Retirement Redesigned

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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Retirement Redesigned

HomeRetirementGaining Time in Later Life

Gaining Time in Later Life

Time becomes even more precious in retirement

A note from Johann

Retirement is a time of interesting paradox. Although we gain more time in retirement, our awareness of how finite it is also comes into focus. It is a stage of life when we want to have more of the treasured moments which the ancient Greeks called Kairos time and not just linear Chronos time. Fortunately, it is possible to create Kairos time by doing things in a considered way. Either by pursuing new things, engaging in our interests with dedication, or creating memories with people we care about.

Majak Bredell, a noted artist and writer and our recent webinar guest, says that she feels blessed to have had the passion to fuel her lifelong interest in her subject and express it through her art and writing. She says she has experienced many Kairos moments in her career and now in her late seventies she still does her work with discipline and energy, anticipating special experiences at anytime.

It is an unfortunate reality that many retirees feel unable to find meaning in retirement. They feel lonely and isolated, with little to look forward to. Majak says even those people that do not have a clearly defined passion or calling in retirement can find one by connecting with their environment, reflecting on what has given them pleasure in the past and writing what they have feelings about. In this way, anyone can make a good next life for themselves after retiring, still using their best abilities and devoting their time to the activities that bring them joy.

Your time in retirement can be a wonderfully rewarding stage. There is a world out there with much still to be discovered. By opening yourself up, you can experience what you have never done or seen before. Unexpected adventures lie waiting in travel, in a next career, new friends, and even relocation of where and how you live. At Reset, we advise retirees to explore with a positive mind, and to take time to savor those discoveries. Slow down and enjoy the small pleasures of life. Then enjoy sharing your memories with friends and family.
Click here to watch the livestream of our webinar on Facebook

We’re looking at time and our relationship with it. How we spend our time has a big impact on our perception of that time. As we age, time can become more important to us because we sense it speeding up. We’re suggesting that we can expand time by seeking out the types of experiences that enhance our perception of those moments. Kairos time refers to opportune moments that leave lasting impressions on us. There are a variety of ways to seek our Kairos time and, in doing so, enrich our lives through satisfying experiences.

Our top 3 article picks this week:

Physics Explains Why Time Passes Faster than You Age

Mind time cannot be measured on a watch.

And hourglass to symbolise time going by faster.

Our take:
Do you feel like time speeds up with every passing year? Well, there’s a scientific explanation for this sensation. Quartz explains the phenomenon and in doing so also helps us understand the difference between ‘clock time’ and ‘mind time’.

Article excerpt:
Mind time and clock time are two totally different things. They flow at varying rates.

The chronological passage of the hours, days, and years on clocks and calendars is a steady, measurable phenomenon. Yet our perception of time shifts constantly, depending on the activities we’re engaged in, our age, and even how much rest we get.

Time is happening in the mind’s eye. It is related to the number of mental images the brain encounters and organizes and the state of our brains as we age. When we get older, the rate at which changes in mental images are perceived decreases because of several transforming physical features, including vision, brain complexity, and later in life, degradation of the pathways that transmit information. And this shift in image processing leads to the sense of time speeding up.

So, when you are young and experiencing lots of new stimuli—everything is new—time actually seems to be passing more slowly. As you get older, the production of mental images slows, giving the sense that time passes more rapidly.
Click here to read the full article on Quartz

The Retirement Problem: What Will You Do with All That Time?

You’ve anticipated and planned your retirement for years. What if it’s not as you pictured?

Mature couple looking out over a mountain view with boats on the ocean.

Our take:
This article looks at the paradox of time in retirement and discusses ways in which future retirees might productively spend their time after leaving full-time careers.

Article excerpt:
What if those things you’ve looked forward to all these years — more time for your hobbies, more time to travel and more time to relax — aren’t enough to sustain you? What then?

The great paradox of the golden years is that there is so much time, and yet so very little of it. Retirement, after all, signals the final stage of life. It typically happens after 40-plus years of work, after your children are grown and after your house is paid off.

The end may feel near, but in fact, there is still plenty of life to be lived. As people lead longer and healthier lives, a person retiring from full-time work at the age of 65 today will likely live another 20 to 30 years. That time horizon is daunting for many people, says Kevin Reardon,“There’s often a combination of excitement and anxiety as people approach retirement,” he says. “The excitement comes from having more free time, but the anxiety comes from figuring out how much can I afford to spend? And what will I do with all that time?”

Consider how you will spend the 40 or 50 odd hours a week you previously spent at your job. Do a mental exercise, “Let’s say the office is closed for a week. Ask yourself: What are you going to do with all that extra time? If your answer is, ‘Gee, I have no idea,’ think about your interests. Think about your hobbies. Think about what you like about the work you do and what kinds of volunteer opportunities appeal to you. It’s useful to know yourself.”
Click here to read the full article post on Wharton Knowledge

What’s a Delightful Way to Get More Time Out of the Day? Savoring.

Mature adult woman savoring the taste of fruit picking

Our take:
Savouring is a skill that can be developed by fully engaging our senses and focusing on simple pleasures. Savouring helps us maximise events and can change our perception of time.

Article excerpt:
Feeling like you’ve got all the time in the world is a wonderful sensation; too bad it occurs so rarely. But by developing the skill of savoring, you can maximize your moments — and your experience of time

Actively savoring the present stretches your experience of time. To savor is to feel pleasure, and also to appreciate that you are feeling pleasure. It takes normal gratification and adds a second layer to it: acknowledgment.

The concept of savoring turns out to be a critical component in the field of positive psychology. Intriguingly, the richest experiences of savoring involve an awareness of the past and the future, as well as the present.

“There are so many ways to use the mind as a time machine,” says researcher Fred B. Bryant. “Mental time travel is so beautiful and rich.”

Here are a few possibilities for your daily vacation:
● watching the sunset
● sitting outside at a café with a good cup of coffee
● visiting a bookstore on your lunch break
● going for a walk in a nearby park

Another way to practice savoring: if you don’t have to move fast, try moving slow. If rushing makes people feel like they lack time for things they want to do, then conscious deliberation can feel like a treat.

Moving slowly also allows you to pay attention to more things. “Slowing down is a conscious effort, so you’re controlling the experience, and you’re becoming more aware of what’s going on,” says Bryant. This slowness can be as delicious as a savored cookie. I might read a book more slowly if I am enjoying it.

But I wish to stress that not all parts of life lend themselves to slowing down. Sometimes slowness is lingering, and sometimes it’s dilly-dallying. Furthermore, not all situations deserve lingering.

Lingering is about enjoying the enjoyable. It’s about understanding you have the power to stretch time when you are in it and when you wish to stretch it. All time passes, and you cannot linger in anything forever. Hedonic adaptation — which is the human tendency to become accustomed to anything — means even a view from the mountaintop becomes the scene out the kitchen window after a while. But for a few minutes, with the right mind-set, it can be more.
Click here to read the full article on TED

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Other highlights for the week:

Most Popular Daily Thought

The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot. – Michael Altshuler
Being intentional about how we spend time in later life can change the relationship we have with time. Years of full-time work may have seen us directed by the minutes and hours of a schedule. We now have the opportunity to self-direct our moments. In doing this we become stewards rather than just spenders of our most finite resource.
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Quote by Michael Altshuler – The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.

Weekly Question

Last week’s question:
In what way do you spend time that makes it feel like it stands still?
Some of the responses we received:
• Creating photo-upload cards for birthdays etc. Wonderful memories as you make new ones.
• Doing whatever we want to, at any time.
• Spending time sitting with my sisters outside at the beach.
• Binge-watching movies or series, even documentaries.
• Hand stitching.
• My hobby of making concrete shapes and mosaic stones.
• The prize for the most unexpected answer goes to:
• Going to the dentist.
This week’s questions:
How are you building your wisdom and knowledge at this stage of life?
Click here to answer the question in our Facebook group


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Johann is the founding partner of Reset Retirement where we focus on assisting people with planning for the non-financial aspects of their lives after full-time work. He had a long career in executive search and leadership as the founding partner and chairman of Heidrick & Struggles in South Africa where he was the head of the company’s board practice.