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Lithium Carbonate

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TRANSITIONS IN RETIREMENT: EMOTIONAL CONSIDERATIONS
Because the psychological side of life cannot be captured in numbers, planning emotionally for retirement may seem more difficult. Not so! Taking these steps may help you come up with concrete solutions for the aspects of retirement you fear. (Adapt these suggestions to help get yourself on the right track if you are already retired and at loose ends.)
Imagine your life as a retiree. Think about what an average day or week would be like. What kinds of things would you do? Is your general mood upbeat or can you only imagine being depressed? If you cannot imagine being happy, consider this a very important warning light. Trust your gut feeling and try to put off leaving work as long as you can. If you know you will have to retire in a few months, start exploring new job possibilities. It is much easier to get a new job while you are still in an old one. You will be less frantic, and potential employers are likely to feel you are more desirable if you approach them having a job in hand.
Pinpoint your exact concerns. If you are like most people, you can imagine being happy but have a sense of foreboding too. Focus on exactly what concerns you, and if necessary write each worry down.
Come up with antidotes for each worry. Then brainstorm, drawing up battle plans for eliminating your concerns. Preferably, come up with a few possible solutions to each problem you foresee. For instance, your list of anxieties and antidotes might look like this.
Worry 1: I’m afraid of the lack of structure. How would I plan my day from nine to five? I can just imagine that listless feeling if the highlight of my morning became waiting for the mail. It would be terrible to wake up with each day stretching out as a soul-destroying monochromatic blank.
Solutions: Before I leave work I will have some sort of structure in place. I’ll sign up for a course at the local university. I’ll arrange to go swimming at the gym every day. I’ll go to a senior citizens’ center – the one that is open every day. I resolve never to go to bed with absolutely nothing planned for the next day. I will have at least one destination in place for tomorrow before I turn out the light. But I won’t overdo it. This is my time to enjoy smelling the flowers. It would be a shame if, out of anxiety at being aimless, I frantically rushed around.
Worry 2: I’m afraid I would miss my work friends. I can just see myself hanging around the office the way Joe did after he retired. I remember how foolish he looked, arriving at eleven for those lunch dates at one o’clock.
Solutions: I’ll join a club; cultivate that person I always liked who works across the hall and is retiring now too – avoid the office but keep in contact with my work friends at night and on weekends.
Worry 3: I’m afraid no longer being an important lawyer will depress me deeply. I can just imagine myself cringing inside when I go to a cocktail party and someone asks me what I do. I get such a kick out of telling them I’m a partner in Thomas and Belsky. It will be terrible to say I’m retired. I care so much about the status and satisfaction I get from work; my drive to accomplish something and be a productive professional is such an important part of who I am.
Solutions: To people who ask I will say, “I retired in 1988 from Thomas and Belsky.” More important, I have to find something else that gives me the same boost I got from work.
A person is likely to feel that work is irreplaceable when it seems the only way of satisfying some basic human needs-pride in achievement, the joy of showing what you can do. Your goal is not to damp down these needs or to live with frustration, but to have retirement fulfill them too.
*88/159/5*

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