Congratulations.  You have just officially retired after 45 or more years in the work force.  Medicare has kicked in and you bought a Senior Health plan to cover the gaps in Medicare.  Life is good.  You are healthy and happy and looking forward to a two week cruise to the Caribbean.

Second scenario; you have retired at the age of 55 just like your own dad did.  You aren’t eligible for Medicare yet.  You did shop around for Health Plans and found that you were healthy enough to qualify for an individual plan.  Since you will be living on a fixed income keeping the health insurance premiums low was important.  You decided on a High Deductible Health Plan and are hoping for the best.

These two scenarios are played out every day, day in and day out, all over America.  Everything seems pretty rosy.  Except after about a month of sitting around in your underwear watching old Oprah re-runs you are absolutely bored out of your mind!  Retirement is one long party for those lucky enough to be able to travel, shop, lunch and dine to their hearts content.  For the rest of us who have just the right amount of money saved up for our living expenses, life can get boring.  Real quick.  What to do?

As the title suggests, being a greeter at Wal-Mart will probably look like a good option sooner than later.  You get paid, you get out of the house and you get to socialize. Dr. Mehmet Oz in AARP newsletter talks about the “Use it or lose it” theory of cognition.  Cognition is the mental process of knowing, including awareness, perception, reasoning, and judgment.  Dr Oz goes on to say “Instead of treating retirement as a time to take it easy, I propose a different path.  In Japan they call it ikigai, which means “the reason for which we wake up in the morning.”  Finding that reason for living is critical, especially in the United States, where so much of our ikigai seems tied to our careers.”

Dr. Oz goes on to say, “Identify activities that you enjoy and that help maintain your cognitive health.  The best activities combine social engagement, physical activity, and intellectual stimulation.  Dancing is one such activity.  Begin exploring these brain-stimulating hobbies before you retire.  Just as you need a financial plan for retirement, you need a mental plan, too.”

Wal-Mart has found an unlimited pool of workers in people in their 50’s to 70’s. There is a great web site called Jobs for Seniors that lists a ton of employment web sites.

Medicare Advantage