Showing posts with label aging attitude. Show all posts
Showing posts with label aging attitude. Show all posts

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Your Attitude about Retirement and Aging Can Make all the Difference!

We have often heard the expression "attitude is everything."  We know this can be true whether we are trying to start a new relationship, build a business, or raise a family.  Unsurprisingly, it is also true of the way we approach retirement and aging.  The more optimistic and positive our attitude, the more likely we are to enjoy the last years of our lives.

How do we develop the right mindset, though?  Does it only happen if we have plenty of money and good health, or can we have a pleasant, positive outlook, even when everything does not go exactly as we would like?  As I have aged, I have observed that many people are enjoying their retirement, whether or not they are able to experience a luxurious, healthy lifestyle, while other people seem bitter and unhappy, regardless of how fortunate they may seem to outsiders. The difference seems to be when people have learned about "Attitudes of Gratitude: How to Give and Receive Joy Every Day of Your Life." (Ad) We are all more likely to have a happy retirement when we learn how to have the right mindset, and these are skills we can learn at any age.

Because I have seen how important it is to have a positive mindset as we approach retirement, I invited Chris Ryan of The Next Phase of Life to share what he has learned during his years as a life coach about how much better we age when we adopt the right retirement mindset.  The  information he provides below may help you approach the final quarter of your life with greater enthusiasm and joy.  You may also want to check out his website and sign up for his free newsletter.

Enjoy his guest post:

Why You Need the Right Retirement Mindset

by: Chris Ryan

As the founder of I am always seeking experts like Deborah-Diane to share their wisdom on how baby boomers (those born 1946 to 1964) and the silent generation (those born before 1946) can have a fun, fulfilling and healthy retirement. We talk about the five pillars of a great retirement as:
.     Good health 
.     Adequate financial resources
.     A sense of purpose
.     Supportive community
.     A positive mindset

Many articles, books and videos about retirement cover the first four pillars of a great retirement, but neglect the fifth. Yet, I believe that your attitude about this important phase of your life can be as important, or more so, than even the issues of health and finances. We all know retired people who have money, good health, and plenty of friends and family around, yet spend much of their time acting miserable. I used to play tennis with a retired guy who seemingly had all the necessary assets, yet he was so gloomy his nickname was ‘Cranky Bob’. Who wants to go through life with the moniker ‘Cranky’? I can think of a hundred other words I’d rather have describe me than cranky. 

By contrast, there are others with limited resources and health problems, who are still cheerful and optimistic. You think: if I were that person, I would hate life. Yet they are positive beacons who spread joy. So, in this sense, it is obviously not the circumstances that determine one’s disposition, but rather the mindset. This is good news, because you may not have that much control over factors such as your health, finances and family. Sure, you can exercise and eat right, but if you have a genetic disposition to illness, robust health may not be in your future.
Once you reach retirement age, there are plenty of options for work or starting a business, but you may not have the ability (or desire) to put in the hours and energy needed to totally turn your financial ship around. Likewise, with your community. You may have few or no close friends, and few family members nearby. 
Regardless of whether you give yourself a "10" in each of the other four criteria (health, finances, purpose, and community), your mindset can vastly improve your overall happiness and sense of well-being.  Fortunately, if you get the mindset part right, the other good stuff tends to fall into place. Your health improves, people want to be around you, and you can more easily find and express your purpose. Even your finances may start to improve. Life just gets better.  
Focus on the Gain

A smart guy and seasoned citizen named Dan Sullivan talks about the importance of teaching yourself to focus on the “gain” instead of the “gap”. To put it another way, if you practice the art of gratitude for what you already have, instead of bemoaning what you don’t have, you are more likely to get more of the good stuff (the gain) instead of the bad stuff (the gap). Mr. Sullivan explains the concept in this YouTube video.  The video is worth watching several times until you get the concept – it is a potential life changer. 
One of the big caveats to a positive mindset is to not expect that just because you feel a certain way, life is always going to cooperate. This demand that your expectations will be fulfilled can do a lot of harm. The truth is that you can be both a realist and an optimist. In other words, you expect good things to happen but accept the reality of whatever actually happens. We all have sunny days and rainy days – days when it seems everything is going our way, and others when the opposite is true. Either way, you are just one more person doing life. 

Jenkin Lloyd Jones expressed this concept exactly right: “Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he has been robbed. The fact is that most putts don’t drop, most beef is tough, most children grow up to be just people, most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration, and most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. Life is just like an old-time rail journey … delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders, and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride.”

To paraphrase the Rolling Stones, you really can’t always get what you want. Sometimes you do and often you don’t. Wanting what you get is more important to happiness than getting what you want. The trick is to accept what you get and, like Jenkin Lloyd Jones says, enjoy the ride. 

About the author: Christopher Ryan is founder and CMO of Next Phase of Life and a certified life coach. For more information, visit

If you are interested in learning more about financial planning for retirement, where to retire, Social Security, Medicare, common medical issues as you age, and more, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional helpful articles.

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Photo credit:   Provided by Chris Ryan