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Wednesday, April 3,2013

Ask Dr. Happy

By Dr. Bob Nozik, MD  

Dear Dr. Happy

I am a 72-year-old man who was an award-winning insurance salesman before I retired six years ago. I made good money and was respected as my company’s top salesman. I am an avid golfer and now play at least three or four times a week. I’ve got it all, right? Wrong! Since retiring, I have no identity, no status; I’m bored and my wife says she doesn’t know what to do with me sulking around the house all day. I think I may be depressed. These should have been my golden years.

Dear WWW,

What Went Wrong?

You’ve discovered that retirement is not for sissies. Most of us view retirement as the reward for all those years of hard work we put in. And it is, or can be, but it is not as easy as just stopping working. It takes skillful planning for most of us to make retirement rewarding. And just playing more golf won’t do it for most of us for the reasons you’ve listed, WWW. Too often retirement results in loss of identity, diminished self-respect, and too many unoccupied hours hanging around the house annoying your wife like a giant dust-bunny. Very few of us are fortunate enough to have had jobs that fit us so well that we could say they were our calling. Well, retirement gives us another chance to create our calling. And because of vast life-experience and greater selfknowledge, retired people are ideally positioned to find that calling.

And that is the secret formula for a rewarding retirement. So, WWW, I suggest you take some time to discover what it is you would most like to do. Maybe writing, or teaching, or building birdhouses. If you don’t know, seek help from your local senior services counselor. And do it now.


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