Retirement According to…Winnie the Pooh

Alan Spector is an author, business consultant, baseball player, traveler, and grandfather.  He has authored four published books, including, with coauthor Keith Lawrence, Your Retirement Quest: 10 Secrets for Creating and Living a Fulfilling Retirement (www.YourRetirementQuest.com).  Alan and Keith conduct workshops across the country helping prospective and current retirees plan the non-financial aspects of their retirement—to make the rest of their lives the best of their lives. 

By Alan Spector

There’s a concept that helps people live a fulfilling retirement that goes something like this: Recall what you loved to do when you were young.  Then, when you retire, figure out how to bring those things into your life. 

Did you love to be outside, riding your bike?  Did you love to help baking cookies?  Did you love reading? Did you love to play baseball?  Did you love to play cards with friends? What did you love to do?  

When I was young, I loved baseball and books. In retirement, I’ve been fortunate enough to play and coach baseball well into my 60s. And I’ve had the opportunity to write five books, including one about baseball. 

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There are other things we can learn about retirement by revisiting our youth.  Of course, you remember Winnie the Pooh and his friends.  But why are they relevant? As coauthor Keith Lawrence and I have studied retirement, we have identified “10 key elements of a fulfilling retirement.”  

Two of the key elements are “Attitude” and “Connectedness.”  Those who have a positive attitude and deep personal relationships live longer and have a higher quality of life, on average, than those who don’t.

So what did Winnie the Pooh have to say about relationships?

“We’ll be Friends Forever, won’t we Pooh?” asked Piglet

“Even longer,” Pooh answered.

“If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day, so I never have to live without you.”

“You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you.  You have to go to them sometimes.”

And what did Winnie’s friend, Tigger the Tiger, have to say about attitude?

“Well, I gotta go now.  I’ve got a lotta bouncin’ to do.”

“[Tiggers] are bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy fun, fun, fun, fun, fun.  But the most wonderful thing about tiggers is I’m the only one.”

Well, with all due respect to Tigger, he’s not the only one.  I know a lot of retirees who are Tiggers.  Are you one?  And are you waiting in your corner of the Forest for others to come to you, or are you like Winnie the Pooh and going to them?