Retire Fit, Fit and Fit: Interview with Author Howard Pell

I also like in the book that you gave other options and you gave references if you want to you know if you’re the DIY guy, and you want to do it yourself so at least you will have some guidance and there are so many resources available.

There really are and I will talk very briefly about my next book. The book that I’m working on now is an exercise book for people who are retired. The exercise are geared to the activity and it’s all, all the exercises can be done in your own home so you don’t have to take a gym membership.

You do not need to compete with others, you’re competing with yourself. You want to say that last week I could do so many push ups and this week I can increase that number or whatever it might be. So that you’re always just competing with yourself. Don’t look at that other guy over there who’s doing 100 push ups upside down. it doesn’t matter he is 20 years old younger than you are or 20 years older … I don’t care he’s somebody different.

In some cultures actually when the grandfather is there everyone wants them to not to get involved or do anything, but one of my favourite sections in your book is the section about making a difference in being involved. And making the world a better place. Many seniors and retiree feel that they worked hard all their lives and it’s time to get some rest. On the other hand, our life span and life expectancy are extended for many, many years more than before. How a person be of service, what’s the mindset or attitude that this person should adopt?

Well, I think for me one of my philosophies on life is that we are here to help other people. There’s no question in my mind that there are so many people that are less fortunate than we are and in many aspects and if I can help someone I’m going to help them. so, if I can go and specifically look for opportunities, I will. We live in Canada and I think Canada is the best country in the world I was born and raised here. Yet I always admit that if things could be better and if I don’t do it perhaps someone else might not and so I think that that’s a healthy attitude to take. I would encourage everyone to try and help make their community better. It depends on what you can call your community. Is it the four square blocks in which you live, you could call it your town or your city, you could call it a province, you could call your community the country or even the whole continent or the whole world where you’re going to help.

Join a service organization.
Join a service organization.
And many people think of helping is writing a cheque or donating money but there’s always the sweat equity.

Absolutely, there’s so much that could be done whether it’s building a school, whether it is repairing an existing school or a clinic. If you have skills then offer it to people who don’t.

But in the book, you warned against using the same skill and doing the same work as you used to do before retirement.

Yes, I advise trying to stay away from that as much as possible. But there are other ways like mentoring young people and it is so rewarding. And offering them your knowledge you know. In the Rotary club that I belong to, we have a project in Mexico at an orphanage and this is a really a unique situation, where they have children … young children in the orphanage and it’s a retirement home at the same time. And the elderly people play with the children. And the happiness happens to both. It’s wonderful! Even if it’s just that they’re going to play with the children, but it’s more than that. Because they can teach the children too. So again mentoring. There are so many ways that you can contribute like you said rather than just writing a check and writing a check is nothing wrong with that.

If you have the financial means, with all way please do it. If you don’t, like you said sweat equity is good and it’s appreciated by many people. I would also say, if you join a service organization and you find out that it’s not for you don’t give up, find another one. Don’t give up because it may not fit you. This one may not suit you completely, but other organizations would.

The other thing I would like to point out too about this is that many people have their circle of friends in their place of employment and so when they retire they find that 40 hours a week they don’t see their friends anymore in the office. And then at the end of the day, their friends have other family commitments and other things to do. So they find that their circle of friends greatly diminishes. When you retire, if you’ve got a number of things that you already doing like playing tennis, or making videos or gardening or whatever it might be, you develop a new circle of friends or just expand your circle of friends then you’re going to be much happier towards the end of your life and the same goes for service organizations or your church. Whatever it might be, you’re going to make friends because the people have already self-selected and they have the same thoughts that you do about helping your community and helping other people. So expand your network of friends before you retire.

Originally posted 2017-06-21 17:07:16.

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