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Retiring with a Joyful Life

Updated on January 5, 2015

We have arrived

Growing Older

Everyone has a different idea about retirement and what they want from this time of life. The choices you make can be changed on a moment's notice. Make plans and discover your dreams and dig in to living this time in your life. The years go faster and faster as we age, and sometimes I have to catch my breath to actually believe how old I am. (never mind exact statistics). Growing old gracefully is something I do not wish to do. I want to have fun, feel good and look the best I can. I am going to share some of my--not really secrets--on what I have learned during the retirement years.

Produce is the best thing you can eat

Eat lots of Produce
Eat lots of Produce

Food: The Essence of Life

Let talk about food. Actually I would rather eat than talk about it, but here goes. We have to face an important fact as we age--we need to consume less food to survive with good health. Not only does consuming less calories keep off unwanted pounds, but it is beneficial for the general health of our bodies. Many of us have to cut the following out of our diets-- greasy, spicy and sugar-laden foods--unless we want to pop antacids daily. We may have to watch the sweets to keep our blood sugar regulated and eliminate fatty and greasy foods to watch the cholesterol intake. The bottom line here is that if you eat wisely, you will feel better, avoid extra doctor visits and stay in better shape.

Eating with health in mind is a commitment--one to follow on a daily basis. I do not believe in fad diets, vegetarianism or veganism, but I do believe in limiting certain foods. I am not against being a vegetarian or vegan, because many people swear by it as a disease prevention measure. I think it is better to follow these different ways of eating than loading up with processed foods. One thing to note: if you eat food that is not prepared from other ingredients you are way ahead of the game. Eating food in its pure form with no additions is a good rule to follow most of the time. However, it is smart to limit red meat, but a good steak on rare occasions may be one of your favorite treats. It is my very favorite food.

Going organic is a healthy way to eat, but is not always practical. I purchase organic produce when it is well priced and convenient. If you are lucky enough to live where there is a farmer's market get your produce there. You know the produce will be fresh and that is even more important than being organic. Truly fresh produce will ensure getting higher vitamin and mineral content than produce in a grocery store that has been sitting for several days.

Sometimes my fridge looks like a produce market. We eat at least 10 servings of fruit and vegetables a day. And so far, knock on wood, I wake up feeling great and to me that is a blessing of which I am grateful for everyday. This alone will help the retirement years be fun and rewarding.

Exercise at Least 4 Times a Week

We ride almost everyday
We ride almost everyday

Exercise Regularly

Try to exercise moderately most days of the week. Find a sport that you love or take a daily walk. Make sure you enjoy your chosen activity and be faithful to it. Using light free weights and stretching are both excellent for body strength and flexibility.


  • You will have strong bones and walk briskly.
  • You will burn calories.
  • You will help your brain health.
  • You will have fun (if you choose something fun to do).
  • You will improve your mood.

Emotions, Tolerance and Other Feelings

I hate to admit it but I have become more sensitive as I grow older. I work at not over-reacting and feeling slighted, but it rears its ugly head every once in a while. I have accepted this shortcoming as with many other shortcomings that I have. I have learned not to be as judgmental about people as I used to be, after all people have their problems and issues of what I no little about. When people are rude or withdrawn we don't know what is going on in their lives to cause this.

I rarely have road rage--well maybe once in a while when someone just totally cuts me off and there was a possibility of an accident. I pick my battles with my husband and ignore things that are not important-- like leaving clothes around, not doing what I have asked him to do and spending money without telling me. The last one is not overlooked so I have to go out spend equal money on myself. I am just kidding.

Enthusiasm is the key to happy years. Find joy in your life daily. No matter how grim things are there is always something positive to focus and enjoy. Be grateful for all the things you have. We are in the last chapter of the book of life, and you don't want to miss a day. Write your blessings down in a small journal to reinforce in your mind your joy in life.

We All Need Friends


Friendships Are Different

Friendships change as we age. Making friends is easy when you are young. You meet friends through your kids, at work or in the neighborhood. As people age they often change and are not as open to making new friends. Acquiring new pals is not always an easy process and I have learned this personally. We have moved around a lot and have started and stopped many friendships. When coming to a new place you have to realize that people are settled in with friends they spend time with and often have set activities they do together. You have to work your way in very slowly

It is challenging to find people with like interests and similar goals, and it takes time and patience. I am a very high energy person and others often are not. Staying in shape is important to me and others often do not care. You see where I am going with this. I have mellowed a bit on expectations and enjoy people for who they are. I am much happier with this attitude.

What About Time

Sometimes I don't know what I did all day, but it took all day to do it. When I was working or had my own business 15 minutes was like two hours. I took advantage of every minute I available, and accomplished an enormous amount of things.

Today I find myself feeling anxious if I have more than three necessary things to do for the day. Mentally things take longer to do, but not in the physical sense. Does that make sense? There is just a different attitude entirely about time during the day. Also time seems to fly by much faster than it used to, as one day blurs into the next--however I am having fun and enjoying life.

Spending Money



Money can be a difficult topic in today's landscape. Prices of our daily necessities go up on a daily basis, and this is a major challenge on a fixed-income. There are not a lot of opportunities to regain lost money as we age and looking at long term investments may not make sense. For example we thought of buying some property that was fairly well priced, and will go up in value in several years. Meanwhile we need the income now and looking that far into the future doesn't seem like a sound idea. Many of us took a beating in the stock market, falling house prices and other investments which has had a detrimental effect on the pocketbook. We have been forced to cut back on many things in our life. We have to plan for special purchases and sometimes just have to forego the expense. Some of us no longer have to freedom to just spend on all the things we want. Making the decision on what we want and what we need is not always easy to do after having more monetary freedom.

Brain Health Keeps You Young

Almost no one worried about their memory or cognition when they were young? As we age these things becomes a reality especially with all the information we are bombarded with daily. If we occasionally forget something we could go into panic mode. There are so many labels for different conditions in the medical world to keep us on high alert. There are some things you can do to help keep your brain healthy:

  • Eat healthy food--avoid transfats
  • Keep your mind sharp with puzzles, learning new things and using your brain.
  • Exercise daily
  • Meditation and other natural stress relievers

We take a few supplements that seem helpful in maintaining brain health, which are VInpocetine, Acetyl-Carnitine, Turmeric and Astaxanthin. And we all are a little forgetful from time to time, so don't worry. Being alert and enjoying a good memory makes the retirement years lots more fun.


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    • manatita44 profile image


      6 years ago from london

      Very nice and loving article. It is also good to see you two looking so healthy. Higher blessings.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      8 years ago from New York

      Retirement is something we really don't understand until we do it! You're suggestions and ideas are all good ones. "Find joy in your life daily" a mantra for all, retired or not!

      We are caring for my elderly in-laws so don't have much of a life right now, but it is what it is.

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image

      Rolly A Chabot 

      8 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Carol... a great time of life where nothing needs to be proved anymore... I retied for about 18 months then took on several opportunities to serve and contract work... Great info here

      Hugs from Canada

    • carol7777 profile imageAUTHOR

      carol stanley 

      8 years ago from Arizona

      Rajan: Thank you so much for visiting and continued support...

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 

      8 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA.

      Very useful tips and nice to have your insights on many topics as well, Carol. Interesting, informative and a useful read.

      Voted up.

    • carol7777 profile imageAUTHOR

      carol stanley 

      9 years ago from Arizona

      Thanks for stopping by.

    • carol7777 profile imageAUTHOR

      carol stanley 

      9 years ago from Arizona

      Thanks for stopping by.

    • faisalb87 profile image

      Muhammad Faisal 

      9 years ago from Pakistan

      I love my life....

    • carol7777 profile imageAUTHOR

      carol stanley 

      9 years ago from Arizona

      Thanks so much for dropping in and voting up and kind remarks. Yes it is okay to be forgetful...Of course.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      9 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Carol,

      "And it is okay to be a little forgetful occasionally." Whew! Nice to know...that is while we remember. Now what did you say? Haha!

      As Gail (happyboomernurse) said, you have truly packed a good bit of philosophy into this hub. Up and useful votes.

    • carol7777 profile imageAUTHOR

      carol stanley 

      9 years ago from Arizona

      happyboomernurse: Thanks so much for stopping by and gracious comments. This getting older has its perks but it does take some extra thinking and energy.

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 

      9 years ago from South Carolina

      You've packed a lot of sage advice into this well written hub.

      The paragraph that summed up my own philosophy best was:

      "Enthusiasm is the key to happy years. Find joy in your life daily. No matter how grim things are there is always something positive to focus and enjoy. Be grateful for all the things you have. Write them down to reinforce in your mind your blessings in life."

      Thanks for sharing this info.

      Voted up across the board except for funny.

    • carol7777 profile imageAUTHOR

      carol stanley 

      9 years ago from Arizona

      Okay sgbrown...Gotta get out and exercise. Best thing to do for yourself..listen to me lecturing and I don't even know you..Just want you to take care of yourself. Thanks for vote.

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 

      9 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      Well, I just had to find this today, didn't I? I had a birthday yesterday! 50 plus a few, time goes by way too fast. I am shocked at the sound when I tell someone how old I am. "Did I really say that?" Oh well, it beats the alternative. Hubby and I are eating better but getting less exercise, the knees are going fast! Other than that, I really don't feel any different than I did when I was 30 something. Great advice, voted up and useful!

    • carol7777 profile imageAUTHOR

      carol stanley 

      9 years ago from Arizona

      greeneryday: thanks for dropping by and nice comments. We just have to make a few adjustments in life to enjoy it more.

    • greeneryday profile image


      9 years ago from Some tropical country

      Good reminder for all of us, as we get older we need to maintain our health more seriously, eating less, exercise, never let the stress to take over your life. Thanks for the advises I will keep those in mind.

    • carol7777 profile imageAUTHOR

      carol stanley 

      9 years ago from Arizona

      mperrottet: Thanks for stopping by and sharing those feelings that I experience often. We are blessed to be able to spend time as we wish. Lets make a law that we only have to do things we want.

    • mperrottet profile image

      Margaret Perrottet 

      9 years ago from San Antonio, FL

      You're so right about getting anxious if you have to do more than three things during the day. I think it's just because you get so used to the luxury of NOT having to do anything. It seems as if I'm very busy all day, but it's doing things that I love, not things that I have to do. When something comes up that I HAVE to do, it takes time away from my other pursuits. Great hub with good suggestions.

    • carol7777 profile imageAUTHOR

      carol stanley 

      9 years ago from Arizona

      suzettenaples: Thank you so much for stopping by and wonderful words. Thanks also for sharing and voting up..I have been reading some of your hubs, and of course we lived in Naples for four years.

      Jenna Pope: Sounds like you are sliding in very gravity..oh well I guess we live with that. Thanks for complement and vote.

    • Jenna Pope profile image

      Jenna Pope 

      9 years ago from Southern California

      Hi Carol,

      Well said. I'm sliding into those Happy Golden Years myself! I am happier now than when I was younger. No complaints -- except -- maybe -- gravity! Great Hub! Voted up.

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 

      9 years ago from Taos, NM

      Carol, what a great attitude you have. I agree with everything you have written. I retired from teaching 2 1/2 years ago and I have kept really active. I don't know how I found time to work!!! I like your phrase, "Age with glory." That is so true. Thanks for writing such an uplifting article. Voted up and shared!

    • carol7777 profile imageAUTHOR

      carol stanley 

      9 years ago from Arizona

      b.malin: What a lovely comment. This made my day. Thanks so much for dropping by and reading. Yes we fight age all the way.

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 

      9 years ago

      Good UPbeat Hub, Carol. We fight "age" every little Step of the way! Lots of Wonderful, Easy, suggestions. Thanks for sharing.

      I now look forward to Following your Hubs, and a Warm Welcome to Hub Pages. We are like a "Family" of writers here!

    • carol7777 profile imageAUTHOR

      carol stanley 

      9 years ago from Arizona

      girishpuri: thanks so much for the voted and your kind words.

    • girishpuri profile image

      Girish puri 

      9 years ago from NCR , INDIA

      Very good suggestions and they really maintain quality of life, voted up.

    • carol7777 profile imageAUTHOR

      carol stanley 

      9 years ago from Arizona

      Thanks for visitng and nice comments.. Always appreciated.

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 

      9 years ago from Pennsylvania


      I know I may be young still, by time flies by! Great tips for sure though, even for anyone! Thanks Carol!

    • carol7777 profile imageAUTHOR

      carol stanley 

      9 years ago from Arizona

      Thanks Billybuc for your kind words. Getting older does have its compensations. Congrats on all your new accomplishments.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      9 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great suggestions my friend! I love my life now at 63...having the time of my life, and attitude has a lot to do with it. I follow your suggestions by the way, and they are beneficial.


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