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“Retire in Peace”— how often have you heard this phrase before? A lot of insurance companies have this line plastered across their financial products. You would think retirement is the most painful thing in the world. But with a little planning and thought, ‘retire in peace’ can become a reality and not just the dream anymore. For you if retirement means, laying down on the couch and reading a book or watching films without worries, then that’s not very different than what most of us wish to do after retirement. The difference, however, is how we accomplish our dreams.

There is one more reason to save for retirement and the reason is the high cost of living. We all have heard it before and have probably also told our children— “During our times, milk used to cost only a few rupees, today it's close to Rs 40-50. So, what is the reason behind high prices? It’s called inflation, which means, the purchasing power of our money falls and we pay more for the same quantity of goods.

Moreover, the life expectancy has increased in India with the advancement in the medical field. As a result, a large number of retirees are facing several problems in coping with new changes in their life.

 
Source: The Economic Times

It makes them unhappy both health-wise and security-wise. But it is possible to change it if we carefully understand the basic rules of life and follow them judiciously. Here are my seven mantras to age gracefully and make life beautiful after retirement.

1. Never say ‘I am old’:  Mainly, there are three stages in our life— chronological, biological and psychological. While our date of birth decides the first; our health determines the second, and the third is how old we feel ourselves. While we have no control over the first stage, we can take care of the second stage by taking good care of our health. Our positive and optimistic attitude can reverse the third stage. A 60-year old is healthier than a 25-year old young man if he chooses to stay happy.

2. Develop hobbies: Many retirees lose track once retirement starts. To avoid this situation, it is important to find some engaging activities. Even homemakers should think, “How would they manage with a person with whom they suddenly need to share up to 10 hours a day? As a retiree, you can take up your hobbies which you were unable to do earlier due to the paucity of time. Perhaps you would want to develop your untapped talent. Even research results have proved that by keeping your brain active, you can keep mental deterioration at bay. A hobby like reading, travelling or socializing, boosts your mental health after retirement.

3. Value your health: During old age, we become more susceptible to ailments and thus, require frequent medical care. Make sure to devote some of your time towards your health also. The cost of medical treatment has recorded a double-pace growth in India. To combat the rising medical expenses, it is indispensable to buy a comprehensive health insurance cover. Remember, after retirement, your employer’s health cover will get discontinued, and therefore, it is important to buy a comprehensive health insurance policy when you are young and healthy. In this way, you can also get affordable premium rates.

4. Manage your money smartly: Money is necessary to meet necessities of life. Therefore, make sure to plan for it also. As a retiree, avoid buying a large house as it may lock up a significant part of your investment. You can opt for retirement homes if your children are not staying with you. These homes are clean and green with tight security. Also, there is a panel of doctors to manage medical emergencies. Further, having cash doesn’t mean that you should give it away to your children or relatives. You should draft a proper will to distribute your wealth. Don’t spend beyond your means on the needs of your kids. 

5. Give back to your society: You can help seniors, animals, homeless, children and many more. Many non-profit organizations will be thrilled to have you as a volunteer. 

6. Forget and forgive to live happily:  Don’t be bothered too much about other’s mistakes. Letting go of your anger can work wonders for both your mental and physical health. Forgiveness brings enormous benefits, like strong immunity system, mental peace, etc.

7. Overcome the fear of death: I know it is easy to say but difficult to implement. You should try to overcome the fear of death. We all know that one day we have to leave this world, but still we fear for our spouse and dear ones. How will my spouse lead her life after my death? Who will take care of my husband in my absence? How will my children manage if I am not around? These are some worries which always occupy our mind. Even when I was writing this, I was thinking about my home and parents. How will my parents survive if I die in a road accident? While death is a harsh reality, time is a great healer. No one is going to die for you; your loved ones may be sad for some time but time heals everything. So, live your life without fears.

Make the rest of your life the best of your life.

My uncle always wanted to become a painter, but this profession was not enough to financially secure his family. So he gave up his passion and did a '9-5' office job. Now, he is retired, and enjoying his second innings as a painter. Though there is no monetary satisfaction, the joy which he gets when someone appreciates his work, is priceless.

Indeed, retirement means saying BYE-BYE to worries, office politics, and strict work deadlines. After retirement, you should ‘work’ towards achieving your personal aspirations. Give your childhood dream or passion one final chase.

And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years”:  Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States of America.

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