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by Abigail Van Buren

Man Wonders About Finding Fulfillment After He Retires

DEAR ABBY: I have had a wonderful and fulfilling career, and a life with a few hard bumps along the road. My wife and I enjoy spending time together as empty nesters.

For the last 16 years, I have built and led several not-for-profit organizations. After the last experience ended, we relocated, and I now have a less-demanding job I hope will take me into my retirement.

I enjoy the position, but how do I prepare for a rewarding and fulfilling life once I'm no longer fully employed? My wife and I plan to winter in Florida, do some traveling and enjoy life. I have some hobbies I look forward to spending time on, but I'm hoping for more than just that. Looking back, I wonder if I may have devoted too much to my career.

I guess I'm having trouble letting go of the wheel, the pace and the high expectations I have lived by all my adult life. Have you any suggestions to help me prepare for the next chapter? I will continue to help others and volunteer, but I need some guidance. -- TROUBLE LETTING GO IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR TROUBLE: Before retiring, make sure you are really ready to take that next step and discuss with your wife what that will mean to both of you. Between helping others, volunteering, traveling and splitting the year between two different communities, I suspect you will be plenty busy.

Now that you will have the time, use some of it to see your children and grandchildren, if there are any. Remember, too, the importance of staying physically as well as mentally active, and perhaps consider mentoring someone if the opportunity presents itself.

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