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

 

Prevent post retirement suicide

Retirement and the Rising Rate of Suicide – plan to avoid this outcome

Prevent post retirement suicide
Know the risk factors, the warning signs, and the phone number.

You have had tremendous success in your career. Perhaps you started the company yourself. You at least had a major impact on its success.

For years you have been planning for retirement. Your financial portfolio is ready. Your succession plans are in place. Your family is excited to have more of your time.

Or, maybe retirement has come before you are ready. A buy-out or lay-off situation seemed to come out of nowhere.

Any of these situations can lead to the almost unthinkable outcome of suicide.

Rise in Suicide in the US

The Centers for Disease Control released new data in June 2018 about the rising rate of suicide in the United States. Over at least the last decade, the population with the most increase was men ages 45-59 followed closely by those over 60. All but one state has seen an increase in suicide from 1999 to 2016.

Note, during this time two key variables could be playing a role.

  • The Boomer generation has a different perspective on life and religion as compared to previous generations. This generation has explored a wider range of religions and a larger segment has moved away from traditional religion.
  • There was a recession that changed the economic portfolio for many people. Although age and health might indicate it is time to retire, the financial situation might have taken a hit from which it has not yet recovered.

Depression and Suicide in Retirement

Another factor for anyone who retires is the possibility of the post-retirement-blues. Those with hobbies and a broad social network seem to get through this the best. But, especially for those who spent most of their time working and had their social network primarily consist of work colleagues, retirement can feel like sudden isolation.   So much planning has gone into getting to retirement. Then, once there, the sudden stop of the normal routine and the uncertainty about what comes next can have a big effect. In some cases it is mild disillusionment and an impetus to start creating new routines exploring new opportunities.

In some cases, it leads to a loss of self. A deeper, darker depression can erode confidence, meaning, and a sense of relevance. For some, this downward spiral can lead to suicide.

  • If you ever have a desire to end your life, or know someone who may be contemplating suicide, please reach out to a resource such as the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Phone Number 1-800-273-8255.

Planning for Retirement

Much effort often goes into planning for the financial component of retirement and the succession at work. But, what about preparing mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically for the personal transition of retirement? This is at least as important as the other planning.

At Retirement Wellness Strategies, we have a unique mapping tool to help you plan for this next chapter. Retirement should be meaningful, active, sustained (for a good long time), and healthy. That is where we come in. Don’t leave your transition to chance.

You can reach us at www.retirewellness.com, michelle@retirewellness.com, or by calling 410-472-5078.

BIBLICAL APPLICATION

Life can be so stressful. Even during the transition to retirement, life stressors can overtake you.

Retirement is meant to be a time of new possibilities, adventure, relaxation, and no more rigid time rules. It is a reward that is earned through years of hard work.

Yet, many people, especially men in positions of leadership and great responsibility, struggle with this transition. It impacts every aspect of their being. It is too easy to get lost in the separation from work life to retirement life.

We are assured throughout the Bible that we will encounter difficult times.

John 16:33  NIV

 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Romans 5:3-5  NIV

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

We are also assured throughout the Bible that we will not be left alone during these struggles.

Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Jeremiah 29:11 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.

Psalm 34:17-20 ESV

When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.

I encourage all who read this to consider how they can help those who are giving up to see these promises of Christ! Even Christians and successful leaders can fall into despair.

I often wonder if someone who chooses suicide could have held on for just another couple of minutes, if the outcome could have been different. Our deepest valleys do eventually dissipate into a more hopeful scenario.

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.

2 Corinthians 4:8-9 ESV

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;

How can you help decrease this rise in suicide in our country?

Blessings,

Michelle

Why is DIVORCE during and after retirement on the rise?

Protect your marriage
Protect your marriage from the stresses of divorce

Divorce around retirement – You’ve seen it in pop culture, in famous people. And, you’ve likely seen it in your own community. It won’t be surprising if you are seeing this trend in your own family, even your own marriage.

The incidence of divorce over age 50 is experiencing a sharp rise. It has nearly TRIPLED since 1990. (Interestingly, the divorce rate among younger adults under age 40 is declining). So, why are the Boomer’s divorcing at an unprecedented rate?

The role of RETIREMENT in divorce

Retirement is one of the top 10 biggest life adjustments. It is a time of huge transition ranking right up there with marriage, having children, moving, and loss of a loved one.

Many people enter retirement unprepared. They often haven’t thought about the daily changes, the sudden loss of routine, and the sudden increase in togetherness time with their spouse.

In a perfect, romantic world, more time together is exactly what each couple wants. Nothing in life is perfect, at least not for long.

That’s not to say that marriages can’t thrive in retirement. They absolutely can. But that usually requires some communication, compromise, and adjusted expectations.

A healthy marriage in retirement

Both partners have a lot of change to navigate with retirement. Time spent together usually increases. Either partner might find that restrictive. The more we are together, the more complicated communication can be as well. (It is much easier to say the wrong thing when you’re talking more).

  1. The most important step to a healthy marriage in retirement is to talk about it before it happens, or at least before relations get very hurtful after retirement. Rarely do both partners have a clear picture of what retirement will really be like. But, both have some ideas of what they want it to be like. How much have you talked about this?
  2. Until it happens, sometimes people don’t even know what might annoy, frustrate, or stifle them in retirement. Agree to be open with one another as these stumbling blocks present themselves. Recognize that they will occur, and before they are personal or hurtful, calmly talk about them.
  3. Plan for how you will maintain some independent interests and activities. If you have had only a few hours in the evening and on the weekends together for decades, 24/7 togetherness can be overwhelming.
  4. Talk about expectations. What are common aspirations, plans, and desires? Unmet expectations are almost always at the center of a divorce. Often, one doesn’t know what the other was expecting until the relationship is too far-gone. Don’t let that happen.
    1. I’ve seen examples where one person wants to travel while the other wants to stay home.
    2. Sometimes one has always dreamed of taking couples dance lessons and the other would rather do anything but that.
    3. A big issue I’ve seen is one spouse wants a lot of togetherness going and doing things while the other wants to spend most time with the grandchildren.
  5. Include the more intimate parts of your relationship in your planning. This is an area of frequent mismatch in expectations. There is NO truth that sex ends at a particular age. It is very helpful when partners can open discuss these expectations and honor what motivates the other partner to share the same desires.

Planning is key

Don’t leave your marriage to chance after retirement. Recognize that retirement is a major life transition. Respect the wide range of emotions and adjustments each partner will make.

Retirement Wellness Strategies is here to help!   Let us help you preserve your health and strategically plan for all aspects of your retirement such that it is Meaningful, Active, Sustained, and Healthy!

Learn more at www.retirewellness.com, michelle@retirewellness.com, or call 410-472-5078.

BIBLICAL APPLICATION

Marriage is sacred. Marriage vows are committed in the presence of God and witnesses.

Yet, marriage can be very hard. Marriages go through good and bad times (as usually stated in the vows).

Today’s culture values feelings over commitment. Culture supports and sometimes even promotes greater focus on self than on a partner.

I know so many lovely people who have experienced the trauma of divorce. Know that you are deeply loved. God knows the details. Give the grief, disillusionment, and any other feelings over to him who can heal all wounds.

Where have you made mistakes in your marriage?

When have you put yourself above your spouse?

When have you been hurtful and unkind?

When have you taken your marriage for granted?

I believe all married people have done these things. We all have difficult days.

The commitment of marriage doesn’t mean sunshine and roses.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ESV

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

There’s a reason these verses list all of the ways we mess up in marriage or any love relationship.

If you feel like you’ve done it all wrong, don’t give up hope. Love comes from God, and He can fill your love bucket at any time…just ask. Love is so much more than a mushy feeling.

Ephesians 5:33 ESV

However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

1 John 4:7 ESV

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.

I pray your love and marriage are resilient. If your marriage has officially ended, I pray you find healing, forgiveness, and hope for a bright new future. God is good!

Blessings,

Michelle

 

Retirement preparation

The best laid plans… When retirement is unnecessarily too short

Retirement preparation
Retirement should be meaningful, active, sustained, and healthy.

I am sad.

I am surprised.

I am mad.

So, I need to take action.

Retirement is often not the golden age of happiness that is dreamed.

Retirement is a MAJOR life transition – up there with marriage, having children, and moving.

I have been researching more and more about retirement. As a healthcare professional, I have seen TOO MANY people lying in a hospital bed with their future retirement plans dashed. And, TOO MANY times, this event that led to the hospital could have been prevented. If only things had gone differently hours, days, months, or years earlier, this hospital visit could have been avoided.

Role of Medication Use

Medication use plays a part in these avoidable events at least 80% of the time. There are many ways medication can be part of the problem:

  1. Not taking a medication that is prescribed.
  2. Taking too much of the medication.
  3. Taking too little of the medication.
  4. Taking a medication for one thing that makes another problem worse.
  5. Taking medications that are not safe together.
  6. Having a severe side effect from a medication.
  7. Not seeking medical care for a problem that should be treated with medication.
  8. Taking a medication when no medication is needed.

And then there are multiple variations of each of these issues.

Medications are not benign.

Medications are not all bad.

Medications can save lives.

Preparing for the future

Sometimes the preventable problem is related to lack of planning for retirement.

Most people think of MONEY when they think of retirement planning. There are many professionals who dedicate their career to helping people secure the finances for retirement. Others focus on insurance and protection of assets.

Few have made plans for the enormous lifestyle transition that is retirement. Those who especially struggle with the transition are:

  • people who are very busy at work with a lot of responsibility,
  • those who always have people lined up to talk with them,
  • those who are the decision makers, and
  • those who run the company.

Work Withdrawal

The withdrawal from the daily demands of work can be similar to any other withdrawal from an addiction. Symptoms the first few days can include:

  • sense of loss
  • restlessness
  • frustration
  • anger
  • palpitations
  • sense of loss

Later withdrawal symptoms can be:

  • depression
  • despondence
  • loneliness
  • feelings of inadequacy or irrelevance
  • anger
  • lack of concentration
  • irritability

Planning for Retirement

Finding the retirement years of your dreams takes planning. How will you prepare for the first day the phone no longer rings, people are no longer lined up outside your office, and the big decisions are made without your input?

We dream of retirement practically from the time we start working. The thought of a break from the pressure sounds wonderful. Then it happens…

I have talked to many men, most thinking they had planned well for retirement, who are then surprised and disappointed when the realities of the transition hit. Others plan to never retire to avoid going through this.

A successful transition to many happy years and a long delay of functional decline is possible!!!

Contact us today at www.retirewellness.com, or call 410-472-5078, or e-mail michelle@retirewellness.com.

BIBLICATION APPLICATION

Retirement is a Biblical concept. We are designed for a period of rest from work, but not from ministry.

Going back to the Levites –

Numbers 8:23-26 ESV

And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “This applies to the Levites: from twenty-five years old and upward they shall come to do duty in the service of the tent of meeting. And from the age of fifty years they shall withdraw from the duty of the service and serve no more. They minister to their brothers in the tent of meeting by keeping guard, but they shall do no service. Thus shall you do to the Levites in assigning their duties.

And how wonderful to have a phase of life where you keep doing the joyous parts and let the hard work go!

Acts 20:24 ESV

But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

It might feel frightening to let go of a decades-long career and enter the unknown of retirement. Then again, that is right where you should be, and God can use you in amazing ways!

Jeremiah 29:11 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.

Philippians 1:6 ESV / 67 helpful votes

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

Psalm 71:17 MSG

You got me when I was an unformed youth,
    God, and taught me everything I know.
Now I’m telling the world your wonders;
    I’ll keep at it until I’m old and gray.

Consider how God wants to use you in retirement. What blessings are just around the corner, when you give the part of your life completely over to His guidance?

Blessings,

Michelle