The “M” Word in Retirement

Mindfulness - Photo by Esther Wilhelmsson via Unsplash

The most important factor to living a happy retirement starts with the
letter “M.” And it’s not “Money.” Yet at the commencement of all our
retirement planning courses the money factor sits large on the minds of
attendees. In fact, as we prepare for starting the course I have more than
once been approached by the first comer into the lecture room and asked
“Are you the Pensions Man?”

You shouldn’t ignore money. It is important. It may be the one thing that
preserves the “living” part of “living a contented retirement.” But it is
not the most important thing to think about when planning for a life in
retirement. While money helps pay for many important matters, the idea of
the unpredictability of your future health provides you a clue as to what
that most important “M” word is. To be truly happy the secret is in the
magical “M” word: MIND. Regardless of circumstances, your future health is
the biggest unknown factor that may impact retirement. Your state of mind
will often spell the difference between happiness and displeasure, between
health and burden, and between ease and anxiety.

Attitude and expectations are critical in ensuring a comfortable
retirement. Knowing that there will be bumps in the road, and planning
accordingly, is essential.

While psychical health is important so that we can have an active
retirement life, and preserving that through good dietary practice and
through movement, nevertheless the mental state that we find ourselves in
is key to being truly happy and contented. Our mental health can comprise
of various elements including emotional health and spiritual health. What
we are seeking is calmness in our everyday lives whereby we are living
without disturbance of any kind.

Right now in this 21st century we are living in a crazy world
whereby we absorb more information in a single day than over a whole
lifetime if we were born into the 16th century! On average we
are hit with 55,000 different thoughts and ideas in a single day. Sadly
also that 70% of these thoughts are negative ones. Have you noticed how so
many people today talk about being happy whereas so few talk about being
content. So what is contentedness? It is a long-term sense of being at
peace with our own world.

So let’s remember that the way to find contentedness lies in that all
important M Word: MIND

John Higgins

Author John Higgins

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