Many people are either afraid of retirement or believe that it is a time when one plays Bingo & Bowls and sits on the verandah watching the world pass them by. Well, now that my husband and I are both retired, I would not change it at all. Neither of us plays Bingo or Bowls but I do play Canasta once a week. We are having too much fun travelling in South Africa, Africa and around the world. In the past few years we have visited most of Europe, the UK, Ireland, Namibia, Lesotho and the West Coast in Spring to name just a few of the places.
Some of the best things about travelling and shopping when one is retired are the options to receive reductions just because one is over 60. On Tuesdays one shop gives 5% and on Wed & Thurs it is 4% at another shop. Visiting tourist sites and places of interest almost always have a special Senior Citizens’ rate which is usually the same as for children under 12. Obviously, there is a definite a belief that we are in our second childhood! I don’t mind, as retirement is very much fun and games if approached with the right attitude.
In October, friends from the US visited us for 3 weeks and we had a wonderful time exploring our beautiful Province of KwaZulu-Natal and almost everywhere we went we got a special rate which was great. This showed another side to retirement, and that was, that we were able to travel in the low-season giving us even better prices and we could spend the time together as we had no other commitments.
Being retired means that one can decide what to do on which day, what time to rise and what time to go to bed because there is no commitment to anyone else. You do not have to be up at a certain time to be sure of being at work on time after being stuck in traffic. The stress of all those demands have been removed from your life. When a friend asks if you are free on a certain day it is entirely your choice. There are times when I have said that I am busy so am not available at that time and when the person says something like, ‘Oh, I thought you only volunteered at the church or similar on …. days’ but, on the day she is asking about, I may be reading a book, doing a bit of gardening, going to a movie or even just staring into space. It is my choice!
What got me on to this subject? One evening last week, while driving home from a meeting, I was listening to a radio programme on which a numerologist was being interviewed and listeners were encouraged to phone in and give their date of birth. With this information she would describe their personalities and advise them as to what they should be doing workwise. After listening to her speak to four people of all ages, of both sexes and all race groups I realised that they were all given almost the same information. They would all work well with people, need to find something new to do, preferably this year but definitely within two years, and are procrastinators. I was beginning to wonder if it was a joke. One lady, who was 67, said she was about to retire and asked how she should go forward from here. Besides being given the regular speech as above, she was told that one should never retire but keep working to stay young.
No, says I. If you are able, choose to retire and start living.