Retirement Sentiments

Retirement sentiments could include remodeling your home.

Retirement sentiments suggests you plan to pull back into something otherwise you'll drop dead of boredom or penury. At chiropractic help we recommend folk keep working whenever possible, part time, until the day they drop.

The question then is how to fill the rest of those sunny hours?

Ah, that day we dream of when we will no longer have to go through with the daily grind. We can sleep in a bit, enjoy a cup of tea in bed with the good wife, and read the paper instead of having to scan it in a jiffy; is it all an illusion? For a couple weeks perhaps it might be fun. But then what?

Whilst such dream retirement wishes, plus a skiing holiday or motorhome trip or two are probably the norm, that fact is that if don't retire into something many of us will either become depressed, losing our sense of worth, drop dead of boredom within a few short years or, financially strapped, simply won't be able to afford to do the things we'd like to accomplish.

So your retirement sentiments should include some form of modest income, unless you've made more than adequate provision for a long life after your stint at the coalface ends. Mine has included writing books, and I'm rather hoping you'll purchase Stones in my Clog, certainly the last of my chiropractic books; it tells of seven glorious years working in the polders in the Netherlands; they weren't without their trials. Just learning a new language at fifty three was an Alps for me to climb.

This page was last updated by Dr Barrie Lewis on 22nd December, 2018.

MacMillan lists the following definitions of retire and most of them fill me with dread. And frankly, many of them are just not true in relation to retirement. But many of us believe them nevertheless.

  1. to stop working, especially when you reach the age when you are officially too old to work
  2. to stop playing a sport as a professional player because you are too old
  3. to force someone to leave their job, especially before they reach the age when they are officially too old to work
  4. to leave a place, position, or way of life in order to go somewhere quieter or to live a less active life
  5. to stop taking part in a game or sports competition because you are injured or sick, or to make someone do this
  6. to remove machines or equipment from a place because they are old and no longer useful
  7. to go to bed at the end of the day in order to sleep

Have you past your sell by date? Life can be cruel and through no fault of our own, circumstances sometimes can crush us. That is reality; the sudden onset of cancer, an unexpected car accident, a fall on the ice, but really, these are the exceptions. For most of us, if we are old and no longer useful at sixty something, we have only ourselves to blame. Now, when we are in our forties and fifties, is the time to plan ahead.

  • Solar Power Energy ...

"Most people live, whether physically, intellectually or morally, in a very restricted circle of their potential being. They make use of a very small portion of their possible consciousness, and of their soul's resources in general, much like a man who, out of his whole bodily organism, should get into a habit of using and moving only his little finger."

William James

Plan to Retire INTO something...

Do you have any retirement sentiments? Other than time to read the newspaper, watch television and sleep in, that is. 

It might just be a continuation of your work. Take my friend LM for example. When L retired after working nearly fifty years as an electrician, he quite quickly found the newspaper, watching the ballgame and that cup of coffee very dull.

Retirement sentiments

Retirement sentiments asks if you've made plans for the day you quit?

Len and I have spent the last day-and-a-half crawling around in the very cramped ceiling of my new clinic - he's an inspiration to me. I'll be very surprised if his retirement jobs don't carry him to a healthy, happy eighty with all his marbles intact! Ceilings is not top on my list of retirement sentiments, but I learned such a lot, not forgetting that a little knowledge can be a lot more dangerous than none at all, especially with a 220V kick if you get it wrong. Len's retirement jobs are doing him a power of good.

He's also done the spade work to get me into solar power energy.

Here's an aside of interest. This week a young patient came to the clinic with a very sore neck after being manipulated by a friend. So, who was this quack? He is the flatmate of a chiropractic student in training; enough said.

Would you let your friend take out your appendix, one of the simplest medical procedures, and certainly a lot less complicated than a cervical spine manipulation, just because his pal was a medical student?

I do believe one needs to be wise as a serpent; it was a situation set up for disaster, and happily resolved quite quickly, but it could have been otherwise.

Cervical spine manipulation, done by a skilled and conscientious chiropractor who has taken the time to take a proper history and complete an in depth examination is a very safe procedure; serious mishaps are very rare but anything less can be extremely dangerous.

I'm happy to report that I and most chiropractors can approach our retirement sentiments satisfied that after hundreds of thousands of cervical manipulations, not one patient had a serious, life threatening event, but ever conscious that tomorrow all that could change. It, like all medical procedures, is not something done by a layperson.

Wilma Rudolph

"My doctors told me I would never walk again. My mother told me I would. I believed my mother."


Young Wilma Rudolph was a sickly child having suffered polio, scarlet fever and pneumonia. At 9 she shed her braces and started running. Said she: "I ran and ran and ran every day, and I acquired this sense of determination, this sense of spirit that I would never, never give up, no matter what else happened."

At high school Wilma became a star athlete, quickly becoming a world-class sprinter. She won a bronze medal in the 1956 Olympics in Melbourne, Australia, and three gold medals in the 1960 Rome Olympics, earning her the title of "the world's fastest woman."

After retiring from running, she coached briefly before a retirement sentiment to set up a foundation for underprivileged children. A role model to countless people, she was also the author of a number of inspirational quotations:

"The triumph can't be had without the struggle."


Often we may have had limited time for a hobby that has fascinated us; my brother has had a love-affair with boats since he was a child, enamoured by Arthur Ransome and books like Swallowdale. When he retired he bought Unity, an old 31 foot tub, fixed her up and spent the next six years sailing the Caribbean and the Great Lakes. Now he sails Unity II, a 41 footer, but his next real retirement challenge is to learn Spanish. The Dominican Republic holds more fascination for him than either his native South Africa, or continental America. "Unity"? Our mother's name. Dr Unity Lewis, DC, an inspiration for different reasons to us both.


Beekeeping has been the hobby of a lifetime; our grandfather started with half a dozen hives, as one of his retirement sentiments, convinced that sugar was bad for us; he was right and got me started on an interest that has never failed to intrigue me and provide raw honey for the table and making honey mead, called a braggot.

"Every third bite that you consume at the dinner table is the result of insect (like bees) pollinators' work."

Professor Lars Chittka

An aside: I've been most disappointed with the quality of local commercial honeys. Yesterday I managed to get a bucket of true "raw" honey, bits of wax and all. Cheaper, healthier and the taste... to die for! My friend William at 73 has turned beekeeping into a very profitable retirement sentiments hobby. It's no wonder he looks 63. Here you can see him fulfilling one of his retirement wishes, viz training young beekeepers.

Update: This page was started five years ago when I returned from Holland to South Africa and did not yet have my own hives; now I have ten very nice colonies providing more than enough honey.

African killer bees have to be treated with great respect; they are dangerous and unpredictable, perhaps part of the fascination of working with them.


A love of gardening makes the perfect retirement sentiment. It's hard physical work, keeping the pounds off and the muscles in trim; there's no need to join the local gym.

Turning all this into firewood for the winter and compostable material kept me busy for a week. Compost is at the heart of every organic garden; with so many around me succumbing to the ravages of cancer and autoimmune diseases, the boss and I are passionate about growing our own vegetables, free of toxic sprays and, in the main, fertilized with humus from our own efforts.

It could be be a love affair with plants, or birds, or keeping bees, or trout fishing that you keeps you young and vital right into the eighties; preferably something both physically and mentally challenging. The Archives of Medicine tell us that one quarter of Americans do little or no exercise; that is a recipe for an early demise, and frankly a very boring life.

Are you bored out of your mind? Worse still, are you boring?

Here I am combining a fascination with Garbanzo beans with deep trenching; hummus is number two only to Quaker Oats amongst the superfoods known to reduce blood cholesterol.

Trenches filled with rich compost I'm hoping for a bumper harvest of chickpeas this season for our authentic hummus recipe. Healthy choice foods remains high on my agenda of retirement sentiments.

Chiropractic help

Chiropractic help in Hilton, South Africa, will continue once I've finished my clinic. This was all written six years ago

Chiropractors need to take a break from the demands of a busy practice. Otherwise they burn out or drop dead in the practice as several colleagues and friends have done.

Instead I've opted for modified retirement sentiments: "to leave a place, position, or way of life in order to go somewhere quieter or to live a less active life." Very few chiropractors retire completely. Our work brings us too much pleasure, but I certainly won't be any less active.

Retiring from Holland to a small practice in Hilton, South Africa, working with my daughter, Dr Jane Ackerman DC... what a privileged "retirement" I am enjoying. Bees, carpentry, gardening, and back soaring with the storks; it's anything but quiet, but far less stress than the pressure of 8 hours a day of Chiropractic Help at the coalface.

Going green

One of the most satisfying features of my retirement sentiments has been going green. Read more here about the solar generator that I've been building; we now use less than ten dollars of electricity from the grid, the rest produced courtesy of Mr Golden Sun as my granddaughter calls him.

But you do your thing; just don't waste your golden years watching TV; my retirement sentiments are every bit as challenging and fulfilling, if not more so, than all those years grinding away making a living.

Approaching my seventieth orbit of the sun, I find myself with numerous patients in their seventies, eighties and even nineties, going at life at full speed; yes, they have their aches and pain. Chiropractic is just as important for the elderly as the very young; my daughter cares for them now. 

A Fantasy

I once dreamed that I would like to retire into a practice, with two other colleagues. One of us would always be on leave; work eight months of the year. Read all about it in my third book, Stones in my Clog ...

Yes, writing and publishing books is another of my retirement sentiments; my seventh volume is in the pipeline.

Stones in my clog by a chiropractor

Total hip replacement

Total hip replacement after osteoporotic fracture

Total hip replacement from arthritis or a fracture caused by osteoporosis is often a feature of the golden years; not one of our retirement sentiments but it is a reality for many. The key is not to wait until the pain and stiffness in the groin and hip is severe. Chiropractors treat arthritis, and patients who have had hip replacements but with little relief of the pain, on a daily basis.

Don't expect miracles but I personally believe that every case of hip arthritis should be treated with chiropractic before surgery. There's nothing to lose, and plenty to be gained... HIP ARTHRITIS


"If you want to keep your heart healthy then you need to know the facts about homocysteine. Not just another risk factor to be added to the general equation, homocysteine is believed to be one of the major causes of heart disease today."

Eve Knight, British Cardiac Patients' Association.

At chiropractic help we place a lot of emphasis on the foods that we eat, and particularly those that reduce inflammation in the body.

In a profound study on 62 000 patients, reported in Archives of Internal Medicine in September 2010, it was found that taking Statins for raised cholesterol had absolutely no scientific basis, unless you have a history of cardiovascular disease. Evidence is pointing towards homocysteine rather than cholesterol as the spoke in the heart wheel.

  • Foods that lower cholesterol
  • Growing lettuce ... rich in some of the vitamins to reduce homocysteine build up.

Retirement sentiments

We may have the best retirement sentiments, but as Robbie Burns so ably wrote, the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry! I've just treated a lady with bad headaches. Their first holiday after her husband retired, he had a heart attack within five miles of home, and died. That's the gift cigarettes have in store for you. I found it hard not to be self-righteous and say "I told you so." I did tell them, she decided to quit, but he not, and now she's a lonely 65 year old widow.

Don't allow your bad habits to thwart your retirement sentiments; both my parents died long before their time, unable to quit smoking; it was terrible to watch.

So, how fit are you? The Kasch Pulse recovery test is a simple three minute test that will give you a fairly accurate idea of whether your best-laid plans may be realised or not.

May I boast? At the beginning of the test my heart rate was 60 beats per minute. One minute after the test my heart rate was exactly the same. That's what regular cycling does for one. You could do the same, and hope to live to a happy healthy 90.

That's what I'm aiming for; my best-laid plans; but I could be knocked off the bike tomorrow. KASCH PULSE RECOVERY TEST ...

Right choices

Right choices, so, shall we sum up? The golden years, just like any other part of our lives, require careful planning, advice on financial matters, and making the right choices on health matters. Should I at 75 go for that hip replacement, heart bypass, cancer treatment, or... These things don't just happen; choosing retirement sentiments without cancer means years ahead of time making the right choices about more vegetable protein in our diets, and a minimum of five to ten coloured foods daily. 

They may sound impossible but it's really not; yesterday I made hummus with chickpeas, lemon, orange, parsley, jalapeno and a spring onion. A couple of scoops really turns a boring green salad into a feast if you add some feta cheese and a handful of olives. That's ten colours in one meal; mulberry jam on homemade low GI bread and butter completes the perfect meal.

Sleep on your side with one pillow

An aside: do you know why it's not good to sleep on your tum or with your arm above your head?

  • THORACIC OUTLET SYNDROME ... tingling in the arm and all the fingers.
  • IMMOBILISATION ARTHRITIS ... from, amongst other things, sleeping on your tum.

And if you have a hiatus hernia, then that should be the left side for the first four hours of the night; and no coffee or alcohol after dinner alas.


  1. Chiropractic Help
  2. Right Choices
  3. Retirement sentiments

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