You need to make a “new normal” to enjoy ageing

George Vaillant conducted years of research from the Grant Study that launched in 1939 to identify that in his work

George Vaillant conducted years of research from the Grant Study that launched in 1939 to identify that in his work ‘Aging Well’, he wrote “…it is social aptitude, not intellectual brilliance or parental social class, that leads to successful ageing.”

Additionally, mature coping styles, like “making lemonade out of lemons” is in social and psychological terms the most powerful predictor of successful ageing.

Ageing Well was a best selling publication. The 9 key recommendations by George Vaillant for successful ageing included:

  1. A good marriage before age 50
  2. Ingenuity to cope with difficult situations
  3. Altruistic behaviour
  4. Stop smoking
  5. Do not use alcohol to the point where your behaviour shames you or your family
  6. Stay physically active. Walk, run, mow your own grass, play tennis or golf
  7. Keep your weight down
  8. Pursue education as far as your native intelligence permits
  9. After retirement, stay creative, do new things, learn how to play again

Continued maturation no matter a person’s age can influence these results.

To prepare ourselves, Vaillant writes “We can start by admiring how other skilful people cope. Then ponder, when things go badly for us, how we might have used self- defeating mechanisms. Don’t try to think less of yourself, but try to think of yourself less.

Retirement is not much different from losing your job in that many struggle with a loss of identity and structure. The key role that may have defined who you are, your purpose and your daily routine is suddenly no longer there. But keep in mind that now you are free to develop a new role for yourself in life, and this can be very freeing and exciting.

The solution is to maintain some type of structure to your day.

You may not have to set your alarm for 5 am anymore, but perhaps you’ll make a point to get up at 7 am each day to get showered and dressed for the day. From there, develop a new routine that makes sense for you and that allows you to fall into a comfortable yet still productive new “normal.”

Another aspect to consider is how retirement will change your relationship with your spouse.

If you’re suddenly able to spend much more time with your spouse than you were before, it can sometimes lead to tension. The saying “I married you for love, but not for lunch” has been uttered before.

Make a point to keep communicating and sharing your new desires and needs with each other, while at the same time allowing for alone time. Discussing these issues with your spouse prior to retirement is an important part of the process.

*The information contained in this document is general in nature and may not be relevant to your individual circumstances. You should refrain from doing anything in reliance on this information without first obtaining suitable professional advice. The views expressed in this publication are solely those of the author; they are not reflective or indicative of Millennium3 Financial Service’s position, and are not to be attributed to Millennium3. They cannot be reproduced in any form without the express written consent of the author.

  1. People on part pensions need to realise in January, 2017 New laws will be enacted brought in by the government with the aid of the GREENS

    • I think I must of missed that news , Carol , being on a part pension because I still work , doesn’t sound good ?

  2. Gee, there must be something wrong with me. Coming up to 9 years retired and that’s the joy of it…routine becomes soooo flexible. Whatever you didn’t get done today, do it tomorrow.

  3. Yes as long as you dont retire from life get out there and live life do whatever makes you happy and enjoy

  4. Retirement is great. The biggest threat to achieving retirement goals, and sustainable standard of living in retirement is Scott Morrison and the Liberal Party in general. They want our houses. If propositions by idiots like Kate Carnell and others are adopted kiss a relaxed retirement goodbye. Measures such as including your house in the means test, forcing reverse mortgages upon seniors, creating a loan (like HECS) to pay your pension or any other assistance you may require from Govt. These measures have been in the chatosphere for a while now. Vote accordingly.

  5. Forget it,it is not worth it I retired when I was 70 & regret every day of it. 7 years down the track gov took just about everything I had

    • Yes I’d like to know that too because I should be retiring in March 2017 but don’t think I can. Have some super but not much and that will probably go to pay off the house because due to family problems don’t now own it outright. I hear we’re supposed to live in poverty on retirement. So how do the govt sock it to us now. Shame they don’t “hit” the politicians, judges pensions . Oh sorry forgot “they have a standard of living to maintain” and we don’t

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