How will you stay health in your 3rd chapter?

The Third Chapter – how do you plan to write yours?

How will you stay health in your 3rd chapter?
Are you ready to plan your third chapter of life to preserve your health?

The Third Chapter has become the popular term for life past about age 60 thanks to Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot and her book by this name.  Your 3rd Chapter is where you leave your legacy, focus on what is most important, and do some things you couldn’t do during the peak of your career.

Big 3 – Third Chapter Options

  1. You can do nothing and continue to work. As a local lawyer recently stated, ‘They can pry my dead body from behind my keyboard.’
  2. You can just let the final third happen. Some people leave the office, go home, watch a lot of TV, and drift along until their health fails and they pass.
  3. You can plan and make this the best chapter yet.

Reasons to plan

  • Fulfill those dreams – What have you been putting off until you had the time, resources, and freedom to do them? I just talked with a family where the wife has been dreaming of a trip to Cuba.  For much of their lives that was not possible. Now he has retired, Cuba is open to visitors, she found a deal, and they can finally say ‘Yes’ to this opportunity.
    • If he was still working or even just going to work to maintain his comfortable schedule, they might have missed this chance.
    • If no planning had been done, they would still be talking about going to Cuba someday.
  • Intentionally get a handle on your health – Bad habits, work stress, limited time, and distraction can be risky for your long-term health. One of the earliest plans with the biggest return on investment in retirement is your health.  Proactive assessment and action now can prolong the healthy, active part of your third chapter.
    • While working, especially in high demand careers, many men ignore their own health in favor of the health of the company.  Then, they experience a rapid health decline.
    • Doing nothing will continue risky habits. Our current healthcare system is reactive.  Once you get sick, injure yourself, and find yourself declining, then the healthcare system kicks in.  You don’t want to wait for this to happen when you have this chance to proactively avoid or delay all of that.
  • Make this the most rewarding chapter yet! – With planning and intention you can make a mark on the world. Your years of collected skills, interests, and perspectives can make you invaluable in a role to address some issues in society.  Explore your interests.  What breaks your heart?  You now have the bandwidth to do something about it.
    • While continuing to work you will be disappointed that no one is doing anything to fix the societal problems that bother you most.
    • If you do nothing, your disappointment will grow.  As a result, that can lead to harmful negativity or complacency.

Retirement Wellness Strategies

This is what we do and why we do it.  Let’s talk today about taking a proactive approach to planning your third chapter!

You can reach Michelle at michelle@retirewellness.com, calling 410-472-5078, or check out the website at www.retirewellness.com.

BIBLICAL APPLICATION

God has plans for us in each chapter of life.

Job 12:12 ESV

Wisdom is with the aged, and understanding in length of days.

[Now, I’ll admit, I try to think of someone else much older than me when I read ‘old age’ in many translations of the Bible.  But, I think that is a translator’s term for having years of experience.]

The wisdom of years is highly respected in the Bible and in most cultures and historically in the US. I think this an important piece of our foundation that is now slipping – respect for your elders and care for your aging family members.

Proverbs 23:22 ESV

Listen to your father who gave you life, and do not despise your mother when she is old.

Ephesians 6:1-3 ESV

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.”

Years of accumulated experience brings perspective, skills, and a deep wisdom that comes from mistakes, successes, complete failures, adversity, and overcoming.  In particular, to see how God pulls you through over and over again leads to a deeper faith that He’ll do it again.

Job 32:7 ESV

I said, ‘Let days speak, and many years teach wisdom.’

Psalm 90:12 ESV

So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.

Titus 2:2-3 ESV

Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good,

Psalm 71:18-19 ESV

So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come. Your righteousness, O God, reaches the high heavens. You who have done great things, O God, who is like you?

I am so excited to see what can happen when people with years of wisdom and accumulated skill apply those to needs in society.

I’ll end with this quote on our bulletin at church today by Hugh Halter:

‘The convictions we need to rally around should be about life giving, community, transformation, holistic personal growth, sacrifice, beauty, blessing and world renewal.  Who wouldn’t want to be part of a people committed to something that brings personal meaning and makes the world a better place?’

This is how I see meaningful retirement.

Blessings,

Michelle

 

 

 

Retirement is a Dish Best Served Well-Prepared

Well prepared retirement
A well-prepared retirement can be healthy and fulfilling

Retirement will be most successful if you take some time and do some planning.  This is true whether you stop working completely or adjust responsibilities to have more flexibility.

Like every phase of life, big decision, or major transition, planning helps navigate the expected and provide the flexibility to negotiate the unexpected.

What is Retirement Planning?

When you search using terms like ‘retirement planning’ the items listed are almost solely about financial planning.  There are numerous large companies, small companies, and individuals offering assistance in making financial decisions that will enable the retirement you desire.

Financial planning includes amount of funds available, timing of fund use, anticipated monthly budgets, and a diversified portfolio.  (And more I’m sure; this is definitely not my area of expertise).

Succession planning is a key part of preparation to leave or reduce time at your workplace.  You want to be sure what you have worked so hard to build or support will be left in capable hands.

Family care is another element of retirement planning.  You are assuring the house, the car(s), the major purchases are updated and ready for the days of a more ‘fixed’ income.  Legally, this is a good time to assure wills, estates, powers of attorney, and other legal documents are updated.

What ELSE is Retirement Planning?

At Retirement Wellness Strategieswe are focused on your health and wellness as you approach retirement.

‘My doctor already does that,’ you might be saying.  Your doctor is certainly doing some of that.  Your doctor also has a very limited time with you and is frequently using that time to address issues of the moment.  Healthcare in general is mostly reactive.  We want to be proactive!

Retirement Wellness Strategies is

  • PROACTIVE
  • RISK REDUCING
  • As interested in your MENTAL, EMOTIONAL, SPIRITUAL, and SOCIAL health as your PHYSICAL health.

Retirement is a major life transition.  Far too many men in leadership positions are stumbling as they leap the chasm from a very full, rewarding, consuming work life to retirement.

These stumbles are leading to rapid health decline, failed marriages, and suicide.  This DOES NOT need to happen.

Let’s plan these critical elements of your retirement today.

Call us at 410-472-5078, e-mail michelle@retirewellness.com, or learn more at www.retirewellness.com.

BIBLICAL APPLICATION

Part of retirement planning is spiritual health planning.  How much emphasis have you placed here so far?

How are you managing these complex times in our world?  They shouldn’t come as a surprise, but that doesn’t make them easy.  Have you found that deep down peace and joy of Christ? That is a beautiful thing and worthy of sharing!

1 Peter 3:15  NIV

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,

Matthew 24:44  NLT

You also must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.

When I think of preparation, nothing excites me or sobers me like preparation for eternity.  I love trying to imagine Heaven, eternity, God’s omniscience.  Do you ever try to wrap your mind around those concepts?  I can’t wait to experience them in person!

In Matthew 24, Jesus gives insights into the times before His return.  There will be a lot of people trying to deceive us.  There will be wars and famine and earthquakes.  I can think of a lot of examples of each of these things right now.

In 2 Timothy 3 there is a description of the difficult times for Christians in the last days.

2 Timothy 3:1-5 NLT

You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times.  For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred.  They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!

In Jude, who was Jesus’ brother, we learn more about the last times.

Jude 17-21 NLT

But you, my dear friends, must remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ predicted.  They told you that in the last times there would be scoffers whose purpose in life is to satisfy their ungodly desires.  These people are the ones who are creating divisions among you. They follow their natural instincts because they do not have God’s Spirit in them.

 But you, dear friends, must build each other up in your most holy faith, pray in the power of the Holy Spirit,[a]  and await the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will bring you eternal life. In this way, you will keep yourselves safe in God’s love.

I read in a devotion recently that we prepare in three ways:

  1. Prepare yourself
  2. Prepare those close to you
  3. Prepare your church and community

How are you preparing for difficult times ahead?  How can we build a more solid network of believers to support each other through these times? Once disaster strikes is not the time to develop a plan.

Blessings,

Michelle

24 Hours per Day and Relationships

Prioritized relationships
How do you prioritize your relationships?

A friend posted this on Facebook this week.  She got it from Relationship Rules.

People make time for who they want to make time for.  People text and reply to people they want to talk to.  Never believe anyone who says they’ve been too busy.  If they wanted to be around you, they would.

Wow, that snapped me to attention.  How about you?

Same 24 hours

I know you know this. We each have 24 hours in a day. We each need to spend 6-8 of those sleeping to be our best.  We each take time out to eat.  Beyond that, we have so many choices.

Are you choosing to spend some of your 24 hours with other people?

With which people?

Do you focus on the person right in front of you at any given moment?

Do you gravitate to the ‘squeeky wheel’ or most annoying just to make them stop?

How about the relationships you claim are the most important in your life?

Are you guilty as I am? I know I can get so caught up in the immediate needs placed before me, I can get through an entire day shortchanging my family, especially my husband.

What about friends? Which relationships will still be with you into retirement?  How much attention do they receive from you?

Investing in Personal Relationships

There’s an exercise we do in Retirement Wellness Strategies™ to think through which relationships will fade and which will sustain.

Think about with whom you would plan a vacation or weekend getaway.  If you were traveling, with which friends would you stay while in their area, or at least let them know you’re in town to get together?

How much of your attention are you giving your spouse these days?   Is it enough? How much time will you spend together after retirement?  Are you on the same page with these answers?

Planning for a socially healthy retirement takes some focus.  We can help!  Contact us at Retirement Wellness Strategies to learn how we can help you have a healthy – physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, socially – retirement!

www.retirewellness.com

michelle@retirewellness.com

410-472-5078

BIBLICAL APPLICATION

Do your stated priorities and the way you spend your time align?

Does the time you spend with people reflect their importance in your life?

Whew, those are tough questions!

Are you waiting for later to spend quality time with the people who matter most?

Just when we think we are good planners and have our lives prioritized and together, James is brutally direct:

James 4:13-15 ESV

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”

It is so easy to take those we love for granted and give all of our time to people who will not be with us in our most critical times of life.  It is also easy to be around people who are comfortable and avoid relationships that are more challenging.

And what about our call to love our neighbors?  Who is that? What does it mean?

1 Peter 4:8 ESV

Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 ESV

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

Psalm 39:4-5 ESV

“O Lord, make me know my end and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting I am! Behold, you have made my days a few handbreadths, and my lifetime is as nothing before you. Surely all mankind stands as a mere breath!”

Look to the one source of ‘right living’.  It is amazing how all of the important things fit into a day when the Lord directs it.

Proverbs 16:9 ESV

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.

Your future is loving and beautiful when you are living a life dedicated to God.

Matthew 24:36 ESV

“But concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only.”

May we all make wise choices with each of our 24 hours.  I’m praying for you as you prioritize those God calls you to love.  Please pray for me, too.

Blessings,

Michelle

 

Who are You? Who gets to write that description?

Who will you be?
Who and what defines you? Who do you want to be?

Who are you? 

Does that question excite you?

Does it stress you?

Does it depress you?

Does it make you stop and wonder?

When was the last time you paused and really thought about this?  Have you purposefully become who you are today?  Or has this version morphed from a series of events out of your control?

Describing You

I encourage you to grab a piece of paper and pen or a device.  Shut off all distractions.  Take a deep breath and do your best to clear your mind.  Set your timer for 10 minutes.

Over the next 10 minutes of quiet, retrace your steps.  How did you get here? What are your greatest moments?  Who are the people who have led you to this point?  What have been your greatest challenges?  What are your principles?  What is most important to you?  Who matters most to you?  What do you stand for?  What are your dreams?

Outsiders who try to define you

It is hard to find quiet time to reflect in our society.  Messages, demands, and noise are everywhere.  If you haven’t already decided who you are, there is a world waiting to create this definition for you.

Those over you– how do you help the company meet the bottom line?

Social Media– do you measure up?  Is your life as exciting as your ‘friend’s’?

Politics– do you agree with me on very point, or are you one of ‘them’?

Movies and TV– are you as beautiful and perfect as these fictitious characters?

Wealth– are you as rich as your neighbor, and do you have as many cool toys?

Spouse– are you everything your spouse expects of you?

Faith/social community– do you measure up to the expectations of your groups?

Ultimate last word about who you are

Your future is not already scripted based on your past.  You are in a unique position to choose your trajectory.

Are you pleased with your current self?  You can stay on this path that is working well for you.

Are you ready for change? You can change your direction, your purpose, or your values.  You don’t have to be shaped by the things currently defining you.

Do you have a plan to avoid the retirement pitfalls of rapid health decline, divorce, or suicide?

Retirement Wellness Strategies

At Retirement Wellness Strategies we talk with many people who have landed in a place they don’t desire to be.  That is not the end of the story!  We have a number of tools to help you explore what could come next.  The years beyond retirement can be fulfilling, purposeful, and meaningful.

Let’s talk!  You can reach us at 410-472-5078, michelle@retirewellness.comwww.retirewellness.com.

BIBLICAL APPLICATION

How about you?  How have outside influences ended up defining you? What roles do work, family, money, appearance, or belongings play in your self-description?

I know they have way more impact on my self-perception than I would like.

I had the opportunity to spend a week in one of the poorer parishes in Jamaica on a mission trip.  On this second international missions journey for me, God gave me such a life-altering revelation.

We are called to, ‘Live Jesus and squeeze in life’.  This is in opposition to living life and squeezing in Jesus.

You might be saying, ‘No duh’, but can you say you’re able to claim this each day?  Life gets busy and demanding.  Jesus is not demanding.  Living Jesus requires a conscious, dedicated, disciplined decision. And this decision can be required each minute.

As I typed this last paragraph, the song, ‘Just Give Me Jesus’ by Unspoken came on the radio.  I thrive on these God moments.

The Bible points us toward living for Jesus repeatedly.  Here are a few examples:

Romans 12:2 ESV

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Matthew 22:37 ESV

And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.

Galatians 1:10 ESV

For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

Matthew 6:33 ESV

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Each day is a fresh new opportunity to decide who and WHOSE we are.  What will you choose?

Blessings,

Michelle

Retirement – The Next Major Life Transition

Transition to retirement
What is your strategy to navigate the transition to retirement?

What are the feelings and thoughts that come to mind when you consider the word ‘RETIREMENT’?

I am finding one of four answers from executive men who are nearing this transition.

  • I have been planning with fitness, travel plans, family plans, hobby plans and can’t wait to retire.
  • I am consumed with reaching my final goals at work and succession planning, so I’ll deal with retirement when I get there.
  • I am not looking forward to retirement, so I plan to die at my desk.
  • I am being coerced to retire before I am ready, and I am very unhappy about it.

No doubt there are other scenarios, but these are those that have been communicated most frequently.

Major Life Transitions

In life, we all traverse many transitions.  Some are small and others are large.  Some are planned, even eagerly anticipated, while others come out of nowhere.

Some of the major transitions in our life are:

  • Leaving home
  • Choosing a career
  • Marriage
  • Children
  • Moving
  • Changing jobs or careers
  • Losing a loved one
  • Retirement
  • Chronic illness

There is a planning process that can be used to prepare for most of these major transitions. Consider the number of life skills training, wedding planning, child preparation, career building, and grief counseling resources that are available.  These transitions can be very difficult, and the help and counsel of wise experts can make the leap much more manageable.

Retirement Wellness Strategies

We exist to help you strategically plan for retirement.  This process will benefit you the most if you start about 2 years prior to retirement. This will minimize the surprises and disappointments that are common with unplanned retirement.

You will have

  • Your personal board certified specialist health advocate to walk through all medical and health encounters
  • A thorough health review to enter retirement with optimal health and stamina
  • Risk identification and minimization based on your personal and family history
  • Planning tools to avoid the unexpected
  • A retirement strategic plan for building a meaningful active next life phase

Contact Dr. Michelle Fritsch today at michelle@retirewellness.comor 410-472-5078.  Learn more at www.retirewellness.com.

BIBLICAL APPLICATION

As we enter this New Year, consider the imposed transition of the calendar.  This is a good time to think about change, new goals, and exciting possibilities.

From way back in the Hebrew text of the Old Testament, we have verses of promise for the future.

Deuteronomy 31:8 ESV

It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

Joshua 1:9 ESV

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Jeremiah 29:11-13 ESV

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.

What about the changing of years brings you hope?

What brings you sadness?

How adaptable are you to change?

I have been accused of creating change on purpose, so I’m definitely in the camp that appreciates and promotes change.  I have many friends who find change very difficult and often unnecessary.  Where are you on this spectrum?

I find great hope in the many verses that explain God’s promises of provision, even during change.

Philippians 4:6-7 ESV

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Proverbs 3:5 ESV

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.

Romans 15:13 ESV

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

In this change of the year, I pray you will live in great joy and hope in this new year.

Blessings,

Michelle