As our parents enter into retirement we, as children, often feel some degree of anxiety over the change in their activity levels and interests. Because both of my parents have always worked, I am concerned that, once retired, they may experience some of the common psychological complications associated with seniors in retirement; that of depression, anxiety and frustration.
In an effort to prepare for my parent’s retirement, in the next 10 years, I have begun to look at activities they may become involved in, while conserving dollars. As retirees, living on a budget, it is important to keep them active but also limit the dollars spent on the activities they enjoy.
For my mother, since she has an avid interest in education and business, it is important to encourage her to foster those interests through volunteer work and mentoring. Because the cost associated with these is negligible, my mother can continue to practice in her areas of specialty, giving back to the community, and keep her brain and body active.
For my father, his interests lie in fishing, cooking and reading. To reduce the costs of his hobbies, my goal is to ensure he has the appropriate fishing licenses, supplies and tools well before he retires, supply him with plenty of “easy-to-cook” cookbooks and also make sure he has a library card for each local library within 10 miles of their home. Because my parents live in the state of Texas, they will have access to a library Texshare card which affords them the opportunity to visit just about any library in the state and check out books. In careful planning, my father can continue to enjoy his favorite activities at a relatively low cost.
For both of my parents, they enjoy sporting events, museums and dining out. In an effort to prepare for the expense associated with these continued activities, I have researched the local venues that offer plays and performances. In addition, many local high schools and colleges offer sporting events and performing arts productions at relatively low costs. Dining out can still be a luxury as I provide them with a list of local restaurants that will provide senior discounts.
As our parents approach retirement, we, as children, often worry about the issues that must be addressed in terms of healthcare. However, for many aging parents, there is simply a need to remain active after retirement. To offer assistance, and in preparation of the retirement, we can prepare by researching low cost options for the activities they so enjoyed when they were involved in the workplace environment. In doing so, the risk for experiencing anxiety, frustration and even depression can be negated, to some extent, and, ultimately, this may lead to a much better quality of life for our parents.