Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Quality of life in retirement

Boomers are living 30 years longer than people did in the last century. So what are we doing with these extra years after we retire? Some of us are busier than ever with hobbies, grandchildren, travel, and other projects. I often hear my retired friends say, "I don't know how I ever had time to work!" Others find vegetating on a golf course less stimulating than the high-powered careers they have retired from.
How to live well, not just simply live longer?

A very interesting book that was recently reviewed in Costco's magazine ( deals with this subject. It's called "The Longevity Prescription" by noted author Dr. Robert Butler. He suggests that four strategies are extremely important: Getting enough solid sleep, managing stress, nurturing social connectivity, and having a sense of purpose. How each individual incorporates these elements into their lives is a challenge that will pay dividends in terms of the quality of life in retirement.

I find that by setting a goal that involves a lot of effort to achieve can help me kill all four birds with one stone. I frequently sign up to participate in a big event, Cycle Oregon, which is a week-long, 420-mile bike ride. First of all, when I ride my bike 30-50 miles in a day, I have no trouble sleeping well at night! Vigorous physical activity definitely helps manage stress; you can't be worried about anything when you are huffing and puffing and focusing on your cycling technique. Riding solo all the time gets boring, so I have joined a couple of cycling clubs and make arrangements to ride with friends, thus meeting new people and nurturing these relationships. Having a goal like Cycle Oregon gives me a sense of purpose, and adds an interesting dimension to my regular routine of cycling for fitness.

So make your retirement the best time of your life! Check out our web site, for some ideas. If you're a cyclist, visit

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