The “M” Word in Retirement

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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

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