Retirement. It’s the period of rest and freedom that most of us dream about — the reward after years of work. But retirement, like any major life change, can lead to stress and challenges of its own. Happiness is not guaranteed just because you’ve left the work force.
Richard G. Wendel, MD, MBA, has written a book that can help: Retire with a Mission: Planning and Purpose for the Second Half of Life. In its first month, the book sold 5,000 copies. In it, Wendel offers more than the financial advice common to retirement planning guides; he lays out an approach for adjusting to and maximizing your newfound free time.
Wendel, a long time resident of Mariemont, worked in urology for 31 years and has now been retired for 11 years. “It seemed as if I had a message to tell others about the experience of retiring,” he says. “There is no rulebook, no standards, and no explicit training manual for retirement. Without exception, it takes patience to reengineer the business behaviors and expectations of a life time into a new context - a new mission.”
He encourages his readers to write a mission statement to give structure and focus to their retirement. A written mission statement can help keep your retirement on track, reminding you of your goals and values as you move through the post-employment years. The book offers practical information and advice on fixed finances, volunteering, consulting, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, keeping in touch with friends and relatives, technology, and more. It even delves into the emotional changes of retirement with sections on intimacy as well as spending time alone.
Wendel is l iving proof of the possibilities to be found in the second half of life. Since ret i r ing, he has helped develop medica l prac t ice software, worked in several real estate ventures, been in the jewelry business, and served on several boards. At the Osher Life Long Learning Institute, he gives courses for seniors in areas such as volunteerism.