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A Life of End less Saturdays WHAT WILL GET YOU UP IN RETIREMENT?
When I sit down with someone to plan their retirement, the first topic we broach 99% of the time is money. That’s only natural because ensuring you have enough saved up is the foundation of a fruitful retirement. Knowing your nest egg is large enough gives you peace of mind and allows your retirement to be free of financial stress and anxiety. However, financial stability is not enough on its own to create a fulfilling retirement. To achieve that goal, you have to figure out what the heck is going to fill your days. All too often, we define retirement as an absence of work. While that’s technically true, it doesn’t get at what makes retirement unique and exciting. Maybe we rely on this definition because everyone has a different answer to what retirement is for them. One person may think learning ceramics will be a yearslong passion after work, while another may consider it the dumbest idea in the world. Everyone’s interests and hobbies are different, but I truly believe we all have them. Finding a way to pursue those interests is one of the surest ways to define your retirement in an active, positive sense.
Taking the time to sketch out your days after work, however vaguely, should be a part of your retirement planning. The image of retirement we get on TV, where a couple sits on a beach with drinks in their hands, is not going to sustain you. A life of pure leisure may work for a week, or even a month, but it gets stale quicker than you think. Spending time with family, having new adventures, traveling, learning a new skill, or rekindling a forgotten one — these are all more rewarding than kicking your feet up and resting on your laurels forevermore. In nearly 20 years of helping federal employees plan for retirement, I’ve found that they often struggle with this portion of planning. I teach all sorts of classes related to retirement, but one that always gets a huge response is called, “What Will You Do When Every Day Is Saturday?” People come up to me after these talks and tell me they never even considered retirement in those terms. I suspect some of it has to do with the nature of public service. Most people I talk to absolutely love their job. They find it deeply meaningful and important.
Of course, that’s a great way to feel about your job, but it can leave quite a void when you retire. Often, federal workers prioritize their jobs above all else. When that goes away, creating a new system of meaning can be difficult. Once people find it, though, their retirement really begins to take flight. This discovery doesn’t always happen right away. You have to transition to life after work, get your feet wet, and begin a new path forward. In general, I find six months to be a great marker for this period. If you’ve been retired for over half a year and still feel rudderless, you may need to begin working harder at it. You should approach your retirement with verve and excitement. Once the momentum gets going, it will carry you to places you never expected. But it’s up to you to get the ball rolling.
So, let me ask you: What will you do when every day is Saturday?
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PATRICIA BARELA’S COMMUNITY-FOCUSED RETIREMENT We Have So Much to Give
“I really wanted to stay on.”
women of color in particular, that are perhaps most near and dear to her. “I’m very involved in politics,” she says. “It’s important to me that more women of color run for all kinds of public office. I also co-founded a group called Adelante Mujer, which advances Latina women’s causes. We’ve been so successful that groups in other states have mirrored our model. It’s amazing to see a message of empowerment spreading.” For Patricia, this constant drive to give back stems not from a sense of duty, but rather from the very fabric of her being. It’s who she is and what she does. “I’m so fortunate,” she says, “to be able to wake up every day and do what makes my heart sing. I have so many fabulous opportunities to help out in the community. I have no boss, no schedule. I don’t have to work seven days a week. Truly, I couldn’t be happier.” While Patricia’s path to fulfilment in retirement matches her own personal values, she does believe in two essential traits to make any retirement fulfilling. “First,” she says, “you have to keep moving, both in terms of physical fitness and intellectual activity. We have so much experience and so much to give. Second, you need to surround yourself with great people. In Mexican culture, we have a saying, ‘Dime con quien andas, y te diré quien eres.’ In other words, ‘Tell me who your friends are, and I’ll tell you who you are.’”
That’s how Patricia Barela begins her description of her decision to retire. It’s not hard to see why. She worked as the director for the Colorado division of the Small Business Administration. She loved her job and was making a positive impact. Retirement, while financially feasible, seemed professionally optional. “But after a while,” Patricia says, “it’s just time to leave. I had no idea what I wanted to do. All I knew was that it was time to start a new chapter in my life. There was definitely a transition period, but I was ready for what would come next.” Patricia may not have had a detailed plan for each day of her retirement, but she knew one thing would be a crucial part of it. “Giving back to the community has been baked into my DNA since birth,” Patricia says. “My mom and dad raised me to understand how blessed we were and to value philanthropy and community service.” Since her retirement, Patricia has served as a board member for more than a dozen organizations, including the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, the Denver Zoo, the Children’s Museum of Denver, and the Denver Art Museum.
While that lineup of heavy hitters would make anyone blush, it’s the work that Patricia does to advance the causes of women, and
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The Free Radical 411
HOW TO MINIMIZE AGE-INDUCING ATOMS
If you’ve ever picked up a health magazine while waiting at the doctor’s office, then you’re probably familiar with the term “free radicals”
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to entirely avoid free radicals and the havoc they wreak. The process that forms free radicals, called oxidative stress, can be kick-started by a variety of different substances found in food, water, medicine, and even the air we breathe, according to the Huntington’s Outreach Project for Education at Stanford University. Unsurprisingly, these substances are things already considered unhealthy; like alcohol, exposure to X-rays, ozone, fried food, chemical pesticides, air pollutants, and tobacco smoke. That said, there is one molecule that is stable enough to stand up to and reduce free radicals: the antioxidant. According to a study published by Pharmacognosy Reviews, antioxidants can “donate an electron to a rampaging free radical and neutralize it, thus reducing its ability to damage.” Synthetic antioxidants exist but can sometimes have harmful side effects, so scientists advise protecting yourself by avoiding free radical triggers like alcohol, processed foods, and red meat, and by ingesting natural antioxidants in the form of berries, stone fruits, olives, onions, garlic, and green and black teas. Herbs and spices like cinnamon, basil, turmeric, and fenugreek can ratchet up your antioxidant levels too. While it can’t guarantee immortality, the right diet can certainly help you stave off aging and disease, so why not start today?
— at least enough to know that they get a
bad rap from doctors and beauticians alike. But what are they, exactly?
According to Live Science, free radicals are atoms with unpaired electrons that have split off from oxygen molecules in the body and start to “scavenge” for other electrons to pair with. That wouldn’t be problematic, except that these atoms tend to damage cells, lipids, proteins, and even DNA along the way, and that destruction has serious consequences. As Live Science puts it, “Free radicals are associated with human disease; including cancer, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and many others. They also may have a link to aging, which has been defined as a gradual accumulation of free-radical damage.”
Miso Caramel Apples INGREDIENTS Inspired by Bon Appétit
• 4 Popsicle sticks • 2 tbsp light corn syrup • 1/4 cup heavy cream • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
• 4 Granny Smith apples • 1/2 cup raw pistachios • 1 1/2 tsp plus 1 cup sugar • 3 tbsp sesame seeds • 2 tbsp white miso, divided
for 5–7 minutes, swirling infrequently, until caramel is a light amber color. 5. Add cream and salt to caramel, whisking to combine. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and quickly whisk in remaining miso. 6. To assemble, first roll apple in caramel, then in pistachio mixture, before resting on greased baking sheet. 7. Let cool 30 minutes and serve.
1. Heat oven to 275 F. 2. In a food processor, pulse pistachios and 1 1/2 tsp sugar. Add sesame seeds and 1 tbsp miso, pulsing until miso is fully broken up. Spread evenly on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 15–20 minutes and let cool. 3. Meanwhile, insert a Popsicle stick into the center of each apple. 4. In a saucepan, bring corn syrup, 1 cup sugar, and 2 tbsp water to a boil. Boil
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issue INSIDE THIS Running Toward Retirement PAGE 1 A Retirement Spent Giving Back PAGE 2 Tips for Fighting Free Radicals PAGE 3 The Real Legend of Sleepy Hollow PAGE 4
HAYRIDES AND HEADLESS HORSEMEN Halloween Celebrations in Sleepy Hollow
In 1790, a school teacher named Ichabod Crane was riding home alone from a harvest festival in the village of Sleepy Hollow when he encountered a mysterious rider on horseback. Crane, horrified by the horseman’s missing head, turned and ran in the opposite direction. The Headless Horseman gave chase, hurling his own decapitated head at the terrified teacher. Ichabod Crane was never heard from again ... or so goes “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving. This story, first published in 1820, has become a Halloween favorite. The legend is so beloved that in 1997, the village of North Tarrytown, New York, where many events of the story take place, officially changed its name to Sleepy Hollow. Today, the town becomes one big Halloween party during the month of October.
Another highly anticipated stop for many guests is Sleepy Hollow’s premier annual attraction, Horseman’s Hollow, an experience not for the faint of heart. During the event, the 300-year-old Philipsburg Manor is transformed into a living nightmare, where vampires, witches, ghouls, and undead soldiers lurk in the shadows. They all serve the dreaded Headless Horseman and are determined to make sure guests don’t leave alive!
But it’s not all scares in Sleepy Hollow. There’s plenty of Halloween fun for all ages. Sleepy Hollow boasts relaxing hayrides, tours of Irving’s home, live readings of famous Halloween stories, performances of a brand- new musical based on Irving’s spooky tale, and the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze, an incredible exhibition of over 7,000 hand-carved pumpkins. If you want a real Halloween experience, you can’t go wrong in Sleepy Hollow. Just be careful not to lose your head!
Sleepy Hollow is home to many historic landmarks, including the Headless Horseman Bridge and the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, where Washington Irving himself was laid to rest. Evening lantern tours of the cemetery are a popular attraction, and Irving isn’t the only spooky celebrity buried there. Fans of the Gothic soap opera “Dark Shadows” will be delighted to enter the crypt of famed vampire Barnabas Collins.
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