The romance of retired life often comes shattering down when faced with reality. How can one thrive in retirement? Eric Thurman’s book, Thrive in Retirement offers simple secrets to being happy for the rest of your life. Post-retirement years beckon. Life will be, we hope, a constant party….and the joys of doing what we love and always wanted to do will come to us unbounded. Yes, this is the happily ever after that many seniors dream about. But, is it all that enticing as it looks to be? Is it that simple to thrive in retirement? And is it all that rosy?
Enter: a reality check.
There are a few critical factors that will matter most to your life after retirement. Thrive in Retirement by Eric Thurman addresses what those factors are, and also offers practical tips on how to actually make your retirement dreams come true.
The author urges readers not to romanticize retirement. It may sound harsh, but the ground realities are where one starts with. This is not to say that he is negative about retirement. All he purports is to think realistically about it.
The book is filled with several case studies and references from actual people, mostly friends and acquaintances of the author. However, one of the major positives of the book is that the voice and personal opinion of the author looms large. And this, I think, is the strength of the book. This makes the book highly personal. It also makes it more relatable.
This is not to say that the book is just a personal narrative. No, it is much more than that. It is a practical guide. The very first task the reader has to do is be aware of five areas that are vital in old age and then assess himself or herself within those parameters. These areas are Mind, Body, Relationships, Soul and Finances. Then, the author talks about three P’s: Purpose, Pleasure and Peace. You can increase happiness by adding Purpose, Pleasure, and Peace, and the book is full of practical suggestions to accomplish this. While this may echo what one finds in a self-help book, the suggestions here are tweaked for the senior age group. For example, what are the things that would give a senior a sense of purpose in their retired life?
Till death do us apart
The book talks about death- an issue that most people are uncomfortable about. He starts off with talking about his wife’s death and then suggests why it is important to prepare for death in order to live! This is one of the sections of the book that I admire greatly. He talks about how one can be prepared for death- by repairing relationships, getting closure, deciding on factors like painless death and so on, and a host of other practical tips. He also discusses the epidemic of loneliness and offers suggestions on how one can form a compass of relationships. The descriptions of how loneliness can feel are heart wrenching! He outlines the issue of money and financial security. These are hard topics, but what seniors really need to focus on the most.
The appendices have some guided forms that clarify certain issues. The first form contains a list of relevant legal and practical information which would be useful to family and would smoothed stuff out. Another form contains a template for messages that communicate messages to loved ones. Yet another is a list of wishes that you want to convey. These are practical ways of bringing ‘closure’.
Some thoughts from the book:
- Never allow yourself to enjoy the attention you get from having troubles. But, don’t ignore real problems either.
- Engage your mind. Keep growing as a person. A thriving mind can add years of high-quality life and independence.
Developing a new skill, whether learning to play a musical instrument, painting, or taking up a foreign language, is a widely accepted way to stimulate and strengthen your brain.
You may also want to get in touch with your inner artist.
- Going back to work after retirement is becoming a more and more popular choice. Some people pick up their former occupations while others pursue new careers. Whichever you choose will be beneficial for both your pocketbook and your mind.
- Consider your job more than a financial necessity; it also enlivens your mind.
- You can increase happiness in your life. An unbeatable way to accomplish this is to give your time and efforts to a cause you care about. Do this and you will discover that you are receiving even as you’re giving of yourself.
These are just some of the ideas. The book is filled with many more suggestions, peppered with many motivational quotes and personal examples from the author’s life.
Thrive in Retirement by Eric Thurman takes a realistic and honest look at retired life. It encompasses the good, the bad and the ugly elements of the same. It is a book that gives hope and happiness and encourages the reader to look forward to retirement. But, at the same time it does not sugar-coat this stage of life.
Title: Thrive in Retirement
Author: Eric Thurman