Do you have RDD – Retirement Deficit Disorder? 10



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A deficit is not always a monetary term. While it can refer to a shortfall in money or income, on a broader basis it means a “deficiency or disadvantage”. We’ve all heard of Attention Deficit Disorder, which is a brain malfunction, whether genetic or environmentally induced. Many retirees have what we can call a Retirement Deficit Disorder, which is a state of mind.

For many, the life change of retirement results in a slowdown that permeates through many areas of life. Approximately, 80 per cent of retirees are dependent on some form of government pension that results in a restricted lifestyle compared to when they were working. During our working lives, the income that we generate can allow us to fulfil many life pursuits including travel, recreation and the comforts that modern life has to offer. In retirement, the limitations of income cause a shrinkage in some of these pursuits. Consequently, retirees often modify their spending habits and carefully watch every dollar. That is the reality for many who have failed to plan financially earlier in their lives.

Another area of life that becomes a deficit is physical activity. Deteriorating health, with arthritic conditions, and general wear and tear, causes people to limit an active lifestyle. Whether it’s bad knees, ankles, backs or shoulders, people will restrict themselves, and that is not a good thing. Life is motion; the more that we restrict our mobility, the more we limit ourselves. We cannot all be like the Japanese mountain climber who at age 80 scaled Mt Everest, but most of us can do something. We see seniors swimming, cycling, golfing, taking pilates classes, water aerobics and walking. The point is to do something, and the most difficult thing is starting. Find someone who is self-motivated to inspire you. If you can afford it, get a personal trainer. Expect to be a bit sore, but that can be a good thing.

The other area where retirement leads to deficiency is in using our mental capacities. During our working lives, we get mental stimulation – dealing with customers, using technology and other modalities. When we retire, it can be a challenge to stimulate our minds unless we have something in place. Today, thanks to computer technology there is much available to us. Have you thought about writing a book, a blog or creating an online business with a website? You can do these on your own particularly if you have the time with sites such as WordPress making it easy to build websites. To stimulate your mind, you can also use an app on your phone or tablet such as Lumosity. It’s fun and keeps you mentally stimulated.

The final area of slowdown is vocation or business. There is no reason this should be true. We have the opportunity today with the internet to do anything. If you have an idea – any concept – that you can figure out how to monetise, then you can create a business. People such as Colonel Sanders (Kentucky Fried Chicken) and Frank McCourt, Pulitzer Prize Winner (Angela’s Ashes) created their achievements at age 65.

The bottom line is that you only put limitations on you. Change your mindset and think of “retirement” as a time for surplus not deficit.

Do you have RDD? What do you do to change this? How have you made the most of the money you have in retirement? Tell us below.

Dr Ely Lazar and Dr Adele Thomas

  1. After going through the house now that my mother & stepdad have both passed, makes you think about your own needs V wants. When working we spent how we wanted because we could. Now the question is do I really need “it”? It had taken over a year or more of retirement to truly assess spending habits. For instance the car (because we always did) or the bus which is free. Taxi to airport $60 plus or bus which is free? We have investments but also pension. So from an accounting background I have a budget which we stick to & ut works well

  2. I have read that taking up dancing is great for retirees. It keeps you physically active, mentally active as you have to learn all the steps and is great for coordination, it also keeps you socially active and you can make new friends with a similar interest.

  3. Luminosity has no scientifically proven claims, however learning a new language, or musical instrument does have scientifically proven results.

  4. Not all retirees who are on strict budgets have “failed” to plan for retirement. Unforeseen circumstances play a part too. If you have RDD then at least you made it this far when many didn’t. Enjoy the journey with what you have and count your blessings. You are not a failure because you aren’t rich!

  5. Every day you wake up is good .Plenty of free entertainment if you want .We are on the pension and lead a good life that suits us .

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