Retired woman pushing boy on swing

Thinking of Retiring — Now What?

Thursday, November 14, 2019 |
When retirement age nears, people experience a range of emotions. Some may be excited to travel the world, take a bigger role in their grandchildren’s lives or find a new hobby, while others feel lost and unsure of what to do with so much free time. Primary care physician Joseph Rubacky, DO, offers three useful tips for those close to retirement age.

VOLUNTEER OR GET A PART-TIME JOB

“Men are not allowed to retire without a volunteer opportunity or part-time job lined up,” said Dr. Rubacky. Men, more so than women, tend to live sedentary lifestyles in retirement causing weight gain, high blood pressure and high blood sugar. “There are volunteer opportunities everywhere — your church, the base, hospitals, animal shelters — find something that interests you.”

JOIN THE GYM

Exercise is imperative five times per week for an hour. Joining a gym allows retirees to get out of the house, socialize and have a community of people who will hold them accountable. “If you’ve never worked out in your home before retirement, you won’t do it in retirement,” said Dr. Rubacky. “There are a lot of options for gyms, personal trainers and fitness classes in our area,” and with memberships as low as $10 per month, Dr. Rubacky says there’s no excuse for not joining. “With exercise, your sleep patterns will improve too.”

But retirees don’t need to go into the gym experience blindly. “Meet with a personal trainer at the gym who can help you set personal goals and who can show you how to use the gym equipment so that you’re safe,” he explained.

MAINTAIN A SENSE OF PURPOSE AND SELF-WORTH

“There are many retirees in our area that had very demanding jobs like teaching, military service and nursing,” said Dr. Rubacky. “When they retire they lose their sense of purpose. This is where volunteering or having a part-time job can help. I’ve seen others travel the world or take on co-parenting with their children. I've even had one patient in his 70s go back to school to get his doctorate in engineering.” Another tip: “Don’t think about aging. Have a young mindset and that’s how you’ll feel,” said Dr. Rubacky.

After decades of working, retirement should be a welcome change of pace and offer time to refocus on your health and well-being.

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