Q: We have lived happily in our retirement community for three years. Our friends who are nearing retirement recently asked us about our experiences with it and what they can expect. Any suggestions for what we should say?
A: Retirement is a landmark decision in everyone's life. Living together on a 24-hour, seven-day basis requires making adjustments.
How we react and respond to our new freedom can come as a surprise even to us. Usually, the major decision retirees make is whether they want to remain physically close to their family or far away.
Do they get along with their family, or would a few visits a year be ideal?
Is it better to give away the snow shovel and be able to golf every day? Would selling their home make retirement more affordable? If they are uncertain about moving to an over-55 community, should they find a short-term rental there to see if they like it first?
Health and wealth issues, moving away from old neighborhoods, making new friends, and finding new doctors, restaurants and other facilities will present new challenges. Inflation always rears its ugly head, so they should factor it into their new budget.
Adult children move frequently. Divorces are more common. Major differences of opinion can erupt, and as a result, family members no longer like each other. Grandchildren are busy getting their educations and finding a mate, so they don't have much family time. Is a short-term rental in a retirement community worth considering?
Your bottom line is to do what is best for you. Remember, it is your time now!
Q: Last week, mom called and invited me to lunch. She also asked if I could stop at the market on the way and bring her some milk, a six-pack of Pepsi and a salad bag of coleslaw. No problem. When she unpacked the groceries, she asked if I had left the salad in the car. Whoops ... I forgot to buy it!
At my age how could that happen? I blamed it on the fact I was concentrating on attending our son's baseball game that afternoon. Am I losing it?
A: No, don't blame memory loss on age. We all occasionally forget things. Memory is defined as the art of distracting yourself from two difference overloads.
Lifestyle issues, such as smoking, not exercising and overeating, are also listed as possible contributors to memory loss.
A study by the National Academy of Sciences indicates that our brains play a key factor in how we remember. Researchers learned that, when interrupted, every age is forced to deal with switching off and later and having to refocus and continue whatever had been their priority. This can sometimes require several minutes to accomplish. Stress and time pressures are also considered contributing factors to temporary memory loss.
Harvard University's health letter recommends that to help overcome memory failure, we must keep learning, use all of our senses, do mental exercises, believe in ourselves, repeat the names of our friends and neighbors, make up acronyms as memory jogs, and make and keep written lists as memory helpers.
These are all winners!
Doug Mayberry makes the most of life in a Southern California Retirement community. Contact him at [email protected] To find out more about Doug Mayberry and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.