p align="center">W is for the water works,</p> <p align="center">Fluid tablets are the worst!</p> <p align="center">X is for more X-rays today,</p> <p align="center">Got a photo of my bad back, yah!</p> <p align="center">Y is for that yellow jaundice for oldies,</p> <p align="center">Bilirubin levels make us feel mouldy.</p> <p align="center">Z is for this human zoo,</p> <p align="center">No rocking chairs for me and you!</p> <p align="center"> </p> <p align="center">That’s your alphabet soup today,</p> <p align="center">Welcome to our new old age!</p>

Retirement Life

Placeholder Content Image

6 myths about older ladies that just aren’t true

<p><strong><em>Barbara Binland is the pen name of a senior, Julie Grenness, in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. She is a poet, writer, and part-time English and Maths tutor, with over 40 years of experience. Her many books are available on Amazon and Kindle.</em></strong></p> <p>Here are some versions of common myths about older ladies. This is for our retirement years.</p> <p><strong>1. Is it too late to exercise, if I never have before?</strong></p> <p>FACT: It’s never too late to exercise. Even if we are in our fifties or sixties, and have not exercised too much, we can adopt a moderate, balanced exercise regimen. In retirement, we have more leisure time, so can explore gym memberships, or golf, or aqua aerobics, or senior yoga, or pilates, or anything we fancy. We all need a balanced, moderate physical regimen.</p> <p><strong>2. Is dementia inevitable?</strong></p> <p>FACT: Dementia is a medical condition, for which treatments are evolving and developing. It is not an inevitable or normal factor of ageing. Steps can be taken to prevent this condition. We can engage in healthy exercise, and persevere with intellectual pursuits, such as reading, crosswords, letter writing, puzzles, and maintain a support network for our communication skills.</p> <p><strong>3. Shall we become depressed?</strong></p> <p>FACT: Depressive conditions can occur at any age. Some people believe all older people become isolated and depressed. But if depression occurs, it can be treated, with appropriate health professionals. Take things one day at a time, but you can plan and look forward to your golden years. One good practice is to write down all your blessings on a daily basis. You woke up! Great! The sun rises and blesses you with another day on Earth, make the most of it!</p> <p><strong>4. Does ageing mean the end of love?</strong></p> <p>FACT: No, life can begin at sixty. If we have a long-term significant other, we can develop our old love life in an understanding manner. If we are single, we might meet ‘the one’. But use precautions, these guys were active in the swinging sixties. They are called STD’s, part of the legacy of the baby boomers.</p> <p><strong>5. Do older ladies fear ageing?</strong></p> <p>FACT:  In general, older ladies do not fear ageing. We cannot worry about, or control, normal signs of growing older. We can have grey hair, we like it that way! We get chicken necks, and double chins, by heck! But we don’t need the undertakers yet!</p> <p>Lots of women embrace their post-menopausal years, with a positive mindset. There are never enough hours in the day. Women our age can succeed in many pursuits. Plus, wisdom and enlightenment can come with age, but we still don’t know everything!</p> <p><strong>6. Is arthritis part of ageing?</strong></p> <p>FACT: Women over fifty years of age, arthritis can be more likely to develop. This is due to the loss of cartilage in our joints. We can adopt suitable strategies such as sensible flat shoes, not expansive high heels, and less jogging or stressful activities for our musculoskeletal system. The key factor to managing this condition is pacing ourselves in physical activities. Use it or lose it! But if there is arthritic pain being experienced, there are holistic remedies to alleviate it. These include: heat packs, massage, maybe acupuncture, hydrotherapy, or TENS, known as electrotherapy. Sometimes, rest is best, sometimes simple exercises can be beneficial, for a balanced lifestyle, now we are ‘older ladies’.</p> <p>What are some myths about older ladies you are debunking?</p>

Retirement Life

Placeholder Content Image

Hilarious poem about the perils of men in retirement

<p><strong>Barbara Binland is the pen name of a senior, Julie Grenness, in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. She is a poet, writer, and part-time English and Maths tutor, with over 40 years of experience. Her many books are available on Amazon and Kindle.</strong></p> <p style="text-align: left;" align="center"><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Perils of Men in Retirement</span></p> <p style="text-align: left;" align="center">Here’s an ode for ladies of a certain age,</p> <p style="text-align: left;" align="center">Your men are going to retire one day,</p> <p style="text-align: left;" align="center">Very old joke—is this your hunch?</p> <p style="text-align: left;" align="center">You married him for better or worse, not lunch!</p> <p style="text-align: left;" align="center">His first day at home, what’s he going to do?</p> <p style="text-align: left;" align="center">He wants to come to the supermarket with you!</p> <p style="text-align: left;" align="center">Now this is a man on a mission,</p> <p style="text-align: left;" align="center">Buys half the shop with no permission,</p> <p style="text-align: left;" align="center">Well, that was an expensive shop,</p> <p style="text-align: left;" align="center">Now he wants you to cook this lot,</p> <p style="text-align: left;" align="center">A retired husband is a full time job!</p> <p style="text-align: left;" align="center">What’s this? He’s gardening with his chainsaw,</p> <p style="text-align: left;" align="center">Well, those were your plants… but wait, there’s more,</p> <p style="text-align: left;" align="center">He’s bought an electric guitar,</p> <p style="text-align: left;" align="center">You wish his greyboy band would go far</p> <p style="text-align: left;" align="center">Away, that is! Oh no, not this,</p> <p style="text-align: left;" align="center">He wants to go camping with his grey old miss,</p> <p style="text-align: left;" align="center">NO! NO! God gave you a home, not a tent,</p> <p style="text-align: left;" align="center">Yes, girls, camping is a defence,</p> <p style="text-align: left;" align="center">Well, aren’t we both having fun?</p> <p style="text-align: left;" align="center">Wife wishes she’d bought a gun,</p> <p>Never mind, it’s only retirement together, day one!</p>

Retirement Life

Placeholder Content Image

Why returning back to my childhood home was so emotional

<p><strong><em>Ray Thomas left his family farm in South Australia when he was in his 20s and moved to New Zealand. He has always loved writing short stories and watching sport. He married an amazing woman 16 years ago and they both retired three years ago. They love family life, travelling, spending time in their large garden and fostering young children.</em></strong></p> <p>My wife and I had been planning the trip to my home state of South Australia, for many months. Now, after very little sleep because of our early flight, combined with great anticipation, we were finally on our way. Like excited young children off on their first overseas holiday, we happily boarded our aircraft. We grinned at each other saying, “Aussie here we come”.</p> <p>This, in all likelihood will be final trip home to South Australia, the country I left about 45 years ago, but still the country I call home. I fully expected the holiday to be full of mixed emotions. Fortunately, I had my amazing wife beside me, to share it with.</p> <p>So what the real reason for this trip, and why do it now? I have older siblings who are not in the best of health, so thought it would be nice to spend time with them, while I have the opportunity. We also thought it would be nice to visit places that meant a great deal to me, in my younger days, and allow myself to take one last trip down memory lane.</p> <p>We arrived in Adelaide several hours later than we had expected due to cancelled and alternative flights. To arrive in a city I had once called home (but had obviously changed a great deal), with a Google map to guide us, in peak hour traffic before a long weekend, was somewhat daunting, challenging and stressful.</p> <p>It was with great relief, when we finally arrived at ours friends home. Wayne and Wendy were relieved and delighted to finally see us. So began an amazing few days, full of laughter and great fun.</p> <p>It was great to spend time with our close friends, and we really appreciated everything they did for us.</p> <p>The following day was the first of many that were to follow of mixed emotions, as we took them with us around the district where I spent the first 17 years of my life.</p> <p><strong>Closure</strong></p> <p>First, we drove around the township of Gawler. It was great to revisit places that used to mean so much to me, and share it with my wife and close friends.</p> <p>I noticed a sign above a shop door with the name of distant family members where they once ran a thriving business. Then we walked up to the house where my grandparents once lived. We then drove passed the church where my brother was married over 55 years ago, to name but a few of the places, we visited, all of which brought back happy memories. It had been decades since I last visited Gawler, but instinctively I knew where to go. I was home. Upon leaving the town, I had mixed emotions. I felt perfectly happy and content, but also a sense of not needing to return.</p> <p><strong>Heartbreaking sadness</strong></p> <p>And so we travelled out to Reeves Plains and our former home and farm. What initially struck me was how dry and barren the district was after months of drought. I had also forgotten how flat the country was. Despite little recent rain, and the high cost of piped water, from reservoirs many miles away, combined with the searing heat, the total absence of gardens still shocked me.</p> <p>I noticed our shearing shed, but was then amazed to see our large sheep yards had vanished.</p> <p>As I surveyed the nearby paddocks, I was deeply saddened that for whatever reason, no sheep were to be seen. I presume farmers now rely totally on growing cereal crops, which upset me, because the district once had large numbers of sheep.</p> <p>It was desperately sad to see our old house and gardens looking so badly run down, almost like it was un-loved. The barn where we once spent countless happy hours playing table-tennis still stood proud amongst the drought and desolation.</p> <p>We then drove passed the decaying and broken old school and the adjoining tennis courts.</p> <p>The odd metal post which once helped to support the tennis net’s, stood strong and defiant. With overgrown trees and long since disintegrated tennis courts, we would never have known they ever existed. What was once one of the meeting places in the district is now confined to the minds of those who are old enough to remember the importance of the courts all those years ago.  </p> <p>A short time later, we arrived at Redbanks and walked around what was once our local church and community hall. Many happy memories came flooding back. It was heart breaking to see what was once a fun filled building decaying and slowly succumbing to nature.</p> <p>The once bustling township of Wasleys still exists, but like so many rural towns, is now struggling to survive. However, it was heartening to see the Bowling Club Clubhouse where both my parents once happily played with their many friends, had been rebuilt after the disastrous fire, which swept through the district a few years ago.</p> <p>It was the only glimmer of life we had seen in the district all day. Was it a day of mixed emotions? The answer is undoubtedly yes. I now have closure with no desire or intention of returning to that part of my life. I found it to be deeply upsetting to see everything so badly decayed, largely because of time and I suspect, years of low rainfall.</p> <p>I felt it was far better for me to remember our home and district, as it used to be, rather than (I fear) the inevitable total disintegration that will follow in the years to come.</p> <p><strong>Family time</strong></p> <p>The next day we visited my niece and family in Riverton. It was great to see them all again, and relive the happy time we spent together on their trip to New Zealand a few years ago.</p> <p>Then we travelled to the Barossa Valley and visited my elderly sister. It was nice to share old family photos and happily talk about the “old days” with her and rekindle the relationship we once had.</p> <p>It had been a long, hot, emotionally tiring day. Surprisingly, for the first time in many years, I began to realise I was missing MY family. It turned out to be a day of mixed emotions which I had not expected.</p> <p><strong>Childhood memories </strong></p> <p>Many decades ago, when we stayed at Port Elliot, our family often ate fish and chips for tea and then together went for a walk afterwards.  My wife and I found ourselves often doing exactly the same thing.</p> <p>We spent many happy days walking along the many paths, which offered magnificent views of fantastic scenery, and along the quiet streets, most of which had not changed. Several great trips to nearby Victor Harbour and walking around Granite Island and climbing The Bluff were also highlights of our time spend in that amazing area. Both towns were fantastic places to relax and unwind.</p> <p>Being our final night, it seemed appropriate to eat fish and chips overlooking the golden sandy beach. We then went for a leisurely walk, into the fast setting sun, sitting briefly on the rocks overlooking Green Bay, soaking in the sight and sound of the waves crashing on the rocks. We left the next morning, but not before our final walk, and say our “Goodbyes” to the many places we had frequently visited and enjoyed.</p> <p>In my youth (55-60 years ago) I had only climbed over the rocks. The paths were only for “oldies”. Now, I was THAT “oldie”, and quite happy to do just that, while fondly remembering my “long ago” youth.</p> <p>We were both sad to leave.  It was great to share the special area which means so much to me with my wife. Both of us would love to return, which we hope to do again sometime in the near future.</p> <p><strong>Overwhelming grief</strong></p> <p>Visiting the Mundalla cemetery however left me with very real mixed emotions. To walk around and see the names of many of my parent’s friends and bowling mates and people that I knew, was very sad.</p> <p>A short time later, we located my parent’s headstones. We left flowers and tidied the around the area, “talking” to them as we did so. I had an overwhelming sense that Dad was quite happy, as he had Mum beside him, and he was surrounded by people he knew. Mum is also surrounded by people she knew, but when I kissed her headstone to say “Bye Mum” before turning to leave, I sensed her saying “Don’t go, stay here with me”. Walking away with tear filled eyes, I clutched my chest thinking and re-affirming “here is where you will always be and always stay”.</p> <p>I once read: “A mother holds her children’s hands for a-while but their hearts forever”, and I thought how appropriate.</p> <p>I joined my wife who was sitting on a nearby seat. We held each other, for several minutes, the silence broken only by the sound of the kookaburra’s in the nearby gum trees. Somehow, words were not required.</p> <p>Visiting the cemetery affected me more than I thought it would. Very real mixed emotions and my feeling of home caught me by surprise.</p> <p><strong>More family time</strong></p> <p>And so on to Mount Gambier, where we stayed with my brother and his wife. Yes, he was very frail, but he still remained my much loved, admired older brother, with his wife I had known virtually all my life beside and taking care of him. We spent many happy hours, laughing together, sharing old ‘photos and reliving our younger days together.</p> <p>On his 78th birthday, it was great that most of his family were able to celebrate his birthday with him. It also gave us the opportunity to catch-up with many family members we had not seen for many years.</p> <p>All to soon it was time to leave and return home, but not before my brother said to my wife and I, separately and alone, in his softly spoken, frail voice “I hope I will see you again”, to which we could only mutter with voices choked with emotion, something that we hoped sounded bright and positive, knowing that in our hearts, it would be highly unlikely. After hugging and saying “Bye big brother”, and a “Thank-you” hug, for my amazing sister-in-law, we were on our way.</p> <p>So was it a trip of mixed emotions as I had expected? Absolutely, and for parts of it, a sense of total and absolute closure. For other parts of me, a very strong desire to return, at least for a holiday.</p> <p>The desire to suddenly want to live closer to family, has taken me by surprised, and I am uncertain what (if anything) can be done about it. With time, hopefully the concerns I am currently having with my mixed emotions will be resolved.</p>

Retirement Life

Placeholder Content Image

Is ageism affecting you?

<p><em><strong>Barbara Binland is the pen name of a senior, Julie Grenness, in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. She is a poet, writer, and part-time English and Maths tutor, with over 40 years of experience. Her many books are available on Amazon and Kindle.</strong></em></p> <p>Yah, we made it! We got old! Now we are ageing in the millennial world, which we have played a part in creating.</p> <p>Is ageism affecting you? Ageism is simply discrimination against older people in the workforce, in the media, in advertising, and in the social scene.</p> <p>One of the major areas where ageism is evident, is in the employment of older workers. Older workers can provide years of experience, life skills, and be great mentors to younger workers. But nearly a third of the officially unemployed workers are aged 45-65 years old. If someone loses their job at this age, they may never gain more than a casual, part-time position. These are the vital years pre-retirement, when employees build up savings and superannuation for their golden years.</p> <p>Basically, many employers do discriminate against hiring older workers from their candidates. Some unemployed older worker can retrain, but may battle an overlooked prejudice, the ageism of the potential employer. These retrained workers may never gain employment. If they do, they may have only 5-10 years of working life remaining. Many employers prefer to hire someone younger.</p> <p>Ageism is also evident in the media. For instance, no weather girl on the television is an old, grey, fat woman. Weather girls are anorexic, beautiful, blonde bimbos who can barely read an autocue. Maybe old, fat, grey women don’t want to be weather girls. That’s okay. Maybe they do, and the employers in television land hire young, attractive babes. That is ageism.</p> <p>On the other hand, ageism can factor in a reverse situation. An older, more experienced nurse, doctor, allied health professional, or a teacher, can still attract job opportunities. Society regards their experience as both valid and valuable. In my personal experience, as a teacher/tutor for 42 years, I receive part-time job offers as a tutor, several times per week. Nice to be asked.</p> <p>Moreover, seniors have discounts on travel fares, a senior’s card discount on purchases, and some concessions with their pensions. But is the level of the senior’s pension, a sign of ageism itself? Most household budgets are eroded by the cost of food and bills.</p> <p>What are your experiences? Is ageism affecting you?</p>

Retirement Life

Placeholder Content Image

Why you should learn one new thing every day in retirement

<p><em><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="http://www.megangiles.com/" target="_blank">Megan Giles</a></span>, Retirement Transition Consultant, supports those approaching retirement to successfully transition and create a retirement they will love to live!</strong></em></p> <p>Learn one new thing in retirement, you say? Why on earth would I want to do that, you muse to yourself. I’ve worked hard over the years and now it is finally time to kick back, relax and enjoy the fruits of my labours.</p> <p>Why is it important to keep learning, especially in retirement? There are a number of reasons.</p> <ol> <li><strong>Curiosity is fantastic for ensuring strong social connections in retirement.</strong> People who are interested in others tend to be perceived as interesting themselves. As social beings we tend to gravitate towards people who are interesting and have a sense of energy about them. The friendships established during our working life start to (naturally) drift away as routines change in retirement and so this becomes all the more important.</li> <li><strong>As the saying goes ‘use it or lose it’.</strong> The most effective way to keep your mind sharp and prevent mental decline is to keep using it!</li> <li><strong>Set yourself up for success.</strong> Learning requires us to challenge what we thought we knew and be willing to try different things. This in turn makes us more adaptable to new situations and more confident in how we step into the world. In acknowledging that retirement can be a time of transition and upheaval, wouldn’t it be great to know you were stepping into it on the front foot.</li> </ol> <p>What is that one thing that you muse over and think ‘I’d love to learn that, if only I had time…’. Why not make the time? Rather than thinking of learning as an arduous journey, such as a three year (full time!) university degree or learning a language fluently, why not start small and commit to learning just one thing each day. Perhaps learn just one new Spanish word each day (and practice using it!) or read one article about a topic you are passionate about. Imagine what you can learn over the course of a year!</p> <p><strong>After ideas for one new thing you could learn each and every day? </strong></p> <p>Here are 20 ideas to get you started!</p> <ul> <li>The name of your neighbours (particularly if you’ve recently moved)</li> <li>The one thing your grandchildren enjoyed most at school today</li> <li>Your significant other’s greatest wish for retirement</li> <li>How to take better care of your health (and ensure you are able to live out your retirement dreams)</li> <li>A new recipe for dinner</li> <li>How to compost</li> <li>How to grow your own vegetables</li> <li>The names of the plants in your garden</li> <li>Trace your family tree</li> <li>The history of your local area, particularly the indigenous history</li> <li>First aid</li> <li> How to SnapChat or tweet (and keep up with the grandkids!)</li> <li>How to blog</li> <li>Join a bookclub</li> <li>How to stand-up paddle board / yoga/ cycle</li> <li>How to drive a 4X4</li> <li>To play the ukulele</li> <li>To sing (why not head along to one of the many Pub Choirs popping up around the country!)</li> <li>Build your own pizza oven</li> <li>Creative writing</li> <li>Up-cycling furniture (and update your home to reflect your new lifestyle in retirement)</li> </ul> <p>MREC-TAG-HERE</p> <p><strong>Where to start?</strong></p> <p>There are fantastic interest groups and classes both in your community and online. Browse the web or pick up a copy of the local paper and see what’s on near you.  </p> <p>You don’t need to spend the whole day learning, or even one hour. Commit to just 15 mins of focused learning each and see where that takes you.</p> <p align="center"><em>‘You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream’ – C.S. Lewis</em></p>

Retirement Life

Placeholder Content Image

Life in retirement: Why it’s never too late to start a business

<p><em><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="http://www.megangiles.com/" target="_blank">Megan Giles</a></span>, Retirement Transition Consultant, supports those approaching retirement to successfully transition and create a retirement they will love to live!</strong></em></p> <p>Think you’re too old to start a business? Think again. The 55+ age bracket is the fastest growing demographic for launching a new business and proves that age is no barrier to entrepreneurship. A recent US study found that almost 40% of Baby Boomer respondents indicated they were interested in starting a business or not-for-profit in retirement. And why not! Retirement provides a wonderful opportunity to pursue your passion on your own terms and earn an income in the process.</p> <p><em>As Jill says, “I love being over 60 and just figuring out my new career. So many wonderful things still to come”</em></p> <p>Why kick back in the recliner if you would rather be doing something else?</p> <p><strong>How a business can help realise your purpose in retirement</strong></p> <p>There are a number of motivators for starting a business after stepping away from one’s ‘real’ career. It might be that you developed a specific or highly desirable skill set during your career and don’t want your skills to lose currency.  It might be that you have a hobby and are excited to purpose it with passion, or that you are an empty nester with more time on your hands and want to do something meaningful with your days. Whatever your motivation, why not give it a go! Remember that there is nothing wrong with making money by serving and delivering great value to others.</p> <p><strong>The unique contribution that Baby Boomers have to offer</strong></p> <p>One of the most powerful points of difference that retirees have to offer is the ability to identify with, and respond to, the needs of a fast growing consumer demographic – the Baby Boomers themselves.</p> <p>According to the <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong><a href="http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs%40.nsf/94713ad445ff1425ca25682000192af2/1647509ef7e25faaca2568a900154b63?OpenDocument" target="_blank">ABS</a></strong></span>, at least 15% of the Australia population in 2017 were 65 or older, which accounts for 3.4 million people! Baby Boomers constitute a significant part of the consumer market and are inclined to do business with other Baby Boomers because they ‘get’ them. They think to themselves ‘you’ve been where I’ve been and you understand what I need’.</p> <p><em>As Ange* reflects “I’m 67 and most of the women I work with are baby boomers too. One of the things I realised is that women of a certain age come from a place of wisdom. We’ve lived, we’ve learned, we synthesise so much…And we’re truly experts on what we do because we have that deeper knowledge that goes beyond textbook knowledge”</em></p> <p>Challenge the stereotypes that retirees are past it and out of touch. Your experience, networks and resilience are just three valuable qualities you will bring to the entrepreneurial world.</p> <p><strong>Setting off on the right foot - Key actions to take when starting a business in retirement</strong></p> <p><strong>1. Do market research.</strong> For the greatest chance of success it is important to ensure you are solving a problem in a marketplace. Who is your ideal client? Can you describe them – what they like doing, how they spend their time, and what is important to them. Do you know someone who fits this description? Chat to them and find out if what you want to offer will appeal to them? Test and refine. Find some more people to speak with. Test and refine again.</p> <p><strong>2. Stop and reflect.</strong> Take a moment to stop and reflect on your strengths, your proudest moments, the challenges you have overcome and what you are truly passionate about. This will provide a positive foundation to build your business on. Remember that you don’t need to compete with the 20-somethings in this digital age. Offerings do not have to be tech-based to succeed.</p> <p><strong>3. Plan.</strong> Identify the problem or opportunity and assess if you have the right skills to respond. If there are any gaps consider if you need to bring in some expertise, be that coaching, outsourcing or upskilling. Don’t be afraid to use your connections and embrace technology. Determine how much money you are willing to outlay, how many items/sessions you need to sell to break even (and better yet earn a profit) and then make that one of your goals.</p> <p><strong>4. Set ground rules.</strong> Make the distinction between work and personal time. Remember, retirement is about lifestyle – you don’t want your business to become all-consuming. Set these expectations early and hold yourself to account!</p> <p><strong>One bonus tip</strong> – it is not worth losing a friendship over a business. Before you launch a venture with a friend, ensure that your skills are complementary and create some ground rules about how the two of you are going to work together and speak up when things are not going as anticipated.</p> <p><em>After a long and successful career in recruitment, Lisa* established a personal image business. Through her career she frequently advised on creating a high impact first impression and recognised the importance of feeling good in one’s skin. She also had an amateur interest in styling with friends regularly asking ‘what should I wear to that important dinner’ or ‘what shoes go with this outfit’. Not surprisingly she created a business supporting women approaching retirement to transition from a corporate wardrobe to a more relaxed style. She appreciated that women (like herself) still want to look smart but reflect a new energy in retirement.</em></p> <p><em>Lisa has built her business via word-of-mouth, some networking and an online presence. She is conscious of the number of clients she takes on each week as she wants her business to be a joy, not a burden. To her, business is about pursuing something that lights her up (and being rewarded for it!).</em></p> <p>The Baby Boomers have always been the ones to break the rules and to challenge the social norms. Why should that be any difference in retirement? Why retire in the traditional sense of the word if you’re excited to be doing something else?</p>

Retirement Life

Placeholder Content Image

“I still make my adult son’s packed lunch”

<p>Mother and business owner, Amanda, has confessed that she is still mollycoddling her son despite him being an adult.</p> <p>“I know he's 23 but I still struggle to see him as properly grown up," Amanda Pampel told the <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/life-and-relationships/i-still-make-my-adult-son-s-packed-lunch-20180418-p4zabq.html" target="_blank"><strong><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Sydney Morning Herald.</span></em></strong></a></p> <p>“He's perfectly capable, but as soon as he came back I wanted to mollycoddle him."</p> <p>Until her son Louis recently found a full time job, Amanda and her husband David supported him financially.</p> <p>They still don’t charge him rent and she makes him a packed lunch every day for work.</p> <p>"I know he could do it himself but it's just a nice thing to do," she said. </p> <p>Amanda knows that she is spoiling her son, but Louis is happy with the arrangement.</p> <p>Clinical psychologist Dr Chirag Gorasia says that there are benefits for practising tough love as a parent rather than just giving them endless amounts of support.</p> <p>"The concept of parenting has changed and both parents and children now find it difficult to let go," said Dr Gorasia.</p> <p>"Financial support can often mean a better quality of life for young adults. However, it can also mean that children end up less able to cope with challenges, as they've not had much experience of resolving their issues independently."</p> <p>In <em>The Lancet Child &amp; Adolescent Health</em> medical journal, an opinion piece suggested that adolescence now lasts until the age of 24, increasing from the previous age of 19.</p> <p>This shift coincides with high rent, fewer jobs and an increase in the median age for first marriages.</p> <p>Experts agree that it is vital for parents to set boundaries if their children move back into the family home to save for their future.</p> <p>"Having your children home again can be rewarding as you all develop a more adult relationship," said psychotherapist Ellie Roberts.</p> <p>"But most parents know that the appropriate developmental stage is for their children to move away from the home and establish themselves in relationships and work.”</p> <p>Roberts believes that the toll of modern education on children encourages helicopter parenting.</p> <p>"Education has become stressful for children and parents tend to compensate by offering a kind of butler service," she said.</p> <p>However, Roberts says that once their children’s education is over, parents need to learn to let go.</p> <p>Roberts also suggests to not keep tabs on your children on social media.</p> <p>"It has blurred the boundaries," she said.</p> <p>"If parents aren't careful, their anxiety about what their children are up to can drive them into becoming voyeurs. It can also lead to parents assuming they are 'friends' when it's more developmentally healthy for children that their parents remain parents.</p> <p>"Being supportive isn't the same as over-involvement," Roberts said.</p> <p>What is a bad idea, she explained, is "enmeshment – when the young person finds it difficult to separate and is constantly either appeasing the parents or rebelling against them."</p>

Retirement Life

Placeholder Content Image

Millionaire leaves nothing to partner of 42 years in will

<p><span>Despite being together for 42 years, a millionaire landowner who died left nothing behind in his will for his partner.</span></p> <p><span>Wynford Hodge, who owned Parsonage Farm and Caravan Park in Wales, died after battling prostate cancer in 2017.</span></p> <p><span>Mr Hodge left behind more than $2,700,000 in funds and assets but the 92-year-old did not want his 79-year-old partner or his children to inherit any of his money.</span></p> <p><span>When Mr Hodge's health deteriorated, his partner Jane Thompson took on the role of his main carer.</span></p> <p><span>The High Court were told that Mr Hodge had made 10 wills before his death.</span></p> <p><span>In his final will, Mr Hodge left all of his wealth to his two tenants, Karla Evans and Agon Berisha, who worked at his properties.</span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span><img width="500" height="280" src="/media/7817779/1_500x280.jpg" alt="1 (127)"/></span></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><em>Parsonage Farm and Caravan Park via Google Maps</em></p> <p><span>Mr Hodge said Ms Thompson was “financially comfortable” and didn’t need any of his money.</span></p> <p>MREC-TAG-HERE</p> <p><span>In reality, his partner had only been left with savings of about $4,500.</span></p> <p><span>Judge Milywn Jarman ruled that Mr Hodge failed to meet his responsibilities to his partner and awarded Ms Thompson a cottage on the estate wroth $410,000.</span></p> <p><span>She also received almost $346,000 to pay for the renovation of the cottage and to give her financial security.</span></p>

Retirement Life

Placeholder Content Image

“We remember”: Auschwitz survivor and Vietnam vet on what ANZAC Day means to them

<p>Anzac Day means different things to different people. </p> <p>Frank Smolen, who turns 100 in October, survived Auschwitz. When Nazi Germany occupied his country, Frank joined the Polish Resistance. He spent about three years in this infamous concentration camp after the Gestapo discovered his allegiance to the resistance. </p> <p>Frank admires how Australians come together to remember the brave people who served their country in war. </p> <p>“Australians do it well. No other country in the world recognises their returned soldiers and diggers like that. They haven’t forgotten.”</p> <p>Frank moved from Poland to Australia after World War II. He met his future wife, Hedwig, on the boat trip to Australia and they enjoyed a happy life in Melbourne suburb, Footscray, before she passed away about 10 years ago. He has only recently started talking about some of his experiences.</p> <p>Today, he lives at VMCH aged care residence, St Bernadette’s in Sunshine. Frank’s family describe him as a treasure. </p> <p>“He’s just an adorable man and we love him to bits,” his daughter-in-law, Ina, says.</p> <p>While ANZAC Day was not something the family have been a part of in the past, Frank was moved when he was asked to be part of St Bernadette’s Anzac Day service last year.</p> <p>“St Bernadette’s asked him to lay the wreath for their Anzac Day service because he was the oldest one in the centre,” Ina, said. </p> <p>“He was so emotional and so proud. I really think that is the closest he’s ever come to somebody acknowledging what he’s been through.” </p> <p>Ina says Frank is in good health and the family hope to record his experiences during World War II to make sure his memories and important story is not lost. She sees parallels between his reasons for joining the Polish Resistance and what the ANZACs did. </p> <p>“We have asked him why did he do it? ‘Why were you part of the underground?’ He said, ‘I did it for Poland. I did it for the love of my country.’ That’s exactly how we look at our ANZACs and what they have been through at Gallipoli.  They just do it because it’s for their country,” she said.</p> <p>For Gary McNabb, 66, ANZAC Day is an important day to remember people who did not come back from war.  </p> <p>A Vietnam War veteran, Gary marches in the ANZAC Day Parade in Melbourne every year.</p> <p>“I can’t get over the amount of people there … all cheering. I am proud to march. But you still remember everyone that’s been your mates that are not with you anymore,” he says.</p> <p>Gary is a volunteer at St Bernadette’s. He started volunteering after his mum moved into St Bernadette’s about eight years ago. While his mum passed away a few years ago, Gary still volunteers. He loves to chat with residents and help out during the regular bingo games. </p> <p>Gary says he does not like to talk about his time during the Vietnam War. </p> <p>“I have locked it and thrown the key away,” he said. </p> <p>He says he only started marching in the Anzac Day parade in the ‘90s at the insistence of an aunt. But, now he enjoys the day and recalls the first time he joined the parade.</p> <p>“I met blokes I hadn’t seen in years and years. It felt fantastic.”</p> <p>It is the stories and sacrifice of people like Frank, Gary and countless others that continue to make days like Anzac Day so important to Australians.</p> <p>Lest we forget.</p>

Retirement Life

Placeholder Content Image

How to have the happy retirement you want

<p>We often hear about the many financial challenges of preparing for retirement. In essence, we are living longer with less workplace certainty and less generous government support, so we need to carefully consider how we plan our finances to support us through those extra years. Many people are choosing to work longer to boost their savings to achieve this.</p> <p>However, your financial wellbeing shouldn’t be your only consideration. Any planning for a rewarding retirement should also consider meaning and purpose. Remember that this is going to be a multidecade period of your life.</p> <p>Author of <em>Live Happier, Live Longer: Your guide to positive ageing and making the most of life</em>, Dr Tim Sharp, is an expert on positiveageing. In addition to his work as an Adjunct Professor at the UTS BusinessSchool and RMIT School of Health Sciences, he is a psychologist,speaker, consultant, writer, coach, and CEO of The Happiness Institute.He holds three degrees in psychology (including a PhD), and runs one of Sydney’s oldest and most respected clinical psychology practices.</p> <p>Sharp is a believer in the idea that happiness can increase with age, provided you understand some of the proven inputs to your health and wellbeing, and provided you are willing to put effort into the right places. So, where should you focus?</p> <p>“Firstly, in planning – determining and defining exactly what a ‘happy retirement’ would look like for you – and then clarifying exactly what you need to do to make that a reality in your life,” he says.</p> <p>While acknowledging that everyone is unique, Sharp goes on to list the most common inputs to a happier and more fulfilling experience in the years following traditional employment:</p> <p><strong>1.</strong> Ensure there is meaning and purpose in your life outside of work.</p> <p><strong>2.</strong> Be physically fit and healthy.</p> <p><strong>3.</strong> Think optimistically about the future and the ageing process.</p> <p><strong>4.</strong> Develop and foster good quality relationships and connectedness within key communities.</p> <p><strong>5.</strong> Have fun!</p> <p>If these things are missing, older Australians may experience depression, says Sharp.</p> <p>“As well as all the usual causes of and contributors to depression, there are also some especially concerning ones for older people, none more worrying than isolation and loneliness. Just as good quality relationships are vital for our health and happiness, a lack of these is increasingly being viewed as one of the major health issues for our future with an ageing population. The good news is that as individuals, families and communities, we can recognise this and work together to do something about it,” he says.</p> <p>As part of the research effort for this book, I sought a range of views by speaking to retirement coaches, workplace experts, academics, business owners, athletes, psychologists, actuaries and finance experts.</p> <p>One of the recurring themes during these interactions was a growing urgency to fundamentally reinvent retirement with a definition that better serves you, as an existing or soon-to-be-retiree, and society more broadly.</p> <p>Over the years, Sharp has given this topic plenty of thought. In many ways, he was ahead of his time when, in 2014, he proposed a framework referred to as ‘protirement’. In his book, he provides a positive vision for how the chronology of retirement might better play out to be a more satisfying and fulfilling transition.</p> <p>“In protirement, people plan for and conceptualise a positive transition, gradually, from full-time work to a “portfolio” of employment, voluntary, social and recreational activities. I’ve no doubt this approach will become increasingly popular and, in fact, the norm,” he says.</p> <p>Sharp says that while it’s important to prepare financially for retirement (or protirement), you must also prepare mentally and emotionally for growing older.</p> <p>“I don’t think most prepare very effectively in these areas at all. Since compulsory superannuation was introduced in Australia in the early 1990s, most people have essentially been forced to plan and prepare financially for retirement. Even if many don’t do this as well as some would like, almost everyone is doing at least something in the financial domain ... You can have all the money you like. Yet if you’re sick and tired and unhappy and lonely, then no amount of dollars in the bank will make for a happy retirement.”</p> <p>So, how can you ensure a happy, fulfilling retirement? By ensuring you have something to retire to, rather than something to retire from.</p> <p><em>This is an extract from </em>End of the Retirement Age: Embracing the pursuit of meaning, purpose and prosperity<em> by David Kennedy. Available at endoftheretirementage.com and via Amazon, Booktopia, and Angus &amp; Robertson.</em></p>

Retirement Life

Placeholder Content Image

Single in retirement? Here’s what you need to know

<p><em><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="http://www.megangiles.com/" target="_blank">Megan Giles</a></span>, Retirement Transition Consultant, supports those approaching retirement to successfully transition and create a retirement they will love to live!</strong></em></p> <p>There are a myriad of reasons as to why you may find yourself single in retirement. Perhaps you have always been single, divorced years ago, separated recently, or perhaps you unexpectedly lost your loved one to illness. For some it is welcome relief, for others it is utterly heartbreaking but whatever your journey, you are embarking on retirement without a significant other.</p> <p>It was suggested that Singles experience a unique set of challenges and opportunities to their counterparts in couples when it comes to life in retirement. With this in mind, I set out to explore if this actually is the case by drawing on the experiences of recent retirees.</p> <p>The reflections recounted to me were particularly open and candid and so there is great value in sharing these. They also provide a wonderful opportunity to explore the action one can take to harness the opportunities and avoid their fears becoming a reality.</p> <p><strong>What do single people fear stepping into retirement?</strong></p> <ol> <li>I will run out of money and I have no other person to fall back on.</li> <li>Who will care for me if I become seriously ill or disabled? For those who have cared for a partner, they appreciate what this involves and dread becoming a burden on others.</li> <li>Adapting my plans - I never expected to lose my partner so soon. All of my plans involved them and I have no idea how to move forward.</li> <li>A lack of companionship. I don’t need company 24/7 but it would be nice to have someone ask about my day or to do things with, particularly when work colleagues fall away.</li> <li>Not being able to travel and fulfil life-long dreams – the single supplements make travel so much more expensive and none of my friends seem to want to travel.</li> </ol> <p><strong>What are the opportunities that only come with being single?</strong></p> <ol> <li>I am able to invest and save money as I choose. There is no need to compromise.</li> <li>I am in charge of my own destiny and am able to pursue the things on my bucket list.</li> <li>I have flexibility in how to live my life, I am able to make decisions on my terms.</li> <li>Knowing that the house will always be as I left it when I get home!</li> </ol> <p>The challenge then becomes how to acknowledge the fears and whilst channelling the positives in order to take action and create a retirement in which you will thrive.</p> <p><strong>What to consider in your planning as a single retiree</strong></p> <p>The most important thing you can do is plan, and consider the ‘what ifs’ (and really, this is advice that I would give to anyone approaching retirement). Don’t avoid thinking about the bad things, hoping they don’t eventuate. Acknowledge them and plan so that if the unforeseen should occur, you are able to make informed decisions, rather than urgent and emotive ones.</p> <p><strong>1. Create a lifestyle transition plan.</strong> Whilst you may thrive living independently now at 60, what might change over the next 25 years? Will you have adequate support and access to care where you are right now, particularly if you became unable to drive? Do you have a strong connection with the people around you? If the time comes that you need to move, what would your preference be? A seniors’ community may be a viable option with plenty of social activities and access to support.</p> <p><strong>2. Get your documents in order.</strong> Consider what would happen if you lost the mental capacity to make decisions. Who do you want to have enduring power of attorney? Empower the right person to make significant decision for you, and on your behalf, should you not be able to do so yourself. Ensure peace of mind that your loved ones will be looked after.</p> <p><strong>3. Seek financial advice.</strong> A trusted and accredited Financial Planner has the expertise and tools to leverage your finances and position you positively for retirement. This advice can be even more impactful when you don’t have a huge portfolio of assets, e.g. an extra few thousand dollars more may mean more to you than to a millionaire.</p> <p><strong>4. Look after your body and mind.</strong> If you are worried about your financial situation, one of the most powerful things you can do right now is get active and reduce your risk of illness and disease, thus avoiding high medical costs later in life.</p> <p><strong>5. Connect with the community around you.</strong> The people who do best in retirement are those who are engaged in their local community and regularly spend time with friends and family.  Devote time to developing and maintaining relationships and don’t be afraid to ask for help as you know you would return the favour without hesitation.</p> <p><strong>6. Become comfortable in your own skin.</strong> If for example, you can’t find someone to go to the movies with, don’t let that slow you down. Recognise that most people are so preoccupied with their own worries that they won’t even notice you, let alone wonder why you might be out alone. If you love travelling, why not do your research and find companies that specialise in single travel (without the supplements!).</p> <p>Regardless of your relationship status, retirement is a wonderful time of life and very much the ‘beginning of the open road’ rather than the end of a journey. If you do find yourself single at this stage in life, embrace the positives and proactively plan for the anticipated challenges so that you truly can create a retirement you will love to live (on your terms)!</p>

Retirement Life