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About Us

 

Spring 2006

Canadian Corner with Linda Brodey
Retirement Dreams — Things To Do List

Have you heard about the “Honey Do List? This happens when one partner
retires before the other and the one who is still working says “Honey, would
you please do a few things for me tomorrow?” So we have honey do this,
honey do that, thus the “Honey Do List”.

There is a “List of Things To Do Tomorrow”. These are short-term plans that
remind us to take the car into the dealership, pick up a birthday card or
call Aunt Rhoda to say hello. If they are not planned, they probably won’t
get done. List, List and List!

There is even a “New List” which is transferred from the “Old List” of all
the things that weren’t done. This forms the ”New List”.

Lifestyle retirement planning also requires its list. As Program Director
of an Older Adult Centre, for 15 years, I ran numerous programs for both
members and volunteers. I have always been fascinated with people’s
interests, skills and activities. My particular interest has been to help
others find meaningful activities for themselves. I have met many older
adults who were struggling to identify what was meaningful for them to
participate in, so I created my own “Personal Interests List” to assist
people to find their niche.

With all this concern about listing things, it looks like the key to getting
things done is to plan for getting things done.

So, here are some clues on how to work towards making your dreams come true after 55. Whether it’s writing a book, bungee jumping, climbing Mt.
Everest, volunteering, running a marathon or puttering about in the garden,
it’s important for us to feel that our lives have meaning and that our
retirement dreams will be fulfilled.

My father told me many times, “Do what you want to do as long as you don’t
hurt anyone”. He lived his life this way and so do I. The only advice I
could add to this is to do what you want to do, not just the things we
should do and keep it legal.

Clues On How To Work Towards Making The Most Of Retirement

  1. Head up a page called “Aspirations”. Give thought to what you want to
    accomplish in your life and write down your thoughts on this page.
  2. On the same page, head up a section called “Want To Do List” and jot
    down the things you have always wanted to do, but never had the opportunity to try.
  3. Now think “outside the box” about your “Retirement Dreams”. Let this
    be your dreamtime. Dream as if anything is possible and money is no
    object. Ask yourself the following:
    • Where in the world do you want to live?
    • What will you be living in?
    • Who will your significant people be?
    • What will you be doing with your time?

    List your immediate thoughts on the same page under a new section called “Retirement Dreams”.

    The first 2 steps can take you days or weeks to do because you will keep thinking of more to add to this list. Give yourself enough time to collect all your thoughts but don’t take too much time - two to three weeks at the most, for starters. You can keep adding to your initial list at any time...now or in the future. If you can think it, dream it, taste it, then it’s possible—be creative.

  4. When you are ready, put a check mark beside all the activities you want to pursue that are meaningful to you. Transfer these activities to a different list called “Retirement Dreams - Things To Do List”.
  5. Split your list into various categories, such as family, leisure, travel, volunteerism, finance, spirituality or whatever areas are important to you. In this way, you are checking to make sure there is a “balance to your activities” which all contributes to your happiness, health and well being in retirement.
  6. Set clear “Goals” for each activity with an “Action Plan and add Target
    Completion Dates” and do your research! Develop your personal goals to suit your lifestyle!

    For example, if you want to walk a marathon: Completion Date?
    • Join a walking club - by when?
    • Sign up lessons on walking
    • Learn about proper walking shoes
    • Build up a walking stamina
    • Work with a trainer
    • Sign up for a 1/2 marathon walk
    • Work with a trainer, if needed, to prepare for the marathon
    • Sign up and walk the marathon

If it’s walking or running you want to do, a great resource, with locations right across Canada is “The Running Room”, Website www.runningroom.com.

For further resources, one popular book to check out is “101 Things To Do
Before You Die”, by Richard Horne, a U.K. based designer, published by
Bloomsbury. His book includes everything from milking a cow to throwing a
dart at a map and traveling where it lands. The latter, Horne suggests,
will irrevocably alter your life for the better. His suggestions will help
you to think “Outside the Box”.

Another book is ”1000 Places To See Before You Die”, by Patricia Schultz,
published by Thomas Allen & Son Limited, Canada. Schultz says that the
urge to travel - to open our minds and move beyond the familiar - is as old
as man himself. The author divides the world into eight regions that are
then further subdivided geographically. Around the world you’ll be
introduced to sacred ruins, grand hotels, wildlife preserves, hill top
villages, snack shacks, castles, festivals reefs, restaurants, cathedrals,
hidden islands, opera houses, museums and more. She tells us to stop
dreaming and get going.