Retirement means a fresh start to writer

April 26, 1992|By Debra Lee Baldwin | Debra Lee Baldwin,Copley News Service

Boredom, advises author Harry Disston, can kill you.

In his book, "Wear Out -- Don't Rust Out: A Guide to an Active Retirement" (Betterway Publications), Mr. Disston reassures his readers that it is possible to remain healthy, active, fulfilled and happier than they ever thought possible after they retire.

The key is to "start your retirement by looking upon it as an opportunity for a fresh start or another career, to develop it as new interests or re-establish old ones, and for active involvement in community projects.

"And vow to remain young through continuing to exercise your body and mind, looking ahead and paying no attention to your age."

The key is to pursue only those activities you really enjoy, and then do them with your whole heart.

With that in mind, consider the following: Writing can be tremendously rewarding. Send a letter to the editor of your local newspaper on issues you feel strongly about, and you'll have the satisfaction of seeing your ideas in print.

If you've wanted to write your family history (or perhaps a romance novel, cookbook, screenplay, short story or magazine article), consider investing in an electronic typewriter or personal computer with writer's software. These are easy to use and offer such aids as spell-checking and thesaurus. (And the appearance of the finished product will impress the editors!)

Perhaps you're not quite ready to write your book because you lack certain skills or expertise. Attend classes, do research at the library or travel until you have the information you need. You'll also make friends who share your interests.

You're through working for someone else. Now's your chance to make money at what you enjoy -- as the following people have done:

Bill Nelson, a California optometrist, began raising rare fruit trees as a hobby years ago. Now retired, he has a nursery behind his home; he sells seeds via mail order all over the world.

Retired farmer Elmer Young of Atlanta still farms, but on a much smaller scale; he's now an avid vegetable gardener.

Ten years ago, Carl Stein of San Diego, now 68, started his own mailbox company. He designs and builds custom mailboxes for homeowners and enjoys knowing his work will leave a lasting mark on his community.

Gene Chapman of Peoria, Ill., has always loved playing the guitar and singing. Now retired, he plays for area festivals and gives lessons.

Rose Smith, a Southern California retirement home resident, has always loved working with crafts. She crochets ornamental dolls, and at Christmas time complains happily, "I can barely keep up with my orders."

If you enjoy working with people, consider signing on part time at a fast-food restaurant (seniors are in demand) or working in sales at a department store (perhaps at the jewelry or cosmetics counter). If you like working with children, the child-care industry

needs qualified, dedicated workers.

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