Watching TV = Life After Retirement
“My dad is 60 years old and retired. All family members are against buying TV. What are the habits and things that I should encourage him to develop so that he is engaged and enjoys life?”
Here was my answer:
“You are right to worry. A recent US Bureau of Labor Statistics study asked people age 45 and up to track their daily activities over a period of months. Those who were working full time spent 7 hours sleeping, 7.5 hours working and the rest split among a list of shopping, housecleaning, personal care, watching TV and movies, etc.
Those who were experiencing life after retirement spent 8 hours sleeping and 4 hours watching TV/movies, with the balance split among other daily activities. In other words, retirees traded work for more sleep and watching TV/movies. That is very sad. Not my idea of “The Golden Years”. The question is “why?”.
People need a purpose to live long and well. Other research has shown that among long lived people (80+ years), the one common denominator (over race, genes, class and health) was having a sense of purpose. A new TV will NOT give your father a new purpose.
Perhaps you can ask him to “trade with you”: If he will work on developing some new interests, you will buy him a fabulous new TV. BUT you have to give him help. Here’s how:
Brainstorm activities for Ten Aspects of Life:
1. Physical Health (walking, running, calisthenics, etc.)
2. Intellectual Stimulation (reading new books, attending classes, a book club, etc.)
3. Recreational/Creative (art, writing, hiking, golf, gardening, etc.)
4. Activities with spouse/partner) – if he has one, what does SHE like to do that he likes (or can learn to like) so he can be with her to maintain the needed connection of a good partnership
5. Activities with family – he loves you, help him be with you.
6. Ask if him if he is living in the right place for this time of life, if not, help him find the right place.
7. Finding new social connections – most of us get 80% of our connections through work – your father likely lost much of his social network – if so, he needs to develop a new one
8. Explore spirituality and faith – if he does not do so now, he may be missing out something that makes us human.
9. Volunteer and Charity – giving of his time (and/or money) will expand his network of connections, create new ideas for living, and he will receive gratitude.
10. Income Producing Work – being retired does necessarily not mean he can’t ever work again, but perhaps not full-time. He could work part-time, consult, teach, or even start a small business. Each dollar he earns is one less dollar he draws from his retirement funds – stretching them farther.
Before you panic (“how can I do all that?” you ask), there is help out there. He can get free ideas at our website: ThePlatinumYears.com. He can also read “the Encore Career Guidebook”.
All of the above will give him a new sense of purpose so he (and you) can enjoy many years of a good life.”
Now after reading this, how would you answer this question?
If you would like to assess your readiness to transition to the next chapter of your life, click the button below to download the FREE “How Ready Are You? Assessment”