Aging Mastery Program can help seniors avoid ‘sour notes’ of retirement | Features

If you’re looking for an object lesson on the value of getting expert guidance when tackling a new adventure, look no further than the annual middle/high school holiday band concert.

Excited sixth-graders with shiny new instruments take the stage and, with shuffles and squeaks, tune up for their first concert. Toes tapping deliberately, they methodically plod through a few holiday tunes in unison.

With just a few months of instruction, they’ve gone from learning to read music to performing in front of a packed house. It’s fun to watch their pride mixed with relief at getting through the big event.

Next, seventh-graders play harmony but with a similar straightforward rhythm. The eighth-grade band plays more detailed harmonies and fewer sour notes.

Finally, the high school band performs more complex holiday arrangements with relative ease. With each sequential group, their years of instruction and level of preparation show.

Mastery takes effort. It’s a lesson I hope they carry with them throughout their education, work life and even into retirement. Preparation is needed and instruction is valuable at each new stage of life.

Sadly, many people stride into their retirement adventure with little instruction or preparation. Some find their way through the unknown landmarks of Medicare, changing health and finances and more through trial and error, but most hit some proverbial “sour notes” unnecessarily.

Most of us will live several decades past the traditional retirement age of 65. This gift of longevity presents enormous opportunities, but also presents several critical challenges. Longevity alone does not guarantee “aging well” and circumstances can change from year to year.

Without intentional planning for how they will live their lives as they age, people often find themselves searching for a new purpose and passion while…

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