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Financial Management

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Thoughts On Retirement “Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself. Go forward and make your dreams come true.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson In keeping with the theme of this issue of The County Woman, I am going to share some thoughts (not financial) about retirement, because many of you may be thinking of retiring in 2021. One of the recent changes in approaching retirement has been a shift from a complete exit of the labor force to a partial one. Retiring for many may mean the freedom to work only the amount of time they want, and for work to become an optional part of their lives. This may be because transitioning into retirement can be such a difficult process. Restructuring one’s finances from the lifelong accumulation model into a lifetime distribution phase, and the new worries of running out of funds, may contribute to a piecemeal transition. Another part I want concentrate on in this article is that the retiree will have an abundance of unstructured time on his or her hands. Everyone has things to do on their bucket list, but some of those things may be inaccessible due to travel being restricted or other social avenues being shut down due to the pandemic. Newly available and unfamiliar free time at retirement should be viewed as a special gift you have worked so hard to deserve. Many of the great retirement gift ideas are specifically enjoyable time sinks, and may be more appropriate than ever to consider for you, friends and family getting ready to retire. Here are a few ideas: Gift Idea #1: The Joy of Painting – Startup kit The idea of painting without formal training or classes has long been popular. Bob Ross was one of the most successful of the “TV art teachers” with his Joy of Painting. Bob’s gentle voice and approach created a relaxing environment in which to give it a try, giving amateurs the confidence that they might paint something to be proud of. With his step-by-step instructions, even though every participant is following the same directions, they each create something that is uniquely theirs. Best of all, the startup kit has all the needed materials included, so you don’t have to

hunt separately for brushes or paints or canvas. The kit is available on Amazon and other retailers, though the bobross.com website was under maintenance at the time of this writing. If the hobby works out, more videos are available on different streaming sites, so more paintings could be done after the startup kit is finished. Gift Idea #2: Gear for outdoor hobbies such as golfing, gardening, or hiking Spending time outdoors and staying active and fit become more important as we age. Some retirees actually find that they become more fit than ever before, because they devote time to hiking, gardening, golfing. Initially during the pandemic, golf courses in NJ were shuttered. However, we have now found that being outdoors has a lower risk of transmission, and the courses have now reopened with additional safety precautions in place. Similarly, many state parks have reopened as well. If you already enjoy these hobbies, the gift may not create a new time sink, but it still encourages the activity. Some don’t realize the impact that quality hiking boots can make in terms of the enjoyability of a hike. Stability and support can be the difference between wanting to do the activity again, or shying away completely. Gift Idea #3: iPad or Kindle, preloaded with games and books Getting an iPad or Kindle and preloading it with books or games in their favorite genre provides a platform for further exploration and creates an additional use for free time. If they don’t enjoy video games, choose digital versions of things they may do already, such as jigsaw or sudoku puzzles. Many jigsaw apps allow you to create your own jigsaw puzzles, so you could load in family photos to surprise them. Let me leave you with these thoughts: “Don’t act your age in retirement. Act

like the inner young person you have always been.” “Retirement, a time to enjoy all the things you never had time to do when you worked.” “Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.” (Author Unknown)

Ira J. Brower

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November/December 2020

Profile for The County Woman

Atlantic County Woman - November/December 2020  

The County Woman’s Newspaper is published bi-monthly in Atlantic, Monmouth and Ocean Counties in New Jersey and is available free of charge...

Atlantic County Woman - November/December 2020  

The County Woman’s Newspaper is published bi-monthly in Atlantic, Monmouth and Ocean Counties in New Jersey and is available free of charge...