I Need a Compass for Retirement

Ek Ursin, MD

Summer 2002 - Volume 6 Number 3


A glorious ride into the sunset, or a

Semi-tragic tale of self-pity

Real tragedy:

Real, not perceived

Poor health

Death one week after retirement

Motives that trigger action

It is high time

I can hardly wait

I have a right to it

I’ve worked my ... off (expletive deleted)

I was taken advantage of

I have a second career planned out

I need to take care of family

I have health problems

Real or perceived

I fear the innuendoes

from a boss or colleague

getting too old

judgment slipping

Factors that delay decision making

Lack of money

Real or perceived

Fear of being useless

In family

In my head

"I still have boundless energy"

Real or perceived

Reality, or wishful thinking

Fear of more time with spouse

Real or perceived

Other ...



Quick fixes, and



Established Retirement



Optimist, pessimist

Active, passive

Self-centered, people-oriented

Fearful, accepting


Never had it; that’s a pity

"Have it just like grandpa"


A panacea? For many

Exercise? Within reason

Golf’s okay; avoid hang-gliding



See an expert


Marriage, treasure it

Nuclear and extended, be a diplomat

Disability—carry the cross

Potential trouble spots; networth not the

same as selfworth


Health, any doubts see your doctor

Depression, see your shrink

Isolation, see people

Real trouble spots

Memento Mori

Mental problems


Real or perceived

Can the leopard change its spots?

What will you/can you be?

Philosopher, Grandma Moses,

Boulevardier, Philanderer,

Bridgeplayer, Skydiver ...

or blow it really big! Casino?

Practical steps

Attitude—being, not doing;

networth not the same as selfworth


Combat feelings of guilt

Become a joiner, if it is your cup of tea


Elderhostel (www.elderhostel.org)

Projects: Joy without fanaticism

Reasonable care of health


KP "Silver Sneakers" program

Avoid having a fool for a doctor


Diet without fanaticism

Two glasses Merlot, 81mg ASA/d.

The Inevitable Last Chapter

The cliché: sudden and unexpected,

a blessing

The final diagnosis given in advance,



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