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Do you have retirement in sight?

Money will be important, sure, but so will making sure you have hobbies that keep you busy, happy and healthy, according to this Wall Street Journal article, which includes comments from a resident of Cleveland.

Carolyn Adams-Price, professor of psychology at Mississippi State University, co-authored a 2020 study that showed how engaged participation in leisure activities later in life acts as a “buffer against depression”. The Journal notes that she was also part of a 2018 study that found that having a hobby led to improvements in cognitive performance and neural efficiency in older adults. And last year, the journal adds, “Japanese researchers published a study showing that leisure reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease – particularly stroke – in participants aged 40 to 69.”

Adams-Price says the benefits gained through hobbies include a sense of identity and recognition from others; mastery of a skill or subject; and a sense of calm and spirituality.

Virtually any hobby will do. For Cleveland resident Lynice Willis, who ended her 30-year career in college administration in 2020, it’s quilt making.

“When I hear the word retirement, I think of the freedom of time,” Willis told the Journal. “I have control over what I do and how much time I spend on it. If I wanted to, if there was a quilt project I wanted to do, I could give up most of the other things I do and just focus on it and take the time to do it.”

You don’t have a hobby? Adams-Price says crafting is “a great place to start. Even if you don’t think you’re creative or artistic, you can surprise yourself. Things you can’t do can be taught, like drawing and the painting.”