Getting off the Hamster Wheel: Retirement Advice for Type A’s


What if we spent all of our days
Improving our minds, learning new ways to be lazy

—Mary Chapin Carpenter, “What If We Went to Italy”

Retirees are often advised to stay busy. We’re expected to volunteer, take classes or travel. And, for the most part, it is a good idea to stay active.

However, for many Type A personalities, it can be challenging to slow down enough to actually enjoy retirement. If you find yourself getting a little twitchy, here are some helpful tips:

• Stop pressuring yourself. You’ve worked hard and made substantial contributions. Now it’s someone else’s turn to earn money, support their family and save for the future. Think of your retirement as a gift to that person.

• Give yourself adjustment time. After life in the fast lane, it can be a shock to wake up one morning with no demands. Don’t feel obligated to fill your schedule right away. Reflect on how you would really love to spend your time, and plan gradually.

• Meditate. No need to sit in the lotus position. Walking, fishing, or gardening can do the trick. Just do something each day to quiet your mind. Eventually, the compulsion to jump from one form of entertainment to another will be replaced by contentment.

As you find your way in retirement, supplemental coverage from your association and AMBA can help protect your physical and financial health. Your AMBA representative will be happy to answer all your questions and provide valuable advice for free.

Most importantly, be patient with yourself. If you spent the past 40 years winding yourself up, you’re not going to unwind overnight. As Mary Chapin Carpenter’s song suggests, there’s a learning curve to being lazy.

Source: Mary Chapin Carpenter, A Place in The World (1996)

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