When I reached retirement age, seniors being neglected in nursing homes was all over the news. I felt so badly because most of them could have been living happy, independent lives if they only knew how. It’s not their fault. They just didn’t know how.
And it’s not rocket science. It’s just doing a few things most people already know are good for them, but are slightly inconvenient, like a little daily exercise and stretches, trying to eat the right foods, doing your own cooking when you can, learning to look at the positive side of things, and trying to be responsible for yourself. The best way to stop others from taking control of your life is to take control of it yourself.
There’s also an attitude, I call the joy of living the simple life, that brings it all together. Some people might call it living a spiritual life, whether you have religion or not. It starts with mindfulness, but don’t be put off by that word. It just means doing one thing at a time, and paying attention only to what you’re doing.
When you do that you begin to understand what it means to be in the present moment, here and now. Some say the present moment is the only thing that really exists. The past is gone, the future isn’t here yet. They’re just thoughts. The present moment is where we live, where we experience our life, so perhaps we should pay attention. Perhaps we should give it our full attention.
Albert Einstein talked about pausing to stand rapt in wonder and awe. When you pay attention to life for a while you start to notice its beauty and elegance. You develop a sense of gratitude for everything in the world. And gratitude brings joy.
Of course not everything or everybody in the world is wonderful, so it’s good to know the practical steps you can take to stop anyone trying to put you into a nursing home before your time, how to deal with ageism, and how to protect yourself against fraud and internet scams.
Protecting yourself from the harsh realities of the world doesn’t mean we can’t live a simple life. In fact, the only way we can enjoy the simple pleasures is to be strong. Simple pleasures can only be experienced when we’re relaxed, and to be relaxed we need to know we can handle anything life may bring, no problem. Almost anybody can learn to be strong.
After feeling the joy of gratitude for a while you start to realize you have so much, and others have so little. Then it’s very natural to get into volunteer work. Doing volunteer work increases your feeling of self-worth, and self-worth brings contentment.
Whether you have retirement savings or not, living the simple life will bring you peace and contentment.
The entire video course “Retire on Social Security” is about how to enjoy the simple life no matter what your situation. Watch a 6 minute introduction – www.retireonsocialsecurity.com