Elders’ advice on working in retirement

When Lyndsay Greene, author of You Could Live a Long Time, found that many experienced retirees had “worked” well past the end of their traditional careers.  They said work — not necessarily paid work — provides purpose and social networks in retirement.

They emphasized that, in the post-career phase of work, you shouldn’t expect the same level of responsibility and authority as in your career.

One Comment

  1. To whom this may concern.
    Author Lindsay Green states and I quote, ” They said work — not necessarily paid work — provides purpose and social networks in retirement.”

    I agree with this statement, however there are many differences between how men and women are able to cope after leaving the place they called ‘work’. Generally, women have long time social connections and know how to talk face to face to each other about their feelings and medical status. They are more likely to be ‘joiners’ and more easily fit into a variety of networks or clubs. Men do a poor job in these areas.

    Example: I reside with my wife in a modular home retirement park and I am the Block Watch Captain with almost 80 Participants. When there is an issue, it is a woman, more often than not, in the household who calls me.

    Two years ago I became a member of a garden club (I enjoy pottering too) and found that the membership was 70 women with me becoming the third man to join. My voluntary job in the club is to meet and greet members at the door, (a very good way to get to know everyone). I also help carry in the various plant exhibits and assist senior members. Each month there is a prize for a donated item, formerly a plant. I have a small workshop where I can make useful and or decorative items out of recycled materials for use in the garden. This went over really well, for me it was a pleasure to bring pleasure to others.
    On Saturday my wife goes out and I spend 1-2 hours with a group of retired RCMP officers. We have coffee, we joke, we laugh and set the world to rights. Unbelievably some of the Vets open up and talk about their health, sometimes in graphic terms. It is a group of men only, being men among men, the dynamics are very different when the meet is men only.

    My experiences over a lifetime of speaking with and interacting with men and women have brought me to the conclusion that I want to be able to spend more time socialising with men only. I looked at Seniors Centres. It seems to me they are run mostly by women, very able women I might say, perhaps a trifle too organised. You know the idea, there is a programme that costs $30.0 that goes for 6 weeks, followed by a seminar to share your inner feelings. Other activities are set up and we men are expected to do as we are told, no way.

    Then, by a chance search of the internet, I found the phenomenom called Men’s Sheds. They are mostly for men and may be found in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, United Kingdom, Netherlands and now in Canada. In Winnipeg Manitoba, (the first with 51 members) Kelowna BC (10-12) , Vanderhoof, BC (30), one developing in Pemberton, another in Hope and lastly White Rock Surrey Surrey, BC.

    You can see overseas Men’s Sheds in action by Googling the name of any City in Australia and be sure to see a few pop up, after all there are over 1000 in that country. Google the other countries too and you will be amazed at what is happening. All the men involved decide for themselves what they want to do in a Men”s Shed.

    I send out a newsletter trying get men to help start a Men’s Shed, you may read it below. Men are not easily moved, the women in their lives are the best persuaders.
    For men it is a great way to involve men in doing something meaningful, for themselves, each other and last but not least the community, an occupation that will last them the rest of their lives. What a time they will have, be it long or short, what a way to go!

    My Newsletter follows below.


    Reg Sutton

    White Rock & South Surrey Men’s Shed

    A Men’s Shed is a meeting place for a group of men, sharing time together in a variety of activities. The name Men’s Shed was first used in Australia and it will continue to be known as that here in Canada and in other countries where the Men’s Shed phenomenon is growing.

    Men’s Retirement:
    Some Men, perhaps many men, on retiring from work may need to downsize their homes, resulting in a loss of their personal space, which might be the garden shed, basement or garage. Their shed or similar space has been used to store garden tools, golf clubs, etc or used as a home workshop for any number of purposes.
    Men who have not planned for retirement begin to realise that they miss the daily ‘going to work’ routine and their friends at the former work place. Unless they engage in meaningful activity they become bored, risking their mental and physical health. Here is where a Men’s Shed fills the need.

    Men’s Sheds began to form in Australia about 1995:
    Men living in small rural communities in Australia began meeting at each other’s homes, as friends, socialising and helping each other in many ways.
    Over time larger groups came together in meeting rooms and or workshops.
    It was noticed that the members of these groups were enjoying better health than retired men in the cities. The rural men, without really trying, enjoyed working together. Government and medical agencies began to provide grants to help set up community workshops and eventually the Australian Men’s Sheds Association (AMSA) was formed to oversee and help ‘shed groups.
    Government funding is reported be in the order $3 million so far. Once set up individual sheds conduct fund raising to help finance their operating expenses.

    A Men’s Shed is many things; a place to use a variety of tools, spend time learning new skills, honing old skills, making new friends over a mug of coffee or tea; a place where men can be men among other men.

    Activities in a Men’s Shed:
    Some activities are replicated throughout the Men’s shed network and others develop from suggestions by the members. Wood/metal work, automotive, model making, gardening, bicycles, computers are just a few. Any one of these may develop a wide variety of creative ideas. A Men’s Shed becomes a ‘Not For Profit’ Association’ and as such helps with diverse Community needs, designing and making craft items for sale or self, social outings and BBQ’s. Cooking lessons to enable single men to eat better. Learning new skills, listening to invited speakers on healthcare, how to use a wood lathe. Going for group walks, exercising. Men working shoulder to shoulder open up and talk to each other. Men’s Shed attendance gives members something to look forward to each week. Guess what, men’s health really does improve.

    Organisation and Management:
    Men’s Sheds is ‘a Grass roots organisation’ in that the members decide for themselves what activities they want to pursue. The Australian Sheds, exceed 1000 open ‘sheds country wide, with over 90,000 members. There are Men’s Sheds in New Zealand, Ireland, UK, the Netherlands, Finland and Greece. Canada has one in Winnipeg
    Vanderhoof, Kelowna, Hope and White Rock area, BC.

    Woodhaven Men’s Shed, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
    Doug Mackie, retired businessman heard about Australian Men’s Sheds and recognised the need for them here in Canada. He secured the use of a Sport Pavilion, a separate building, to use as a meeting place. ‘The Woodhaven Men’s Shed’, membership is now at 51 men.

    In the following video Doug speaks about the Woodhaven Shed.

    http://youngretired.ca/menssheds/ \\\

    White Rock & South Surrey Men’s Shed exists in name only; as men come to understand the benefits of participating in this group activity. The first steps in forming a ‘shed group’ or club if you prefer is for men to say;

    “This is for me, I want to help get one going, when can we meet?”

    For more information;
    Contact Reg Sutton – Email: wrms@shaw.ca


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