Seniors: The Happiest Ones I Know

Sep 9th, 2010 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

The happiest seniors I know are those who are still gainfully active.  Now, here, “gainfully” does not necessarily imply recieving income, being on some kind of wage or salary.  It is being regularly occupied at tasks or undertakings from which the gain received is the pure joy and satisfaction of being productive.  Some of the people I know are heavily invested in their business, profession or occupation, and are now past 70.  They have committed themselves to continue to find ways to occupy their mind, their skills, their life long dedication to an enterprise or calling that they continue to gain reward from day to day investment. 

Some have declared they do not intend to retire.  Some of my high school graduating classmates are still deeply involved in their life long careers.  Some are attorneys, others are in businesses they have operated for 40 years and more; some sustain family operations that have been passed down to them, others have found occupations which give them income and the ability to spend their time productively.  Most are persons whose health continues to be good, whose common sense allows them to impose disciplines that do not challenge them physically or medically.  They have found the marvelous secret of being at the kind of things that brings rich meaning to their lives.  They are to be envied, admired and appreciated.  Most have no need for more income or resources, although in this time some do, but they find ways to use their resources wisely and well. 

For persons who are entertaining the idea of retirement, again keeping in mind the financially bleak picture of our time, planning to continue in your present or another position both for purposes of personal self satisfaction and some helpful income may not be a bad idea.  If, there is no reason to do so economically and retirement is a well deserved and long desired goal, for which you are quite ready, go for it.  If, however, there are questions about your happiness and enjoyment and finding meaning in retirement, then examining the prospect of retiring is something that would be well advised.  My own retirement, now in its 13th year, has left me with the awareness that being occupied is a far better course than giving into constant leisure. 

Longevity is likely to be encouraged and increased on the part of persons who have intentional ways to identify meaning and fulfillment in their retirement years.  Goal I  should be to be happy.  Working out the formula by which that becomes one’s experience will make for a happy retirement lifestyle.



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