Retirement Planning Strategies - October 2017


From the moment you wake up in the morning, it feels like a dense fog fills your head. When you drag yourself out of bed and go to make yourself a plate of eggs and toast, it suddenly seems like a much more complicated task than before. You lose track of time, and the smell of smoke enters your nostrils. Frantically turning the burner off, it occurs to you that you can’t remember the day of the week. According to Time Magazine, 47 million people around the world live with some type of dementia. Typically, as we age, we’re told that all we can do is hope for the best and bide our time until there’s a cure, but recent research by the Alzheimer’s Research Center paints a different picture. A set of simple

lifestyle changes may be the key to staving off cognitive decline as we get older.

been linked to heart health are the DASH diet ( and the Mediterranean diet. Frequent social engagement may help keep your brain sharp. Make efforts to speak face to face with someone you’re close to as often as you can. Try to make new friends, volunteer, join a club or social group, get to know your neighbors, or connect with people over social media. Mental stimulation may also be important to brain health as we age. Study something new to you, such as a foreign language or a musical instrument. Make reading books and newspapers part of your regular routine. Try doing crossword or sudoku puzzles. It’s not difficult to find an activity you enjoy that will also help keep your brain active.

Regular exercise has been shown to reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s by up to 50 percent, according to Help Guide, and it can even slow the onset of already-present cognitive decline. Walk or swim for about 150 minutes each week, along with two to three sessions of moderate resistance training, as well as balance and coordination exercises. Check out for more info on staying active as you age. Heart-healthy eating may also protect the brain. Limit your intake of sugar and saturated fats and eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Replace butter and margarine with olive or canola oil. Two diets that have

Is Semi-Retirement Right for You? THERE’S NO RIGHT WAY TO RETIRE Some folks anticipate the end of their working days with breathless excitement. For others, an entirely empty calendar causes more anxiety than it does anticipation. When you end your career as a federal employee, you should be able to fill your days however you see fit, even if that includes taking on another job part-time or on a freelance basis. More people are opting for semi-retirement every year, successfully balancing a little extra work (and income) with family time and hobbies.

The nice thing about working after you retire from your primary career is that you can do it on your own terms. Maybe you’ll enjoy working a few hours per week, or maybe you’ve always wanted to sell the fruits of your creative labor. Now is the time to give these pursuits a shot. Plenty of us find intrinsic value in working, especially when we get to decide what that work is, and you don’t need to lose that value because you reach a certain age. If you are considering semi-retirement, you should still plan as if you are going to fully retire. Semi-retirement pursuits rarely

yield a significant amount of money, and you don’t want to be forced to pivot back into full-time employment due to improper planning. It should also be noted that taking on a little work during retirement will still allow you to keep the full benefits you earned during your tenure as a federal employee. No matter how you choose to retire, proper financial planning is crucial to ensuring you get the most out of your days. If that involves traveling the world and spending time with the grandkids, great. But if you feel awkward about wanting to work after

your primary career ends, you shouldn’t. After all, retirement is about doing what you’ve always wanted.

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