Learning to live at your own pace: Finding your ‘retirement zone’

Feb 09, 2023
Source: Getty

We are now in, or approaching, what I like to call “The Retirement Zone.”

There is no need to commute, no pleasing a whinging boss or relate to other workers who might not be your cup of tea.  If we retire any time in our sixties, depending on our health and finances, the world ahead can be our oyster, an unfilled canvas.

However, some people are still in work mode. Our generation worked hard at our employment in any format and can be proud of our achievements. I know two such men who broke their work habits by travelling around Europe for three months. Your sixties are the time for enjoyment and you have earned the leisure. 

Personally, after revisiting my field of employment, I am still partially in the work zone. To keep my brain active, and give back to the community. I have accepted a task this year as a tertiary tutor, assisting a student from overseas with English. In that way, I can plan my year ahead, with realistic goals.

I also plan to obtain a laptop with upgraded Windows, and perhaps Zoom for one or two of my adult English students. Looking back, I can say that I am very proud of all my success stories for the past almost fifty years.

So that might be described as semi-retirement. What is in your retirement zone? Some people, especially women, never retire. They are designated to be the chief cook and washerwomen, sometimes a primary caregiver for lively young grandchildren. All enjoyable, but it can be quite exhausting to be a slave to adult offspring and their needs for childminding. 

Once we turn seventy or even eighty, anything can happen to our health. Staying in the positive zone shall be beneficial. If ever I am unable to work part-time, I can take up doing jigsaws and hope to continue with crafting as a volunteer for charity. I hope to persevere with writing in different genres. Nothing wrong with that. 

It is good to relax and to cruise into each day. There are lots of ways retirees can learn new hobbies, whether online or in community groups, while we are still mobile.

As we consider the retirement zone in our sixties, we should consider that we can optimistically expect to live another twenty years. We should all be so lucky! Someone who plans to play golf several times per week in their sixties could face twenty years of golfing. My girlfriend’s mother is 81, still playing 18 holes of golf every week. 

In our retirement zone, we can aspire to keep up with friends and family and meet new circles of acquaintances. Some senior singles I know are very social and schedule one or two activities per day. Others prefer to stick close to home, pottering around the garden or library.

If seniors are fortunate to have a significant other to retire together, that may require future planning. That way each can have free space for some part of daily routines. As co-residents, I knew one male who retired to stare at daytime television, talking through the family dog. I guess we all have to come to terms with our own ageing. 

Resting can now be part of leisure, as well as some exercise, and healthier eating in our retirement.

So, for anyone in the retirement age group, choose to focus on all the positives. No need for negative zen, decide to have some positive yen! 


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