Retirement spiritual emotional needs should be considered, if the golden years are to fulfill their promise. Retirement planning and living has many dimensions beyond pensions and best places to retire. Val Nowlan and her husband live happily in a retirement complex in South Africa.
Life is full of preparation and hopefully, fulfillment of our plans and dreams. We prepare our children to negotiate the different phases of school and academic achievement. Then as young adults they prepare for and move into professions or employment, family life and so on. Amid these experiences, what is often referred to as our golden years is frequently treated as something in the dim and distant future. As a result little thought is given to essential issues other than whether our pension is going to be adequate or where we will live. I would like in this brief article to highlight that retirement is not only about where we will live, or whether our finances
Retirement is also very much about how our emotional and spiritual needs are going to be met. Probably one of the most difficult aspects of this phase is managing the effect of the ageing process on our bodies. To my mind this is the hidden agenda of advancing years. Our bodies slow down; hearing and eyesight diminish; joints creak and groan with every move. Then there is the loss of interest in things that have previously occupied our time. Relocating to smaller accommodation or moving to another area; even being separated from children, all add to the endless list!
If we are going to manage then, how are we preparing ourselves now? Change in itself is not really the issue. The crux of the matter is how we are going to survive the inevitability of change. The impact of change on a senior’s life is enormous. Preparation for this should start before retirement. In an advert recently I read the brief story of a man who witnessed to the fact that he was 25 when he first thought about retirement. Forty years later he is able to quote a figure which reflects the extent of his investment for his retirement. Dealing with finances requires professional oversight and input as do our medical needs.
Keeping the mind active is a pleasant pastime especially, if like a friend of mine, you wiz up and down the alphabet a couple of times a day to help you remember the names of your friends! Such things as reading, playing board and card games; discussion groups; taking an interest in people and things outside your daily routine all help keep the mind stimulated and active. These types of activity are very often part of the lifestyle in a retirement centre.
Staying in a house in a suburban environment can lead to isolation and loneliness, not necessarily recognized or even acknowledged by the retiree. Physical security too is something not to be ignored. This is where there is an advantage in finding suitable accommodation in a retirement centre. Physical activities which involve being outside in the garden or in a swimming pool, or on a bowling green, all are aids to leading a happy and well balanced lifestyle in retirement.
The importance of being counseled and nurtured spiritually by a Pastor in a denomination of your choice is of paramount importance. At this stage in life, we look for meaningful answers to perplexing questions and if a pastor is a good shepherd of his flock, he will be able to guide and assist you into truths, and answer questions asked.
Retirement spiritual emotional needs should be considered, if the golden years are to fulfill their promise.